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President Rutherford Hayes, Reds Dummy Hoy named Great Ohioans
By Maggie Prosser
(February 14, 2019) — President Rutherford B. Hayes and Cincinnati Reds centerfielder William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy were named recipients of the 2019 Great Ohioan Award on Thursday for their lasting impact on Ohio.
The award, presented by the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and the Capitol Square Foundation, commemorates Ohioans who have made made significant contributions to history.
“Both individuals have left their mark on Ohio and the nation,” board executive director Laura Battocletti said.
Hayes, a Delaware, Ohio, native, served as the 19th U.S. president and 29th governor of Ohio. He practiced law across the state before serving in the Civil War. As a congressman and president, Hayes was a staunch abolitionist; he fought to protect African Americans’ civil rights in the South and expanded women’s rights by allowing female attorneys appear before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hoy was an accomplished deaf pro-baseball player with the Cincinnati Reds. Originally from Houcktown, Ohio, Hoy went deaf after a bout with meningitis at age 3. After graduating from the Ohio State School for the Deaf in Columbus, he earned professional contracts with numerous Major League teams. Hoy was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2003 and is remembered as an innovator and advocate for the deaf community.
“I believe President Hayes and Mr. Hoy embody the spirit of the Great Ohio Award and will serve to inspire future generations of Ohio leaders,” Capitol Square chairman Sen. Bob Peterson said. “They represent the great wealth of talent that the Buckeye State has produced.”
Since the award’s conception in 2003, 44 Ohioans have been recognized for their accomplishments. To be eligible, recipients must have lived in Ohio for five years and have been dead for more than 25 years. They can be nominated by organizations or individuals.
Honorees are showcased in the Great Ohioan exhibit at the Ohio Statehouse Museum.
“Through their accomplishments, each Great Ohioan has changed the trajectory of the state of Ohio, the United States and the world,” said Charles Moses of the Capitol Square Foundation. “We hope that every Statehouse visitor is inspired by the life and accomplishments of each of the men and women who have been recognized with this honor.”