William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy

photo of William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy
William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy

Born in Houcktown. His claim to fame was he is the first deaf mute major league baseball player to play the game. Legend has it that it was because of Hoy that umpires use hand signals for balls and strikes today. Some even say that all the various hand signs are the result of his playing days. There is no documented proof of that but it sounds interesting. Hoy was active from 1888 to 1903 and played in 1796 games with an average of .287 that included 2004 hits, 1426 runs, 40 homers and 726 runs batted in. His career included stops with the Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox, and the Cincinnati Reds from 1888 to 1902. Hoy was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2003 and is remembered as an innovator and advocate for the deaf community. He was named a recipient of the 2019 Great Ohioan Award.

(b. 1862 – d. 1961: baseball player)

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