Deaf Players in Major League Baseball

A History, 1883 to the Present

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About the Book

The first deaf baseball player joined the pro ranks in 1883. By 1901, four played in the major leagues, most notably outfielder William “Dummy” Hoy and pitcher Luther “Dummy” Taylor. Along the way, deaf players developed a distinctive approach, bringing visual acuity and sign language to the sport. They crossed paths with other pioneers, including Moses Fleetwood Walker and Jackie Robinson.
This book recounts their great moments in the game, from the first all-deaf barnstorming team to the only meeting of a deaf batter and a deaf pitcher in a major league game. The true story—often dismissed as legend—of Hoy, together with umpire “Silk” O’Loughlin, bringing hand signals to baseball is told.

About the Author(s)

R.A.R. Edwards is a professor of history at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

Bibliographic Details

R.A.R. Edwards
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 214
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7017-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4000-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. Ohio—Field of Dreams 9
2. The Radical Deafness of William “Dummy” Hoy 38
3. A Tale of Two Umpires 64
4. Three Deaf Men and Eighteen Dummies:
Luther Taylor’s New York Giants 92
5. No Dummy: The Brief Career of Dick Sipek 120
6. Pride, of the Expos 143
Epilogue 173
Chapter Notes 175
Bibliography 199
Index 205

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “With knowledgeable discussion of the history of deaf people in America, statistics, and colorful anecdotes gleaned from a wide variety of sources, Deaf Players in Major League Baseball makes fascinating reading.”—Christopher Krentz, University of Virginia