William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy

Major-league ballplayer

“Dummy” Hoy had the longest major-league career of any deaf player—15 years—although he played about half of it on bad teams. Hoy was a slightly-built, nimble player, 5'4" or so. He played in the Northwestern, National, Players’, and American leagues. He was on four pennant-winning teams, two minor, two major: Oshkosh of the Northwestern League in 1887, Chicago White Stockings of the American League in 1900 and 1901, and Los Angeles of the Pacific Coast League in 1903. An intrepid center-fielder, good hitter, and speedy baserunner, Hoy set several base-stealing records, and while with the Washington Senators, had three assists from the outfield to the catcher in one game on June 19, 1889, for the all-time record. He led the National League in stolen bases in 1888 with 82 thefts. While with the White Sox, he had a record 45 assists in 137 games that season. He is believed to have played an important role in the development of umpires’ signals.

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