Kingston Daily Freeman, August 4, 1916 – Page 15
Performed Marvelous Stunt While With Washington
With Two Out and Two on Bases “Dummy” Ran Back and Made Miraculous Play on Ball That Had Earmarks of Safe Hit.
A baseball fan doesn’t have to be very old to recall an agile outfielder named Dummy Hoy, who turned triples and home-runs into outs for a number of years while wearing the livery of the Washington, Cincinnati and Louisville teams of the National league.
At the start of the American league he was with the White Sox a short time, but he was then old, as baseball ages go, and he soon vanished from the sport page altogether.
What became of the deaf mute, who had to have the umpire’s decisions on balls and strikes relayed to him by sign language by a coacher on first base?
The Times-Star of Cincinnati answers the question in an editorial, which is well worth reprinting:
“Much has been written how encountering a faded flower in an old volume calls forth youthful recollections, how a forgotten perfume will conjure up a vision of someone of years ago, how a strain of music vibrates with a memory deep in the recesses of the mind. But things other than flowers, perfumes and music can resuscitate other days. The name of an almost forgotten ball player will do it.
“The other day we read of William Hoy, a farmer near Mount Healthy attending funeral services and translating a hymn for his fellow deaf mutes. It was ‘Dummy’ Hoy, former National league ball player. Then mention of his name brought back the memory of probably the greatest catch ever made at the Cincinnati park, years ago, when the wooden grandstand was situated in the present position of the right-field bleachers. Hoy was playing center field for Washington. It was the final inning of a tie game that had been dragged on into twilight. With two out and two on bases a Red batsman hit the ball far over Hoy’s head. Somehow in the gathering dusk Hoy accomplished the miraculous. With his exceedingly alert eyes he had divined the course of the ball, and with a whirling somersault succeeded in getting one hand on it.
“The catch was a tradition of the Cincinnati park for years, and was the cause of Hoy’s release being purchased the next season from Washington. But now the park has been turned about, and new faces and new traditions have succeeded those good old days. And Hoy, the man, who never “kicked” himself out of a game, for obvious reasons, had about passed from local recollection. But it was a great catch. And even at this remote day it serves to bring back some of the youthful enthusiasm of one of its beholders.