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During the late 1800s and early 1900s, William Hoy and Luther Taylor were well-known baseball players in the major leagues. Hoy and Taylor were also deaf. Consequently, they were given the same inappropriate nickname—Dummy. Several other deaf ballplayers enjoyed careers in the major and minor leagues, as well as on other professional teams. This narrative focuses on the lesser-known aspects of the early history of deaf baseball players and teams, with an emphasis on Kansas. It opens with the experiences of students at the Kansas State School for the Deaf at the end of the nineteenth century, where Luther Taylor was a student. The successes of players on school teams led to the organization of independent teams composed primarily of deaf players, such as the Kansas City Silents. This narrative closes with the minor league career of Joseph Laughlin, a well-liked third baseman with good defensive skills, who was nevertheless stereotyped for being both deaf and American Indian, neither of which affected his ability to play baseball. A preliminary list of deaf ballplayers in the major and minor leagues prior to 1920 is also included.


Luther Taylor, Dummy Taylor, Monroe Ingram, Dummy Ingram, Joseph Laughlin, Dummy Laughlin, Kansas State School for the Deaf, Kansas City Silents, Ohio Independents, Kenney Deaf Mutes.


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Deaf Baseball Players in Kansas and Kansas City, 1878–1911

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