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The Times
Judy Christie
March 23, 2016

book_basballI’m always on the lookout for great children’s books to give my grandchildren and great-nieces and –nephews.

So I enjoyed visiting with author Nancy Churnin about her new book, “The William Hoy Story,” an inspiring and educational tale about an influential Major League Baseball player who was deaf. I immediately bought a copy for my 4-year-old great-nephew.

Last weekend she read from the book in Shreveport, and an interpreter from the Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center of Louisiana signed her words.

Proceeds from all book purchases at Barnes & Noble Saturday benefited the Deaf Action Center. The benefit continues through today (March 24) with online purchases at, if you put in the book fair number, 11833704. For more information on the center, including sign-language classes, see

Read more   . . . “The William Hoy Story,”





Come and join the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
and Washington Society of Jewish Deaf!

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins
Sunday, August 30, 2015
11:35 - 5:00 p.m.
Game starts: 1:35 p.m.

Nationals Park
1500 S Capitol St SE,
Washington, DC 20003

A block of seats have been reserved for WSJD members.

To purchase a ticket at $ 23.00 per person, click here.

Children two years of age and younger
may enter the park without a ticket and
sit on the lap of an adult.

Purchase your ticket today!
Group ticket sales will close on July 30.  
After this date, remaining tickets not sold will
be released to the public.

Fun activities for all ages begin 2 hours prior
to start of game at 11:35 a.m.

Pre-game tailgate area
Contests - win great prizes!
Fun with Jewish Food Experience
Arts & crafts/games

Questions? Email us at


Washington Society of Jewish Deaf
By Mark Inabinett
June 11, 2015

The Atlanta Braves selected Charles Henderson High School catcher Chase Smartt in the 35thround of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.

Smartt, who is deaf, was named the Class 5A Hitter and Player of the Year for the 2015 season by the Alabama Sports Writers Association and was selected for's Super All-State Baseball Team.

After helping Charles Henderson win state championships in 2013 and 2014, Smartt hit .523 with seven homers, 50 RBIs and 54 runs while striking out only four times as a senior.

Read more  . . . Charles Henderson

Related: Chase Smartt overcomes deafness, emerges as one of state's best baseball players.


Greetings Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Organizations,

The Maryland Governor's Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) is thrilled to be hosting Deaf Awareness Day at Camden Yards for the Orioles game against the Red Sox on September 16th at 7:05 pm.
Now that baseball season is officially here, we are reaching out again to encourage your organization to book a block of tickets. Our goal is to bring in at least 1,500 attendees. If we meet or exceed that goal early enough before the fall, ODHH will have a chance to throw or designate the first pitch of the game. That would be a huge honor for our community!
Please help us meet our goal and spread the word! You can purchase tickets here. The event flyer is attached to this email, which includes information on the cost of tickets, seating options, et cetera.



The Desert Sun
By Andrew L. John
February 9, 2015

Tommy Barksdale threw on a pair of shades, grabbed his glove and shuffled into the outfield at Palm Springs Stadium. It was the second week of the California Winter League.

Barksdale fielded fly balls and took batting practice before eventually leading the Palm Springs Power to a 3-1 victory over the Alberta Grizzly with three hits and a pair of RBIs.

Barksdale was the hero on that day and, from the stands, looked like every other player on the field. He's 5-foot-9, weighs 190 pounds and wears a scruffy brown beard with shag under his cap that covers the tops of his ears.

But by now, his second year playing in the CWL, most of those watching his games have learned that there's much more to Barksdale's game than what lies on the surface. They've come to know that what Barksdale is doing on the field goes beyond the box scores and the daily games in front of professional scouts.

Many know that Barksdale is legally deaf, and that makes watching him play the game all the more inspiring.

"That's one of the reasons I play," said Barksdale, 24. "I like to inspire people — the deaf community, kids, anybody really. That's part of my motivation, to show that nothing is impossible."

Read More  . . .





New York Times

OLATHE, Kan. — A Giant is buried in Kansas.

Baldwin City, Kan., is a mere 50 miles from Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals, this year’s American League champion. It is where Luther Taylor, who was known as Dummy Taylor, was buried in 1958, the year his former team, the Giants, began play in San Francisco, having moved from the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan.

Taylor was a pioneering pitcher, a colorful and charismatic character who could neither hear nor speak but who could throw a baseball with expertise. He helped the Giants win their first World Series of the modern baseball era, in 1905, and bridged a gap between hearing and nonhearing athletes, and he remains a unique link between Kansas City and the Giants.

During Taylor’s time with the Giants, from 1900 to 1908, many of his teammates learned to sign, and Taylor kept them laughing — and sometimes winning — for much of his career.

“He stands as an inspiration to many people,” said Sandra Kelly, a former teacher and principal at the Kansas School for the Deaf, where Taylor starred in baseball and later coached, in Olathe (pronounced oh-LAY-tha), a city 20 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, Mo. “It’s pretty clear from the stories how much his teammates loved and respected him.”


Luther Taylor kept his teammates loose with his sense of humor and umpires on edge with his salty sign language.CreditGeorge Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress 

Kelly is now the executive director of the Deaf Cultural Center here, which sits directly across the street from the school. The center houses a museum with an exhibit dedicated to Taylor, one of the school’s most celebrated graduates, along with Paul Hubbard, who is said to be the inventor of the football huddle.

READ Entire Article
by Mike Bush

ST. PETERS, Mo. - It's the time of year when the sounds of summer can be heard all over the country but not by the kids on these baseball fields in St. Peters, Missouri. This is the Mike Bush Fantasy Baseball Camp for the deaf and hard of hearing.

"We play baseball but it's so much more than baseball," explained Camp Director Cari Hampton.

Nine-year-old Harrison Beck is in his third year here.

"I've been hitting and catching. Practicing all my baseball skills," he said by sign language.

Harrison discovered a love for sports when he was just a toddler about the same time doctors discovered that he was deaf. His dad says, the diagnosis was actually a blessing.

"Before we just knew we had a kid that wasn't talking then we knew we had a deaf child," said Dan Beck, Harrison's dad.

Still, like most children his dad says he just wanted to fit in.

"It's hard for a kid who can't hear and talk like every other kid to join in a team sport," he said.

That's why, 25 years ago, this camp was started. For a week every summer, some 60 kids who often get singled out because of their disability get to standout because of their ability.

"I want them to feel, feel like they're special and they're important and they're just as important as everyone else," explained Hampton.

Read more . . .
By Eric Goldwein Staff Writer
Article Source

Gallaudet senior leads Thunderbolts staff with 1.27 ERA and three wins

Since his youth baseball days, Brandon Holsworth has always had help on the diamond.

This summer, as the ace of the Silver Spring Spring-Takoma Park Thunderbolts, he's showing he might not need it.

Holsworth, a deaf pitcher from Gallaudet University, is dominating his competition in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. The 6-foot-4, towering right-hander has a team-best three wins and 1.27 earned-run average, leading the Silver Spring pitching staff despite playing without college teammate and interpreter Danny O'Donnell for part of the summer.

“They say 87 percent of communication is not verbal, so we find ways around it, but he has such an outgoing and enthusiastic personality that it's fun to catch him,” catcher Robert Lucido, Jr. said.

Holsworth, a rising senior at Gallaudet, is hoping his performance in the competitive college wood bat league can help him earn a spot in the Major League Baseball draft.

“I'm really doing everything I can to be the best I can during this season because this is the one opportunity before I go into my senior year,” Holsworth said through O'Donnell. “I don't know if I'll have another opportunity to face competition like this.”

Holsworth, who was born deaf, grew up playing baseball and basketball. Communication has been his biggest barrier athletically, his father Chris Holsworth said, but with assistance and support from family and teammates the talented right-hander has dealt with the challenges. In little league, his father would be in the dugout to help him communicate with teammates. In high school, he had a state-hired interpreter, as was required by law in Michigan. In college, he found a fit at Gallaudet, where his teammates and coach — former Major League Baseball player Curtis Pride — are fluent in American Sign Language.

Holsworth learned about the Thunderbolts through O'Donnell, a fully hearing teammate at Gallaudet last season, whose parents are deaf. O'Donnell, a pitcher, has acted as an interpreter for Holsworth during his meetings at the mound.

Read more  . . .