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{{Infobox MLB player
name=Doc Powers
image=Doc Powers.jpg
position=Catcher
birthdate=
birthplace=
deathdate=
deathplace=
bats=Right
throws=Right
debutdate=July 12
debutyear=
debutteam=Louisville Colonels
finaldate=April 12
finalyear=
finalteam=Philadelphia Athletics
stat1label=AVG
stat1value=.216
stat2label=HR
stat2value=4
stat3label=RBI
stat3value=199
teams= }}Michael Riley "Doc" Powers (September 22, 1870 – April 26, 1909), was an Americanmarker Major League Baseball player who played catcher for four different teams from to . He played for the Louisville Colonels and Washington Senators of the National League, and the Philadelphia Athletics, and New York Highlanders of the American League. He played college baseball at the University of Notre Damemarker in 1897 and 1898. Powers' nickname was derived from the fact that he was a licensed physician as well as a ballplayer.

On April 12, 1909, Powers was injured during the first game played in Philadelphia's Shibe Parkmarker, crashing into a wall while chasing a foul pop-up. He sustained internal injuries from the collision and died two weeks later from complications from three intestinal surgeries, becoming the first Major Leaguer to suffer a fatal on-field injury. The only other player to die from an on-field incident was Ray Chapman in 1920. Powers himself said that he had become ill as a result of eating a cheese sandwich before the game. The immediate cause of death was peritonitis arising from post-surgery infections.

His injury was possibly the inspiration for that suffered by "Bump" Bailey, a minor character in Bernard Malamud's novel The Natural, as well as its subsequent film adaptation. The character of Roy Hobbs, played by Robert Redford, is believed to have been based on Eddie Waitkus.

References

  1. Stew Thornley, Land of the Giants: New York's Polo Grounds (Temple University Press, 2000), p75
  2. Merron, Jeff (June 22, 2002). "Major Leaguers Who Died In-Season". espn.com
  3. Thornley, p75


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