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 one of the more historic figures 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.
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.
- "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].