Richard Francis Sipek
>> Visit the Dick Sipek biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Dick Sipek, one of only four deaf players to play in Major League Baseball, died on July 17, 2005 in Quincy, Ill. He was 82.
According to his obituary, his professional baseball career ended in 1951 when he broke his collarbone while diving for a ball. He had worked at a bakery before going to work for St. Mary school in Quincy, Ill., in 1988.
Sipek lost his hearing after an accident when he was five years old. His family sent him to the Illinois School for the Deaf where he came in contact with former Giants pitcher Luther Taylor. According to the obituary, Taylor helped Sipek to develop his skills as an athlete.
He was a stand-out football player and he was was signed by the Reds in 1943. In two seasons with Birmingham, he hit .336 and .314 before making the major-league roster for the Reds in 1945.
He played in 82 games for the Reds that season, hitting .244 and driving in 13 runs. He returned to the minor leagues in 1946.
The other deaf players to reach the major leagues: William Hoy, Luther Taylor and Curtis Pride.