Inducted – 2006
Luther Haden “Dummy” Taylor overcame the disability of being a deaf-mute to become part of one of the greatest pitching rotations of its time in Major League baseball and one of the most popular players in the early 20th century. After graduating from the Kansas School for the Deaf in 1895, Taylor played semi-pro baseball in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois before breaking into organized baseball with Albany in the New York State League. The New York Giants purchased his contract on July 16, 1900, and Taylor spent nine seasons with the Giants, pitching for legendary manager John McGraw and joining the rotation of Christy Mathewson and Frank McGinnity. The Giants won the World Series in 1905, but Taylor did not pitch because his scheduled start was rained out and Mathewson became the World Series hero. Taylor pitched for the Giants until the end of the 1908 season and finished with a record of 117-103, including a 72-45 mark in his last five seasons. Taylor pitched in 274 games during his career, had 21 shutouts and finished with an earned run average of 2.75. After leaving the Giants in 1908, Taylor pitched four seasons in the International League before retiring as a player in 1914. He returned to the Kansas School for the Deaf as boys’ supervisor and director of athletics. The KSD gymnasium has since been named in his honor. Taylor worked at the Olathe school for nine years before moving to the Iowa School for the Deaf in 1923 and Illinois School for the Deaf in 1933. In 1951, he was appointed as a scout for the New York Giants. Born: February 21, 1875 – Oskaloosa, KS; Died: August 22, 1958 – Jacksonville, IL. Graduated: Kansas School for the Deaf, 1895.