Tuesday, April 24, 2012
On this day in 1901, William Hoy became the first batter in Chicago White Sox history, after the American League became an officially recognized major league.
Dummy joined the White Stockings in 1900, when they were still considered a minor league team. His only major league season with the White Stockings was in 1901. It was in this season that he broke Tom Brown's record of 3623 career outfield putouts, and also led the league with eighty-six walks and hit by pitch (fourteen times) while finishing fourth in runs and had an on base percentage of .407. Dummy would capture his first pennant with the White Stockings.
Hoy is credited with introducing hand signals to the game to help others communicate with him during the game. There is little evidence to support this myth. Dummy did use hand signals with players and coaches, but there is strong evidence that it was introduced into the game much earlier. William lost his hearing at three years old after suffering from meningitis, so the assumption that he introduced hand signals to baseball certainly has a certain plausibility to it, but no basis in fact.
Hoy finished his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1902. He retired with a .287 batting average, 2044 hits, 1426 runs, 726 runs batted in, 248 doubles, 121 triples, 40 home runs and broke Tom Brown's record of 4461 career total chances in the outfield.