Ed Dundon, an American baseball player who reached major league status in the early 1880s, was the first deaf-mute to play the sport at this level. He made his professional debut on June 2, 1883. Though he was educated, talented and apparently bright, Dundon was given the nickname of "Dummy" as a reference to his inability to speak or hear.
At the time, the word "dumb" did not necessarily have the same negative connotation that it has gained over time, and other deaf players had a similar nickname, such as William "Dummy" Hoy. Dundon learned to play baseball at a school called the Ohio Institute for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. This school was the first residential school in the U.S. to offer baseball to students.