Where in the Valley: Out of the Park

A local village honors a baseball legend — and native son

Where in the Hudson Valley…?

Located along a state route in a bustling mid-Valley village, this monument honors one of baseball’s greatest players — although you’ve probably never heard of him.

While many people would immediately mention Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig when discussing baseball legends, Dennis “Big Dan” Brouthers — who played and lived in the Valley — deserves to be named right along with them. Born in Dutchess County in 1858, Brouthers was known as a fearsome hitter. During his Major League career — which lasted from 1879 to 1897 — he played for several teams, including the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Beaneaters. His lifetime batting average was a whopping .349 (by comparison, the Bambino’s was .342). Brouthers won four batting titles, which is two more than any other 19th-century slugger. According to eyewitness accounts given at the time, in 1894 Brouthers hit the longest home run ever. The amazing wallop sailed completely out of Baltimore Orioles Park (a distance of more than 500 feet), traveled down three city blocks, and finally rolled to a stop 1,300 feet from home plate.

Brouthers began his career in Poughkeepsie and Troy, playing ball for teams that were part of the Hudson River League; he retired in 1906 as manager of Newburgh’s team. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945. Upon his death in 1932, Brouthers was buried in a churchyard cemetery in his hometown (which is located just a stone’s throw from the site of this marker).

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