My question is to whether Dummy Hoy accomplished enough on the baseball field to warrant HOF consideration. Hoy played 14 MLB seasons in all 4 major leagues. He started his career playing for the Washington Nationals of the National League in 1888 and 1889. He hit .274 both seasons and stole 82 bases in 1888. He spent the 1890 season playing for the Buffalo Bisons of the Players League, where he hit .298 and scored a then career high 107 runs. A year later, he joined the St Louis Browns of the American Association where he hit .292, stole 59 bases and scored 134 runs while walking 117 times. Going to the Washington Senators in 1892, Hoy had a similar type of season before falling off in 1893. This led to his trade to the Cincinnati Reds, where he would spend the next four seasons. After two seasons with the Louisville Colonels, he would play for the Chicago White Sox of the American League in 1900. Only, the American League was not a major league at that time. The following season, when the American League became a ML, Hoy remained and played for the White Sox, hitting .294 at age 39. The 1902 season was Hoy's last, as he returned to Cincinnati, hitting .290 in 72 games for the Reds.
Hoy was an excellent defensive OF and when he retired owned the record for most games played in CF (1726) until Tris Speaker passed him in 1920. He also held the record for most putouts (3958) and total chances (4625) in addition to being 2nd all time in walks and eighth in offensive games played (1796).
I think this man had a HOF career. He hit .288 for his career and had 2048 career hits, 1429 runs scored, 596 stolen bases and 1006 walks. The fact that he had success in four different major leagues and did it all without being able to hear seems like enough of a resume to me. Yet the Veterans Committee decided they would rather break down some of the New York Giants teams of the 1910s and 1920s as well as the St Louis Cardinals teams of the 1920s and 1930s and look for players not to put in. It is common knowledge that because of supporters of the before mentioned teams, some players got inducted as favors to some of the writers and members of the committee.
Hoy spent the majority of his career playing with Hall of Famers and those who were very instrumental in the development of the game. When he set the ML record for most outfield assists in a game (3- since tied several times), his catcher was Connie Mack. When he played for St Louis of American Association, his player manager was none other than Charles Comiskey. He would join Comiskey in Cincinnati of the NL then again with the White Sox of the AL in 1900 (not a major league at the time) and 1901. He was also a teammate of Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke.
It would be tough to find a more qualified, eligible non Hall of Famer than William Ellsworth Hoy. When he died in 1961, he was 99 years old and the last living player from the Players League as well as the American Association. I think some of what is holding back the potential vote of members of the committee is the fact that it is more likely that he did not create the use of hand signals by umpires. Because of this, maybe some of the members feel betrayed by Hoy's false credit and hold it against him. Which would be silly. Because it was not like Hoy was running around telling everybody he did.
Dummy Hoy was a great outfielder and a solid hitter for 14 seasons. His numbers are probably borderline, though his rank among all time walks and stolen bases were very high when he stopped playing. His baserunning excellence and dominance in the outfield probably put him borderline - in- when it is all said and done. So when you add in the fact he did it all while being deaf as well, I cannot see a logical reason why the man is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. What he did is an inspiration to all of us and if known to more people, he can be an inspiration the living youth who happen to be deaf. It has been 152 years since Dummy Hoy was born and now 53 years since his death, which by the way, made him the oldest living player in baseball history (since passed several times). If anybody has an objection of this man being in the Hall of Fame, please name one other eligible player that finished his career before 1920 who is not in the Hall and is more deserving than Dummy Hoy.