What I Know Now

In: Science

Submitted By evans77
Words 2151
Pages 9
Truly Not a Dummy
If William Ellsworth Hoy were playing today, he would not be called "Dummy"--not by players nor by fans nor by the media. He'd be "Bill" or "Billy," perhaps "Will" or "Willie," maybe even "Ellie." He wouldn't be a deaf mute, either. He'd be "aurally and vocally challenged." But back when Hoy was playing, nicknames were descriptive, often to the point of cruelty. To Hoy, his condition wasn't an excuse; it was what it was. Indeed, he referred to himself as "Dummy" and politely corrected those who, for whatever reason, called him "William."
Hoy would have been an exceptional man with or without his handicap. After his baseball career was over, he used his celebrity status to foster the needs and concerns of the deaf. He had a zest for life and once walked 72 blocks at the age of 80 to see his son, Judge Carson Hoy preside in court. At that advanced age he also danced the Charleston and pruned trees on his farm.
William Ellsworth Hoy was born in Houcktown, Ohio, on May 23, 1862. His parents, Rebecca Hoffman and Jacob Hoy, were of English-German and Scottish stock and had a farm in Houcktown. William had three brothers, Smith, Frank, and John, as well as sister Ora. Contracting meningitis when he was three years old left William deaf and mute. Hoy entered the Ohio School for the Deaf in 1872, graduating in 1879. Highly intelligent and hardworking, he was valedictorian of his high school class. In those days many deaf people were either employed or self-employed as shoemakers or shoe repair people. Hoy was no exception, and in his early twenties opened his own shoe shop. During the summer in his hometown many of the rural people went barefoot. Business would grind almost to a halt then, and Dummy would play ball outside his shop with the local kids. One day a man passed by and saw Dummy playing. He was impressed but moved on when he found out Dummy was…...

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