The William Hoy Story

How a Deaf Baseball Player
Changed the Game

Albert Whitman & Company
(published 3.1.2016) 32 pages 

A True Tale
with A Cherry On Top 

A uthor: Nancy Churnin
      and Illustrator: Jez Tuya

C haracter: William Hoy

 verview from the jacket flap: 

    "William Hoy led the National League in stolen bases in his rookie year. He had a strong, sure arm and a knack for catching fly balls. He was also deaf.
     William Ellsworth Hoy loved baseball more than anything. When he was told he was too short for his school team, he wouldn't let that stop him - he practiced and became good enough to play in the major leagues! Being deaf in the major leagues wasn't easy, since few people used sign language in the 1880s. William had a hard time reading lips on the field and some layers tried to trick him. But he wouldn't let that stop him either. William taught the umpires hand signals so he could see the calls, and then he really started to score!"
T antalizing taste: 
    "One day a pitcher played the meanest trick of all. William let three pitches go by because he thought they were balls. He was too far to read the umpire's lips and didn't know they were actually strikes. He stood, gripping his bat, waiting for the next pitch. But the next pitch never came. William was confused. Suddenly the pitcher burst out laughing. He pointed to the fans in the stands laughing too.  
     William's face grew hot. He walked off quickly. He wasn't going to cry. Not about baseball, he told himself.
     He jammed his hands in his pockets. Paper crunched against his fists. He pulled out a letter from his mother. He read again how much she missed him.
     William missed his family too. He remembered how his mom would raise her arms to applaud him.
     That's it! William pulled out his pad and drew pictures. He scribbled words next to the pictures. He wrote. He wrote. He WROTE! He ran to find the umpire.
     The umpire read William's notes.
     'Yes, that could work,' he said.
     The next time William was at bat, the umpire raised his right hand for a strike and his left for a ball.
     He used American Sign Language symbols for safe and out. This time William got on base. He stole bases. He scored!

and something more: I was interested to read in the Acknowledgments that the author explained that she and others are "campaigning to get William Hoy inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, where his story can continue to inspire anyone who has ever faced challenges in achieving his or her dreams."


Linda B said...

Wow, I've never heard of William Hoy. I'm glad that his story has been written, and hope he does make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. What a challenge he faced! Thanks for sharing!

Cheriee Weichel said...

This is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing.

Jane @ raincitylibrarian.wordpress.com said...

I LOVE picture book biographies about lesserknown, everyday heroes who refused to let anything stand in their way, but who are also vulnerable and very relatable for young readers. This sounds like a fantastic book.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Linda, I hadn't heard of William Hoy either. Yes, I love these inspiring picture book biographies.
Thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Cheriee,
Yes, it's always great to hear about people following their passions despite challenges.
Thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Jane, Yes, I do too! And you expressed exactly what I like about these picture book biographies -- lesser known or unknown people who persisted. And the story shows their vulnerabilities which is inspiring to children.
Thanks for stopping by!

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Oohlala, this would pair well with Wilma Unlimited. Thanks for sharing, Jeanne!

Annette said...

I had missed the comment that they're trying to get him inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. More power to them!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Annette,

Yes, I think he would be a great candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Myra, Yes! I agree this would be a perfect pairing with MYRA UNLIMITED! Great idea. As always, thanks for stopping by!