|Born: September 22, 1870|
|Died: April 26, 1909 (aged 38)|
|July 12, 1898, for the Louisville Colonels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 12, 1909, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Runs batted in||199|
He played college baseball at the University of Notre Dame in 1897 and 1898.
His nickname was derived honestly from the fact he was a licensed physician as well as a ballplayer. During a brief stint with the New York Highlanders in 1905, Powers caught while Jim "Doc" Newton pitched, creating the only known example of a two-physician battery in Major League history.
On April 12, 1909, Powers was injured during the first game played in Philadelphia's Shibe Park, 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 possibly the first Major Leaguer to suffer an on-field injury that eventually led to his death. The immediate cause of death was peritonitis arising from post-surgery infections.
Powers left behind his wife, Florence W. Ehrmann; and three daughters.
Eleven years later in 1920, Ray Chapman became the only MLB player to be directly killed by an on-field injury when he was hit in the head by a pitch. Powers' injury may have served as 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.[original research?]
- Stew Thornley, Land of the Giants: New York's Polo Grounds (Temple University Press, 2000), p75
- Merron, Jeff (June 22, 2002). "Major Leaguers Who Died In-Season". espn.com
- Thornley, p75
- "Michael Riley "Doc" Powers". Find a Grave. Retrieved 9 December 2012.