Arthur Brophy Jr., a baseball player who invented a pitching machine, died on July 28 of bone cancer. He was 70.
Brophy attended Rollins College on a baseball scholarship. An All-American player, he pitched a no-hitter game that earned him a spot in the school’s Hall of Fame, and won his team an NCAA championship.
He was recruited by the majors and played five seasons with the Washington Senators and the Minnesota Twins. After his professional baseball career ended, Brophy became a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, and invented Quic Hands, a soft toss pitching machine that helps batters sharpen their hand-eye coordination.
August 5, 2003 by
Arthur Brophy Jr., a baseball player who invented a pitching machine, died on July 28 of bone cancer. He was 70.
I met Art over the phone when I was looking to buy one of his machines for a Christmas present for my son. I spoke with him for over an hour and found him to be a wonderful, friendly man.
I was suprised to learn of his passing when I had called to place an order the other day and would like to send my best wishes to his family.
My name is Lisa Marie Brophy, I am Arthur Brophy’s niece. My dad, Charlie is his brother. I did not know my Uncle well because he lived here in Florida and most of the family lived in Boston. I was however very proud of his accomplishments with his baseball machine….and his music. The Brophy family was extremely musical. On Easter, my nana and grampa, all of their children and grand children would gather in the living room and play piano and sing songs. My Nana would play the piano and my grampa would sing. My uncle was a talented musician and was blessed with the same musical talent as his parents. I am sure he is heaven with Nana, Grampa and Uncle Donald making music that would greatly please the good lord. He is loved and he is missed. May God bless you and keep you close to his heart Uncle Arthur.
All my love….your niece…Lisa Marie Brophy
I ATTENDED ROLLINS COLLEGE WITH ART BROPHY AND MET HIM SEVERAL YEARS LATER AT A NIGHT CLUB HE WAS PERFOMING AT IN FLORIDA. AFTER THE CLUB CLOSED WE TALKED IN THE PARKING LOT FOR OVER AN HOUR ABOUT OLD TIMES AND WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ALL OUR FRIENDS AT ROLLINS. I JUST LEARNED TODAY OF HIS PASSING. HE WAS A GREAT BASEBALL PLAYER AND INTERTAINER.
I met Art some 5 years before his untimely death.
I had carried his Quic Hands product on our website of baseball and softball training aids so our initial meetings were of a business nature.
What a great guy. Full of stories and not always about baseball. A strong New England accent and a few timely expletives made his stories just a bit more engaging Though always a ballplayer I sensed he may have traded some Big league time for a night on a big stage.
He played piano like he told baseball anecdotes. I saw him playing right in the moddle of hundreds of baseball coaches who were milling around outside the doors of a baseball clinic some years back. He had a young son with him and I can tell you he sure loved that kid and that boys love for his father sure was evident.
It was surprising to me that he was 70 years old; he sure didn’t look it.
He sure reminded me of a generation of ballplayer like they used to make em.
Just a good guy. I appreciated the experience of his company. He added to my life!
–Coach John Peter
I remember Art Brophy from the time that we were in the USAF together in the 1950s. We were both stationed at Zweibrucken, Germany. We played in a jazz quartet that he put together, and had a great time. He told me about his baseball ambitions, and we would toss the ball around a bit. He had a natural gift for music, and could do jazz improvisations as well as anyone. We often talked about going to LA or someplace and forming a band, but lost track of each other. I have often wondered what happened to him after we got out of the service, and decided to google his name. I am glad he was able to realize his ambitions and have a great life.
Park Falls, WI
Just found out about Art’s death. I’ve been back in CA after 25 years in FL where I met and played with Art. Not long after I first me him, I was playing with my band at Flossie’s in FTL. when he got up on stage (by surprise and uninvited) and scooted me away from my piano and took over. He’s the only one ever to get away with that! From then on, he was always welcome on my stage.
Later, we put together a little band to play jazz and standards on my off nights. What a blast that was. Dueling pianos (Art and I), bass and drums. He would start an old song on the piano, and then say “Billy’s gonna sing you one now”. Never did tell me what he was going to play, just figured I’d better know it, and I always did.
Used to love going to his shop where he made the pitching machines and playing and singing with him. The only commercial shop I ever saw with a grand piano in the front office.
God bless you Art. The world’s a smaller place without ya!
My story is a bit differrent. I didn’t know a thing about baseball, and I sure didn’t know who Art Brophy was, except that he was a baseball player. Didn’t even know what team.
I was a runaway in 1961-2 and Art gave me a ride to Boston. I would like to tell the story to his family. He was driving a tractor (tractor-trailer type), I later understood he was moving his family (at least his wife, I don’t remember if there were children) to Boston. He was playing ball and was transferrred to Boston. He stopped in Pennsauken, NJ to get gas. I can tell you where the gas station was!
If I can recall correctly, it was the right brake which had seized and was on fire. The gas station attendant was a kid also, but was panicking hollering for him to get away from the pump. I started throwing sand and dirt on the brake and got the fire out.
One thing led to another and he was kind enough to give me a ride. I think that was part of his gratitude. Really, though, I think it was the Good Lord looking out for me. I was only 16 at the time, though I looked, and passed for, many years older.
I am truly sorry to learn of his death, especially this late date. I just this evening found where I wrote his name in 1963. With the power of the web, I did a quick search and found this site. I couldn’t believe that I could him that fast! I could never remember who he was other than a ball player and was transferred to Boson. Evidently, he was just as kind to many , many other people as he was to me.
He left a lasting impression, obviously. I thought of him often over the years. Unfortunatley, I do not remember his wife. I think I saw her only once when we stopped for gas and got a small bite to eat. But we (Art and I ) talked. Talked for the whole ride. Several hours, from South Jersey to Boston.
He must have said the right things, though for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you anything at all what we talked about. I never really got into trouble while I was a runaway, lived a good life, kept a job, supported myself and eventually returned home. That’s another story.
The funny thing is, his neice and someone else wrote that he played the piano. My profession is rebuilding pianos (fourth generation).
I just wanted to offer my regrets for everyone’s loss. I knew him but the span of a few hours and he left a lifetime of memory. To his family, both blood and baseball, you indeed have a good man there. Thanks for sharing him with me, back then.
I’ve told my wife many times about him. God be with you all. If Mrs. Brophy has survived Art, would/could someone pass this on to her. Thanks an awfoul lot. Sam Marquez New Jersey
I met Art at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida in September of 1953 where I began as a freshman. I think that Art was either a sophomore or junior. Does anyone remember that Art was an excellent tap dancer? I played piano for him at a number of gigs. He built a one string bass fiddle to accompany me. We belonged to the same fraternity: Sigma Nu. Unfortunately Art got expelled from the fraternity because he was too busy to attend meetings. He also later left Rollins before he was able to graduate. He really didn’t care much for academics. He loved to play baseball (he used to carry a red handkerchief in the back pocket of his uniform for good luck.) He was a pitcher who could also hit! He loved to dance, sing and play his one string bass fiddle. He was really one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. I am extremely saddned by his death.
Believe it or not i just thought of Art Brophy and thought i would punch it in on the machine.
He was a character—-I knew him in the 70s and his great friend was jerry Mack a bass player—–Both Irish–Man could those guys put it away being polish i could never keep up with those guys—-Ha//// great—
If it were not for art I would not have realized how great Amhad jamil the piano player was—–He had a few commecrial hits and I never got into him until Brophy came along——Jamil—wrong spelling— was really great a true jazzer—also great rhythm sections—-
Art could tap dance and played piano—he had some chops and love Oscar Peterson—another fast chop jazz cat—-
Art hung in there— he played good enough
and always worked—
A true individual
h jeff smith drums
I didn’t have the honor of knowing Art Brophy as close as many individuals on this forum. What i remember about this man was that he was a skilled Jazz musician and the inventor of Quic Hands. Our encounter was at Broward Community College central campus. I was walking around the music department when i heard this catchy walking bass line that made me want to improvise around it. When i opened the door to the chorus room fate allowed me to meet Art Brophy. I immediately asked questions and then we started to talk. I started to play for him and then we started to play together. He handed me an autograph of him as a young man playing in the Hollywood , Fl area in an article and he asked me of my teachers name. I told him his name was Milton Fishkin and so he wrote on the article “Milt you have a great student keep up the good job.” After that first meeting we met a couple more times but then i left BCC. I had the honor of hearing his life experiences. I’m sorry to hear about his passing away. This man was a fun kind of guy. A truly cool cat.
I never got a chance to meet Arthur Brophy, but i do know his wife his daughter and his two sons personally i really wished i could have met him, his son told me how much Arthur loved baseball, jazz, the piano, n tap dancing. He sounds like a real hero, may he rest in peace his family loves him so much!
Art Brophy sounds like he was a great guy. My son has just gotten into little league ball and I noticed my neighbors have one of his devices. I went online to purchase one and I was unable to contact the company with the 800 number, yet the website is still being maintained. I was curious if one of his family members took over the company or if they stopped making the device completely? Thank you, Joe
I want to purchase another quid hands machine. I can’t find one anywhere. I met Art many years ago and purchased two machines from him. He was a great man.
He was very important person for baseball and still is . We all agree that pitching machine is very important equipment for baseball . Many people think that softball is a game that is for the hitters only but that simply is not true. Fielding and pitching can make a huge difference in the outcome of a game if done properly. Sure when a softball is pitched it comes at the batter slow which in turn gives them a distinct hitting advantage but there is a lot a good pitcher can do to throw the timing of the batter off even when it’s pitched slowly