Home > Deaf History > Deaf Richard “Dick” Sipek played for Cincinnati Reds

Deaf Richard “Dick” Sipek played for Cincinnati Reds

July 22, 2009


Richard “Dick” Sipek (Jan. 16, 1923 – Jul. 17, 2005) was a Major League baseball outfielder. He was the first not to have the nickname ‘Dummy.’ The 5-foot-9, 170-pound outfielder was only the third deaf player to see extensive playing time in the big leagues when he appeared in 82 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 1945. The previous ones were William “Dummy” Hoy, an outfielder who hit .292 for 15 big-league seasons from 1888 to 1902, and Luther “Dummy” Taylor, who won 115 games during a nine-year career from 1900 to 1908. Sipek lost his hearing in an accident around the time he was 5 years old. He was sent to the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, where his home-father was none other than Taylor, who was a 21-game winner for the New York Giants in 1904. The older man took him under his wing and encouraged the youngster to develop his athletic abilities. Sipek was an all-state back in football, then the Reds had him at Birmingham of the Southern Association, where he hit .336 in 74 games in 1943 and .319 in 134 games in 1944. The left-handed batter hit .244 for Cincinnati with six doubles, two triples and 13 runs batted in. He was 10 for 45 as a pinch hitter (.222). Click this link to view his official stats from Baseball Almanac website.

Minor Baseball League, Dick Sipek in middle
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Newspaper articles about Dick Sipek
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1945 Cincinnati Reds
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Ripley’s Believe it or not
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Dick talked about his baseball life.

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Categories: Deaf History
  1. Amy Cohen Efron
    July 22, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Impressive blog entry! I really enjoyed the vlog of Dick Sipek and that is very unique! Did you know who produced this vlog, and will that be captioned? I think there is some kind of narrative information in the background, unless I am wrong.

    Nice job documenting this important piece of history.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  2. Utrasound
    July 23, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Your site has been a great inspiration and the knowledge gained has gotten me past the obstacle blocking my way.

  3. July 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    That’s so neat!

  4. Katee
    July 25, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Wow. That impresses us. Bravo that deafs can do. That guy is real inspirating. Thanks for sharing w us.

  5. Robert Alfred Hawkins
    July 29, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Always enjoy stuff about him! He’s a classy fellow!

  6. Parpar
    July 31, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Who owns the original photos?

  1. July 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm
Comments are closed.