Dummy Taylor

Luther Haden "Dummy" Taylor (February 21, 1875 – August 22, 1958) was a deaf-mute American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1900 to 1908. He played for the New York Giants and Cleveland Bronchos and was one of the key pitchers on the Giants' National League championship teams of 1904 and 1905.

In 1901, his first full season in the major leagues, Taylor led the National League by pitching in 45 games and ranked second in the league with 37 complete games. In 1904, he won 21 games for the Giants, and in 1906 his 2.20 ERA was the lowest on a pitching staff that also included Baseball Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson (2.97 ERA), and "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity (2.25 ERA).

Taylor was the only successful deaf pitcher in Major League Baseball and was regarded, along with Dummy Hoy, as a role model and hero in the American deaf community in the early 20th century. In the 1900s, Taylor was reported to be the highest paid deaf person in the United States. He was also known as the comedian of the Giants teams, waving a lit lantern when an umpire refused to call a game due to darkness and coaching at third base in rubber boots when an umpire refused to call a game due to rain.

In 2000, author Darryl Brock wrote the historical novel Havana Heat about Taylor's experience in professional baseball. The book won the Dave Moore Award in 2000 as the "most important baseball book" published that year.

By Dean Hanley

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