Put Dummy Hoy in the Hall of Fame

I am always fascinated by tiny little towns in Hancock county that back in the day were thriving but now seem only known to old timers. These population centers usually focused on the railroad, grain, or the finding of a clean water source.

There are several I learned about in my youth. There is Deweyville, Shawtown, Mortimer, and Houcktown.

So I was tickled when I read an article about a baseball player who was born in Houcktown. His name was William “Dummy” Hoy. 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. He played for the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1894 to 1898. The Redlegs were the predecessor to the current Cincinnati Reds.

A recent film was shown in Columbus documenting Hoy and his life. It is called “Dummy Hoy: A Deaf Hero”. The film is part of a long time effort to get Hoy inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

So here is a tip of the hat to the newest entry in my Famous Findlayians – William “Dummy” Hoy.

For more information:

In baseball limbo

Baseball Biography Project

2 Replies to “Put Dummy Hoy in the Hall of Fame”

  1. "There is no documented proof of that but it sounds interesting." That's your words in your link, but if you have seen the materials I have collected then you would understand how the hand signals came about. Have you seen the documentary yet? 

  2. I haven't seen the documentry. My comment was based on a couple of other articles I read about the issue – not the info in the documentry. 

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