William “Dummy” Hoy rose to become one of the best professional baseball players at the turn of the 20th Century, in spite of being deaf (considered debilitating in the 1800’s), speaking impaired and of small stature. During Deaf Awareness Week, the achievements of inspirational individuals such as Hoy are recognized to inspire deaf and hard of hearing people as well as other people perceived to have disabilities. This week also increases solidarity among deaf people and their supporters and is used as a way to stimulate greater efforts to promote the rights of deaf people.
“With his amazing story as a deaf man not only playing professional baseball but also setting records, Hoy taught the world that anything is possible if we believe in ourselves, never take no for an answer, and persevere,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, Chief Executive Officer, NAD. “This is one of the most important messages to be conveyed during Deaf Awareness Week.”
Hoy’s passion and drive parallels that of the Actor, Ryan Lane, who portrays him in the documentary. “Much like how deaf baseball players were relatively nonexistent in the 1800’s, there still are not many roles for deaf actors,” said Lane. “Portraying Dummy’s passion and refusal to give up was very rewarding for me. Not only was this my first time on set or really acting, it closely mirrored my struggle as a deaf actor.”
From 1888 to 1902 Hoy played center field for eight teams in four major leagues. He is credited with hitting the first grand slam home run in American league history, and held many major league records for his play in center field, along the base path and at the plate. For example, his feat of throwing out three base runners at home plate from center field, unassisted, in a single game is a record that still stands today, 110 years after he retired. Hoy is also credited by many with bringing hand signals to baseball — players and fans still benefit from this today. He passed away at the age of 99 in 1961 and was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2003.
“Dummy is an inspiration to the deaf community and anyone who is struggling to obtain their dreams,” said Lane. “Don't give up. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer.”
The DVD of "I See the Crowd Roar – The Story of William ‘Dummy’ Hoy” is available for $15.95 + $3.25 shipping & handling at http://www.iseethecrowdroar.com/
About the National Association of the Deaf
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.
Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value.
The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The NAD also carries out its federal advocacy work through coalition efforts with specialized national deaf and hard of hearing organizations, as well as coalitions representing national cross-disability organizations.
About “I See the Crowd Roar — The Story of William ‘Dummy’ Hoy”
"I See the Crowd Roar – The Story of William ‘Dummy’ Hoy” is narrated by Emmy Award winning ESPN sports commentator and journalist, Roy Firestone. It is a documentary about William "Dummy" Hoy who overcame the inability to hear or speak, giving him the nickname "Dummy" which he used proudly until his death in 1961. "I see the Crowd Roar” is an inspirational and true story of one of the greatest (hearing or hearing impaired) baseball players of all time. For more information visit: http://www.iseethecrowdroar.com/