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Doc Powers

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Michael Riley Powers

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Having earned his nickname because he was actually a medical doctor, Doc Powers was the regular catcher in 1901 for manager Connie Mack, himself a former catcher, on the Philadelphia Athletics in their first season in the new American League. He spent most of the next eight seasons on Mack's club. In the 1905 World Series, he took over for regular Ossee Schreckengost in the middle of Game 3, when the New York Giants were running wild. He started the last two games of the Series as well. He was not much of a hitter - batting a career .216 in 647 games, but he had a reputation as an outstanding defensive catcher.

Powers was injured on Opening Day, 1909, in the first-ever Major League game played at Shibe Park. It was reported at the time that the pain began when he dove for a foul ball. The injury later turned gangrenous, and he died soon afterward. It was perhaps the first major league baseball death traceable directly to an on-field injury.

Powers was the best friend of Chief Sockalexis, who was his college teammate at both Notre Dame and Holy Cross.

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