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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Rebounding from tragedy

   August 12, 1877 -- This was one of the worst days in the life of Dan Brouthers, a 19-year-old at the time who would go on to become one of baseball's greatest players as a player in Buffalo.

   Brouthers grew up in the Hudson Valley and was playing semi-pro ball with the Actives of Wappingers Falls. On July 7, he ran into catcher Johnny Quigley of the Clippers from Harlem in a home-plate collision.

   Quigley was knocked unconscious, having suffered a tramatic head injury. He died from that injury on this day. Brouthers was cleared of wrongdoing by authorities.

   Such an incident might have derailed the career of some players, but Brouthers went on with baseball. He joined the major leagues in 1879 with Troy, spending parts of two seasons with the team that eventually became the San Francisco Giants.

   Brouthers became a Buffalo Bison in 1881, and was an instant hit. He led the National League in both home runs and slugging percentage. Brouthers eventually won two batting titles, and set an all-time record in 1883 with 97 runs batted in.

   Brouthers eventually played parts of 19 seasons in the majors, finishing with a career .342 batting average. He was inducted into Cooperstown in 1945.

--- Budd Bailey

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