From 1888 until 1902, one of he best outfielders in baseball was William “Dummy” Hoy. William was only 5’4″ but was known for his great speed. In fourteen years he stole over 600 bases.

William had one other amazing feature other than his size. He was totally deaf. Because his lack of hearing affected his speech and political correctness did not exist, he went by the nickname “Dummy”.

Baseball changed because of William. His manager invented hand signals to communicate when he wanted William to steal or bunt. Today every team uses complicated hand signals to communicate strategy to batters and base runners.

The next time you see a coach rub his arm, pull his ear, or rub his eyelid you will know that a little 5’4″ man with great speed and a tremendous desire to compete was responsible. He was a man who accentuated his ability to offset his disability.

In 1961, at the age of 99, “Dummy” Hoy threw out the first pitch of the World Series in Cincinnati, for his team the Cincinnati Reds. As he threw the pitch he received a thunderous standing ovation that he saw but never heard.