|Dummy Hoy's Story Will Be Told
By John Kiesewetter, 3/1/2012 Cincinnati.com
If Robert Redford was “The Natural,” who would be “The Silent Natural”?
Steve Sandy of Columbus has a screenplay ready about Dummy Hoy, the deaf-mute Reds Hall of Fame outfielder who was responsible for umpires using hand signals.
“He’s the man who changed the way baseball is,” says Sandy, 45, who also is deaf. He co-wrote the script with director David Risotto of Dar-Cor Pictures of California. They collaborated on a 2007 docudrama, “Dummy Hoy: A Deaf Hero.”
Born William Ellsworth Hoy in 1862 near Findlay, Ohio. Hoy played 14 seasons (1988-02), including five with the Reds.
His 596 stolen bases ranks No. 18 on the all-time list. His last public appearance was throwing out the first pitch for Game Three of the 1961 Reds-Yankees World Series at Crosley Field. He died two months later, at 99.
“The Silent Natural” covers 1865 to 1903, and 1961.
“Think about it. Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and the entire 1961 New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds could come to life,” he said.
Baseball legends Charles Comiskey, Clark Griffith, Connie Mack, Honus Wagner, Sam “Wahoo” Crawford, Reds Hall of Famer Bid McPhee and other early stars would play on Sandy’s field of dreams, too.
After 23 years of research, Sandy is certain that Hoy – not umpire Bill Klem – created baseball hand signals.
“It was entirely Dummy Hoy who introduced it. It’s implausible that any hearing person could create manual signs without being taught by a deaf person,” said Sandy, associate producer.
To make the film authentic, Sandy and Risotto want a deaf person to star as Hoy.
Speaking parts will go to speaking actors.
“It will not be an entirely silent film like ‘The Artist.’ Only the deaf roles would be captioned like ‘The Artist,’ ” he said.
But first they need investors, he said.
“It needs a gentle nudge,” he said. “The script is completed and ready to go.” Anyone interested in “The Silent Natural” may email Sandy at email@example.com.