John “Dummy” Ryn

First Base
  • Card series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Minneapolis
  • Team: Millers
  • League: Western Association

John Ryn (1862-1928) came out of Ohio and the Ohio Institute for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, a nursery of some of the great baseball talent of the 1870s and 80s. A teammate of William Hoy and Edward Dundon, Ryn never followed them into the majors but floated on the periphery of the big leagues from 1884 to ‘95. The strapping first baseman had power and character but injuries and bad timing conspired to keep him in the minors. Hearing-impaired players made a significant imprint on the early game, none more so than Hoy, the “King of the Mutes” in the benighted lingo of sports scribes then. Ryn was able to carve out a pro career that spanned a dozen teams ending with the Twin Cities Hustlers of the Interstate League. The sketchy data indicate a .270 overall BA but press coverage consistently portrayed Ryn as a man to be reckoned with on the diamond.

  • John and his sisters were deaf, their parents were not. A lifelong bachelor, Ryn made a living as a manual laborer and lived out his life with sister Anna in Marion OH

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