LIVE FROM LONG BEACH — Outfielder and first baseman Harry Stovey has been selected as the Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend for 2011 by SABR’s Nineteenth Century Research Committee. The announcement was made Friday during the committee’s annual business meeting at the SABR 41 national convention.
Stovey was a great all-around player and one of the game’s first power hitters. He finished in the top four in home runs 10 times, leading the league in five of those seasons. In 1883, he set the single-season major league record with 14 homers. When he retired in 1893, he was the all-time leader in home runs with 122 and was third on the list as late as 1920. Stovey’s other offensive numbers include 347 doubles, 174 triples, 908 RBI, more than 500 stolen bases — records are not available for six of his seasons, so he may have stolen more than 800 bases — and 1,492 runs in 1,486 games, including nine seasons of 100 or more runs.
Besides home runs, he led the league in more than 20 other offensive categories, including extra-base hits five times; runs scored and triples four times; slugging percentage and total bases three times; stolen bases twice; and RBI once. Stovey’s first three seasons were with Worcester of the National League. In 1883, he became a member of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association, spending seven seasons with the team, which included the pennant that first year, and four seasons of hitting .300 or better. In 1890, he joined the Boston Reds of the Players League and led them to the pennant. He then spent the next three seasons playing for the Boston Beaneaters (1891 and 1892 NL champion), Baltimore Orioles and the Brooklyn Grooms.
From May 26 through June 10, 168 members of the Nineteenth Century Committee submitted their votes for the 2011 Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend — a 19th-century player, manager, executive or other baseball personality not yet inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Previous Overlooked Legends were Pete Browning in 2009 and Deacon White in 2010.
Here are the 2011 candidates and their point totals:
- Harry Stovey, 378 points
- Bill Dahlen, 338
- Tony Mullane, 312.5
- Ross Barnes, 300
- Bob Caruthers, 234
- Doc Adams, 199
- Paul Hines, 195
- Jack Glasscock, 189.5
- Dickey Pearce, 165
- George Gore, 114
See Harry Stovey’s career statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.
For more information on the Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legends Project, contact Project Chairman Joe Williams.
— Joe Williams
Originally published: July 8, 2011. Last Updated: July 27, 2020.