About Dummy Hoy



 William Ellsworth Hoy “Dummy Hoy” died at the age of 99.  Two of his dreams in life were to live to be 100 and to be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  To date, only one can still come true. 

Being the first deaf baseball player in the major leagues, Hoy’s baseball career span 18 seasons on professional teams which included 5 with the Cincinnati Redlegs.  Hoy was born in Houcktown, Ohio in 1862 and graduated valedictorian from Ohio School for the Deaf.  Small in stature, at 5’4” to 5’5” and weighing around 150 pounds, Hoy overcame many obstacles to become one of the greatest outfielders of his time.A celebrated “flyhawk” on par with Joe Di Maggio, Willie Mays and Tris Speaker.

In his rookie year in the majors (1888), Hoy led the National League with 82 stolen bases and had a career total of over 600.  Hoy played in 1,798 major-league games with a respectable .288 lifetime batting average, 2,054 hits and 1,004 walks.  One year he hit .357.  At the age of 38, over the course of 137 games, Hoy had 337 putouts and a .977 fielding average to go along with his 45 assists. It was the only time an outfielder has ever led the majors in all three categories.”

 Hoy’s proudest achievement in his career was throwing out three runners at home plate, from the outfield, in one game. This has rarely been repeated.

The most important contribution that Hoy made in baseball was the creation of hand signals, which is still used in baseball throughout the world today.  Not being able to hear the calls, which were shouted out by the umpires, Hoy asked his coach to stand on third base and raise his right hand for a strike and left hand for a ball.

Hoy’s name has been included on the Hall of Fame annual ballots several times.  But year after year, Hoy has been bypassed in favor of players with less impressive careers.  This year we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.  We intend to make one of his dreams come true. 

 Hoy gave so much to baseball, let’s give back to Hoy.


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