Dan Brouthers was the majors career home run leader for two seasons in 1887 and 1888. Before and after Brouthers held the mark, it was owned by Harry Stovey.
A five-time home run champion, Stovey was the first big leaguer to post double-digit round trippers. When he hit his fourth homer of the 1885 season, Stovey’s total of 41 surpassed Charley Jones’ previous mark of 40. Stovey finished the year with 13 homers, a league-leading total for the third time in six seasons.
By the end of 1886 Stovey extended his mark to 57 with Brouthers right behind at 53 homers. Brouthers overtook Stovey in 1887 by out-homering him 12-4. Both men hit 9 home runs in 1888 as Brouthers held on to the record.
Stovey took back the #1 spot by swatting 19 home runs in 1889. When he retired in 1883 Stovey became the first man in big league history to leave the game as baseball’s all-time home run leader. Since then, Roger Connor, Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron, and Barry Bonds have done the same.
Shown here is a pair of Red Sox season passes issued to Stovey. The pass on top is from the final year of Bob Quinn’s stewardship of the Boston franchise in 1932. Quinn’s facsimile signature on the bottom right. Below that pass is one from the following season, the first year of Tom Yawkey’s 44-year reign as the Sox chief.
The story of Stovey’s career as well as his case for Cooperstown can be seen by clicking here. The link also shows the back of these passes that includes signatures of Stovey.
Dan Brouthers was huge at 6-2 200lbs one of the biggest men back then.