Given Name: William Ellsworth
OF 1888-99, 1901-02 Washington , Buffalo
Hoy was the reason umpires adopted hand signals to go along with the vocal calls
of "out," "safe," and "strike." The 5'4" 148-lb outfielder was a deaf-mute, but he
overcame adversity to have the greatest career of any seriously handicapped player,
accumulating 2,054 hits. He hit .300 three times and scored 100 runs eight times.
He also stole 30 or more bases in his first twelve ML seasons, and totaled 597 in
an era when runners were credited with stolen bases for taking an "extra base" (going
from first to third on a single, for example). Hoy led the NL with 82 steals in his
first season and set NL rookie records for games, at-bats, hits, singles, and walks.
He walked frequently, leading his league with 119 in 1891 and 86 in 1901. His on-base
average topped .400 four times. In the field, the centerfielder led NL outfielders
in putouts and total chances per game in 1897. On June 19, 1889, he threw out three
runners at the plate in one game - one of only three players ever to do that.
one of 29 players to play in four major leagues, was a regular until his last season.
He began with perennially bad Washington, jumped to the Players' League for its one
season (1890), and had his first experience with a winning team playing for the Browns
(AA) in 1891. When the AA folded, he was returned to Washington, but the Ohio native
joined Cincinnati for 1894. After two seasons with the feeble Louisville franchise,
he left the majors for the new Chicago White Sox of the American League. He remained
with the team in 1901, the AL's first major league season. He closed out his major
league career with one last season in Cincinnati in 1902, but hung on for another
year with Los Angeles (Pacific Coast League), playing all of the team's 211 games
and stealing 46 bases at the age of 42. He lived longer than any major league player
before him, which earned him the honor of throwing out the first ball of Game Three
of the 1961 World Series, at Cincinnati, at the age of 99.
|FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY|
|» November 3, 1887: The directors of the Omaha club agree to pay $3,000 per month to manager Frank Selee to bring his team from Oshkosh, where they won the Northwestern League pennant in 1887. Two top stars, outfielders Tommy McCarthy and Dummy Hoy, will spend 1888 in the ML, however, and Selee's Omaha team will finish 4th in the WA race.
» May 1, 1901: An AL first: two HRs in one game, and both grand slams-by Herm McFarland and Dummy Hoy in the White Sox’ 19-9 win over Detroit. The Tigers’ 12 errors-10 by the infield-set another AL record, which the White Stockings will tie May 6, 1903, against the Tigers.
» September 8, 1901:
In a rare Sunday game (Sunday games are not outlawed in Chicago) before an estimated 20,000 fans, the largest AL crowd of the year, White Sox OF Dummy Hoy laces a 2-run single in the bottom of the 9th off Boston's Cy Young to give Chicago a 4-3 win.
» May 16, 1902: Two deaf-mutes face each other for the first time when Dummy Hoy leads off for the Reds against Dummy Taylor of the Giants. The Reds win 5-3 with a 5-run rally in the 9th. Hoy goes 2-for-4.
» June 30, 1902: Jim Jones, Giants LF, throws three base runners out at home in an 8-0 loss to Boston. His three assists at home ties the major-league record set by Dummy Hoy on June 19, 1889. It'll be tied again in 1905.
» May 15, 1951: At Fenway Park, the Red Sox celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first American League game in Boston. On hand are 29 old-timers who played, managed, or umpired in the AL in that first year including Connie Mack, Dummy Hoy, Cy Young, Hugh Duffy, Clark Griffith, Tom Connolly, Billy Sullivan, Wid Conroy, Bill Bradley, and Ollie Pickering. Eight of the 29 participated in the first AL game, played in Chicago on April 24, 1901.