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!

  • 32 Pages
  • 8" x 10"
  • 9780807591925
  • March 2016

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807591932
  • March 2016

Other Places to Buy


  • 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

Awards & Accolades

  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2016
  • 2017 Texas 2x2 Reading List
  • 2017 Storytelling World Resource Award Honor Book
  • 2018 Illinois Monarch Award Master List
  • 2017 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List
  • 2017 Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College
  • 2017 North Texas Book Festival Best Children's Book Finalist
  • 2017-2018 Charter Oak Children's Book Award Nominee
  • 2018-2019 Louisiana Young Readers' Choice List
  • 2017-2018 Kennebec Valley Book Award List


Jez Tuya

Common Core

RI.2.1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10 RF.2.3,3d,4,4a,4c SL.2.1,1a,1b,1c,2,3,4,6 L.2.3,4,4a,4c,4d,5,5a,5b,6 W.2.1,2,3,5,6,7,8

Activities & Resources


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.5
  • ATOS Level: 3.5