The William Hoy Story, how a deaf baseball player changed the game




All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder--eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires' calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William "Dummy" Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time!


Winner - 2017 Storytelling World Resource Award Honor Book

Finalist - 2017 North Texas Book Festival Best Children's Books

2016 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids

2017 Texas 2x2 Reading List

2017 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List

2017 Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College

2017-2018 Kennebec Valley Book Award Books 

2018 Illinois Monarch Award Master List

2018 Connecticut's Charter Oak Book Awards

2018-2019 Louisiana Young Readers' Choice awards 

Do you want to join the campaign to get William Hoy in the National Baseball Hall of Fame where he would be the first deaf baseball player honored there? Send your letters and drawings to: 

James L. Gates Jr., Library Director 

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 

25 Main Street 

Cooperstown, NY 13326

Send copies to Nancy on her contact page if you want your letters and drawings posted here, too! 

HOY FOR THE HALL: Learn how you can help William Hoy get into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by writing letters asking for him to be inducted in our Hoy for the Hall project here.


Tuya’s bright cartoons give a solid sense of the period, as well as Hoy’s pride, satisfaction and some hurtful moments on his way to becoming “king of center field.”

- Publishers Weekly
The book is well told and charmingly illustrated in a semirealistic style that conveys Hoy’s emotions. Those who enjoyed Audrey Vernick’s Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team will want to read this engaging biography.

- School Library Journal
This picture book offers a smoothly written text and simplified digital illustrations. A rewarding read-aloud choice for baseball fans.

- Booklist
Churnin tells Hoy’s story in sprightly, descriptive language that reaches to the heart of his courage and ingenuity. Tuya’s bright, flat, cartoon-simple illustrations complement the text perfectly, deftly capturing the era, Hoy’s emotional ups and downs, and his determination and spirit. A moving tribute to a hero.

- Kirkus Reviews
This feel-good story is simply told, and it will be fairly easy to follow even for youngsters unfamiliar with baseball.

- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
[Churnin] tells William’s story patiently and clearly, with a wonderfully matter-of-fact tone about the ways a deaf person navigates life.

- New York Times Book Review

Available in Japanese!

Available in Japanese!