Dummy Hoy - Deaf Baseball Player

Stellar Deaf Player from Long Ago

William "Dummy" Hoy. RIT

For years, the deaf community has been lobbying to get William "Dummy" Hoy into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hoy, who was born hearing but lost his hearing as a young child, is a historic figure in baseball history. Among other things, he was the first one to hit a "grand slam" in the American League. Hoy was also instrumental in the invention of the "strike" sign.

Honoring Hoy

Hoy was honored with a two-part front-page story in Deaf Life magazine, published in November and December 1992.

In addition, he was featured in episode #102 of the Gallaudet University-produced television series, Deaf Mosaic.

In September 1997, Hoy was placed on the voting ballot but did not get elected. However, Hoy did make it into the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame. This was reported in the July and October 1992 issues of Deaf Life.

MSM Productions, Ltd. has honored Dummy Hoy with an entire illustrated web site devoted to him: http://www.dummyhoy.com. On DummyHoy.com, visitors will find:

  • An overview of his career
  • A biography
  • Career statistics
  • "What They Said," quotes from other Hall of Famers about Dummy Hoy.
  • A detailed report on the effort to get Dummy Hoy into the Hall of Fame.
  • A news page that keeps visitors informed on ongoing efforts and publicity for these efforts.

Efforts are under way to produce a documentary and a feature film on Dummy Hoy. The producer, David Risotto of Da-Cor Pictures, told About Deafness:

  • Da-Cor Pictures is in pre-production with the documentary and will begin filming on April 30th, 2007 through May 4th, 2007. After the documentary is completed, work will begin on the feature film. Update: This 40-minute documentary was released in 2007 and titled, "I See The Crowd Roar."
  • "William Hoy deserves the recognition as the first deaf baseball play and the fact that he did help bring in the signs that are used today. Even though he is not credited with it. Also, he constantly had to prove himself to the hearing world."
  • Steve Sandy, an expert on Dummy Hoy, and his wife came up with the title, "the Silent Natural" because Hoy was a natural at playing baseball.
  • The film will be a regular theatrical release while the documentary will available on DVD.
  • A deaf Actor will play Dummy Hoy. Also Deanne Bray (a deaf actress) will play Anna, Hoy's wife and Troy Kotsur (a deaf actor) will play Dummy Taylor [another baseball player].

A book about the life of Dummy Hoy is also in the works. If you are interested in reserving a copy, send an email to hoybook@dummyhoy.com


Craig, L.(n.d.) Who Created Those Hand Signals? Rochester Institute of Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf.  http://www.ntid.rit.edu/dummyhoy/lobby-display

Welcome to the Dummy Hoy Homeplate (n.d.). MSM Productions. http://dummyhoy.com/

Edited by Melissa Karp, Au.D, FAAA

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