NOMINATE DUMMY HOY TO THE HALL OF FAME
With the current rules, any person to be considered for Hall of Fame induction whose greatest contributions to the game were realized from the pre-1947 era can be voted on every 3 years. Dummy Hoy will next be eligible for consideration in 2015.
This petition is to encourage the Base Ball Writers Association of America's Historical Overview Committee to include William "Dummy" Hoy as part of the list of Pre-Integration Era nominees submitted to the Veterans Committee for induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
For every 1000 signatures this petition receives between now and October 2015, a personalized letter will be addressed to each member of the BBWAA Historical Overview Committee to urge them to consider Hoy for the list of nominees.
SPREAD THE WORD!
We not only need your signature, but we need you to send this petition to all you know that will help us. The more signatures, the more our voices will be heard. Please ask your friends/family to join the cause through Facebook, Twitter, email, etc... Let's tell the BBWAA that people care about Hoy being inducted to Cooperstown!
TIMELINE OF EVENTS: (Pre-Integration Era)
Summer 2015: BBWAA Historical Overview Committee will devise and release a ballot of 10 candidates from the Pre-Integration Era (1871-1946) to be considered for induction.
October 2015: Ballot is delivered to a Committee of 16 individuals comprised of Hall of Fame members, veteran writers and historians appointed by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors for a vote.
December 2015: The vote for the nominees happens at the Baseball Winter Meetings. Any nominee that receives 75% of the vote will earn induction.
July 2016: Induction ceremony for any player that receives enough votes.
William "Dummy" Hoy changed the face of baseball.
At a time when stereotypes ran rampant evidenced by the nicknames of the era like "Chief" or "Dummy", William Ellsworth Hoy earned a successful career in the Major Leagues despite being profoundly deaf since childhood. Hoy developed a system of hand gestures with his coach to understand pitch counts and taught American Sign Language to his teammates to communicate. This continued on multiple teams as he spread the seeds of signing throughout the league during his 14-year career.
At the beginning of Hoy's career in 1888, baseball umpires did not use hand signals. Umpires would boisterously bellow their calls to the surrounding spectators. As crowds and stadiums grew through the late 19th and early 20th centuries it became impossible for fans to hear the calls. Hoy's signals became well known and benefited not only him but allowed spectators to follow the action on the field. By the turn of the century, fans were demanding that a system of signals to be developed and some umpires slowly began to use signals on an informal basis. Finally in 1906, 4 years after Hoy retired, umpires agreed to use a standardized set of signals - many of them inspired from gestures in American Sign Language.
Hoy was consistently one of the fastest players of his era. He led the National League in stolen bases in 1888 and had a cannon for an arm once throwing out 3 runners at home plate from centerfield in a single game. Baseball historian Greg Rhodes noted, "They did not have all-star teams in Hoy's era, but if they did he would've been on it every year." Hoy finished his career 18th on the all-time stolen base list with 596, a .396 on base percentage and 2048 hits.
In addition to Hoy's contributions on the field as player and innovator, Hoy's character was stellar. He always played honest and was humble. This is why history may not have recognized the extent of his contributions. As his Granddaughter Joan Hoy Sampson remarked, "He was very humble and proud of his career. He always thought that his accomplishments would speak for themselves" Up to this point his great contributions to the game of baseball have gone mostly unnoticed.
The Hall of Fame rules state that "voting shall be based upon the individual's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game." Many historians argue that Hoy's playing record alone are not at a level of other inductees, however that is only 1/6 of the criteria for induction. Given Hoy's ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game, his career far outweighs any discrepancy of record alone. Dummy Hoy embodies the essence of what the Hall of Fame stands for and deserves to be considered.
Please help let our generation speak for Hoy who was to humble to speak on his own behalf. Please consider including William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy on the Hall of Fame Pre-Integration list of nominees for induction in 2016.