Ask Athlon: Baseball Hall of Fame

Q: Has William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy (1862-1961), the great deaf Major League baseball player, ever been nominated for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

— Sandra Hoy, New Berlin, Pa.

A: Sandra, I sense from your name that there’s a family connection between you and the 19th-century speedster. Hoy was a productive pre-1900 player for seven different teams over a 14-year career, amassing 2,048 hits, 1,424 runs and 596 stolen bases, a number that still ranks 18th all time, one spot ahead of Maury Wills. A skilled defender, Hoy retired among baseball’s leaders in putouts and double plays. His Hall of Fame candidacy has gained some momentum in recent years, and there’s always the chance that the Veterans Committee could enshrine him some day.

As his nickname clearly indicates, Hoy played in an era that was far less concerned with sensitivity and political correctness, although his moniker referred to his deafness rather than his lack of intelligence. In fact, Hoy is credited as being one of the more intelligent players of his day. Some even credit Hoy for the adoption of hand signals by umpires to denote safe and out calls, although this is far from certain.

Charlie Miller, Editorial Director

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