The William Hoy Story

The William Hoy Story

Nancy Churnin is on a mission.

The theater critic for the Dallas Morning News thinks William “Dummy” Hoy belongs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and she has a pretty good idea of how to get him there. She’s enlisted the help of children.

Churnin has written a kid’s book, The William Hoy Story, and she’ll be at The Store in Lake Highlands to read and sign copies from 5-7 p.m. tomorrow/Thursday. There will even be hot dogs and popcorn to get you in the baseball mood.

Hoy was a deaf professional baseball player in the early 1900s, and he changed the way the game was played. He taught his teammates sign language and they loved it, she says, because it enabled them to create and share secret plays right under the noses of their baffled opponents. Though baseball was a “newfangled game” when he learned it and he couldn’t hear the umpire’s calls, he led the league in stolen bases and set several other records. Many say he’s the reason baseball uses signals for “safe” and “out” calls, and Churnin says “the wave” began in baseball the arm-raising movement represents applause in sign language.

Everywhere she goes to read and sign her books for kids, Churnin takes a sign language interpreter and students tell her they believe Hoy should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She’s been invited to Cooperstown, she says, and she wants to bring “an avalanche of letters” with her – Miracle on 34th Street style. If you can’t make it to The Store, you may email your letter supporting Hoy’s induction to Churnin at nchurnin@dallasnews.com. But don’t wait. Churnin heads to Cooperstown July 6th.

William dresses up as William Hoy for Book Character Day at Stimson Elementary in Richardson

William dresses up as William Hoy for Book Character Day at Stimson Elementary in Richardson

Hoy Field at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC

Hoy Field at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC

Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street