Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004
 
Number 84: Dan Brouthers

One of the 19th century greats, Brouthers was a huge man for the time at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds or possibly more. He began playing major league ball in 1879 with Troy at age 21, then went to Buffalo in 1881. Buffalo tried him in the outfield, but other than that Brouthers was a first baseman all the time. He was a big power hitter, in an era when that meant doubles and triples more than home runs. He was also a consistent hitter, and never batted lower than .300 in a season of more than 200 at bats. A lot of that was compiled in the 1880s, not a great time for offense.

Brouthers led the league in batting average five times, slugging seven times, including six years in a row 1881-86. He led in OPS eight times, and in OPS+ the same seasons, 1882-87 and 1891-92. He was the dominant hitter in baseball for a decade. He played for several teams, besides Troy and Buffalo landing in Detroit, Boston, Brooklyn and Baltimore, and a late stint with the New York Giants provided by old teammate John McGraw. His Buffalo teams made a habit of finishing 3rd in the NL, then he won the title with the 1887 Detroit Wolverines, and also won pennants in 1890 (Players League) and 1891 (American Association) with Boston, and 1894 in Baltimore.

Brouthers earned 172.76 ratings points.

Brouthers' stats: .342 average, 460 doubles, 205 triples, 1523 runs, 1296 RBI, .423 on base, .519 slugging.