Every so often in history a star is born. Often, what makes that individual shine so bright is not their achievements and abilities, but sometimes the person they are inside and the feats he/she has to overcome. William "Dummy" Hoy was one such example. He was not only one of the greatest ball players of his time, but he molded and shaped the sport of baseball into what it is today.
Born in Findlay, Ohio in 1862, William Hoy was the son of a local shoemaker (Wright). At the age of two he lost his hearing after being diagnosed with spinal meningitis. Hoy grew up in Ohio and attended school at the Ohio School for the Deaf (Tossman). In 1885 he made the important decision to make a living off of baseball after gaining four hits on a professional pitcher in his hometown of Findlay. Hoy was originally offered $60 dollars by the Milwaukee Brewers but turned the extremely insultingly low offer down and accepted a job for $75 with Oshkosh, Wisconsin as centerfield. The Brewers, later realizing their mistake, offered $85 dollars to Hoy after he signed with Wisconsin. With a pad and paper Hoy was quick to reply that he, "wouldn’t play for [the Brewers] for a million a month!" (Wright).
In Oshkosh in 1885 Hoy batted the worst average ever (.219) of his seventeen-year career. The root behind Hoy's trouble was the pitchers. They had since learned to pitch a fast one just as Hoy glanced back to read the umpire's lips and find the call. Before long Hoy caught onto their tricks and by the beginning of next season he had taught the third base coach to signal to him the umpires calls. As the sport of baseball progressed and became more and more popular people began to take notice of these signals and before long they became universal and used at every event so all could read the umpires call (Balaz Internet).
After just two short years at Oshkosh William Hoy was sent to the Washington Senators. By the end of his Rookie year Hoy led the National League in stolen bases (82),...