Brain began his Cardinals career in 1903. Despite hitting only .231 in 1903, Brain led the Cardinals with 60 RBIs and 15 triples, the latter being fourth best in the league. Stealing 21 bases demonstrated his decent speed that season, and he averaged 14 per season from 1903-07.
Dave’s offensive production significantly improved in 1904. He was the team leader in doubles, triples, homers and a career high 72 RBIs. The right-handed hitter’s seven home runs were second in the league to Harry Lumley’s nine. Brain’s 43 extra-base hits ranked fourth in the National League, and he was sixth in triples and seventh in doubles. His versatility was further exhibited in 1904 when he played first, second, and the outfield.
Transition and establishing his name in the record books would mark Brain’s 1905 season. On July 4, 1905, Brain was hitting .228 and was traded to Pittsburgh for infielder George McBride, whose average was .218.
During Brain’s five years as a regular, the 1905 Pirates were the only club of which he was a member that had an above .500 record. Since Honus Wagner was the Pirates’ shortstop, Brain was used almost exclusively at third base. He finished the season hitting .247 with 63 RBIs and 11 triples.
As for establishing individual records, on May 29, 1905, the Englishman hit three triples against Pittsburgh; he duplicated the feat on August 8, 1905, while playing for Pittsburgh versus Boston, also delivering the game-winning single for his new team. Thanks to this performance, Brain holds several major league records.
He is tied with many others for most triples in a game since 1900 and for the all-time record for most consecutive triples in a nine-inning game with three. Dave shares with three other players the all-time record for most times with three triples in one game during a career with two. Lastly, he is the only hitter in major league history to have three triples in one game twice in one season.