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 Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy
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Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  74 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
William Hoy loved baseball. Growing up in the 1860s and ’70s, he dreamed of one day playing in the major leagues. A far-off fantasy for many boys, fulfilling this dream was even more of a long shot for William, who was deaf.

Striving to find his place in a hearing world, Hoy became a shoemaker. He took pride in his work, but baseball was still his real love. When an amateur
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 2012 by Lee & Low
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This Schneider Family Award winner introduced me to someone whom I'd never heard of before--William Hoy, a deaf baseball player. His story was fascinating, especially how he adapted himself to compensate for being unable to hear. I'm surprised that he didn't stay in the sport longer, but at least he worked with those who were interested in baseball for the rest of his life. I think he should be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his amazing accomplishments. Recommended!
Jul 16, 2012 Megan rated it it was amazing
(Also posted on my blog Hearing Sparks.)

Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy is by Bill Wise (illustrations by Adam Gustavson). It takes us through the life of William Hoy. William, or "Dummy" as he actually came to prefer to be called (the term was acceptable in the 19th century), was deafened by a bout with meningitis in his childhood.

Hoy never gave up on his dream of playing baseball in the major leagues. This book vividly describes his experiences growing up and proving
Sep 19, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
This book tells the amazing story of William Hoy (1862-1961), nicknamed “Dummy,” who lost his hearing at age three after a bout of meningitis. Nevertheless, Hoy went on not only to become a major league baseball star, but still ranks today in the top twenty-five in a number of all-time career statistics.

One (of many) touching moments in the story occurs in 1902, when Hoy, batting for the Cincinnati Reds, went up against the deaf pitcher of the New York Giants, Luther Taylor. As the author writes
Elizabeth Taylor
Apr 05, 2015 Elizabeth Taylor rated it it was amazing
This book is about William Hoy, a former major league baseball player. William, or as he liked to be called "Dummy", loved playing baseball but was discouraged because he was deaf. He worked as a shoemaker because he didn't think he could make it in the bigs. Until a coach saw him playing behind the store one day. He was then able to join a team and work his way up to the major leagues. I think this story is a great biography that could be shared with students of varying ages. It's a great story ...more
Mrs. Tongate
At the age of 3, William Hoy became deaf after being sick with meningitis.

William "Dummy" Hoy was an inspiration to all. He never gave up on his dream and overcome numerous obstacles to be the first deaf player in the Majors. Hoy was known as the best fielding outfielder in the National League and ranks in the top 25 in all time career stats: stolen bases, assists, double plays. As of 2012, he remains 1 of 3 outfielders to record 3 assists to home plate in one game.

Spring of 1900, another deaf
Mar 02, 2013 Ann rated it it was amazing
Who still thinks multiculturalism is a vulgar affront to canonical literature?

There is the idea that children don't need to see characters just like them, and good writing and storylines are universal. To them I say: this book was for me like a cool drink of water after a long trek in the desert.

A rare title about Deaf history (outside of Helen Keller) this remarkable book introduces young readers to an extraordinary man and his language and culture.

William Hoy, nicknamed Dummy (there's a note
Kristi Bernard
Nov 11, 2012 Kristi Bernard rated it really liked it
Shelves: special-needs
How hard would you work to follow your dreams? What if you couldn't hear, would you give up? Not William Ellsworth Hoy. He wanted to play baseball and the odds were against him but he made it through.

William Hoy grew up in Houcktow, OH. When he was three years old he became very sick and lost his hearing. When William was ten years old he went to a school for the deaf and learned to play baseball. He loved it and he was good at it. But, in 1879 the only thing a deaf person was allowed to do was
Feb 21, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet again, I'm grateful to books and what they teach me. In this case, it's who they teach me about. I grew up following baseball and thought I knew some stuff. It's exciting to read that efforts exist to have Mr. Hoy's baseball accomplishments in the Hall of Fame. What an incredible player!
Aug 26, 2013 Bernard rated it really liked it
This was on the Fulton County Elementary School suggested summer reading list. I put a hold on it at the beginning of the summer and it finally got to us a couple weeks ago. It is a very inspiring story, not necessarily about baseball, but about a man who overcame his handicap as well as stigma about deaf people's ability to play baseball, to become one of the league's greatest outfielders. Apparently this player, who played at the beginning of the 20th century, is still in many top 25 lists of ...more
Back in the 19th century, William Hoy played baseball during every spare moment he had. He lost his hearing after a bout with meningitis as a boy, and few thought he had any chance of ever playing baseball anywhere other than a backlot somewhere. Eventually, though, he ended up playing major league baseball. Some even credit Hoy with the signs used by line coaches during the game since Hoy used signs to figure out whether the home plate umpire called a pitch a ball or a strike. The oil illustrat ...more
Fascinating story of William Hoy, who played professional baseball for 14 years--in the 1880's-- and who was only the third deaf player in the major leagues. He was from Ohio, which always gets my attention. He came up with a system of hand signals for his coach to use to let him know what the umpire was calling after each pitch, so that he didn't have to turn around and read his lips. He was a record-breaker in many ways, including being the only outfielder EVER to lead a major league in assist ...more
Aug 14, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
I love reading picture book biographies about inspiring and courageous individuals. William Hoy was definitely one such baseball player. I found his baseball career, as a deaf outfielder, interesting, but so was everything else that he accomplished. Seems like he should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame! I also appreciated the author's comments about the use of the word "dummy" which is certainly an offensive term today. I'm not sure it had to be right in the story, but it was good to have in the ...more
Feb 21, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
William Hoy was the first major league baseball player to throw out three runners at the plate from the outfield in a single game. More than a hundred years later, only two others have done it. He is still among the top 25 base stealers in major league history. But don't cheer for him; he couldn't hear you. Few are good enough to play pro baseball, but how much harder would itbe if you couldn't hear your coach? Or the crack of the bat? Or your teammates yelling for the ball? Or even the umpire c ...more
Dana Pressnell
Feb 07, 2014 Dana Pressnell rated it really liked it
Biography. Deaf baseball player.
Reviewed at:

What a fascinating book! Silent Star shares with us not only an interesting part of baseball history, but also a look into the history of deafness and its acceptance within society. I find it fascinating that although Hoy is undisputedly one of the best outfielders of all time, he still is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame! How sad that the prejudice that he probably felt on a daily basis has rolled over into his legacy.
Jan 15, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
AMAZING! I had never heard of William Hoy before (which surprises me) and I love all of the adversities he overcame to play in the majors. A great read and would be perfect for the sports loving kids.
Sandy Brehl
Hoy did not settle for dreams deferred. His is a story waiting for a groundswell of growing awareness, possibly fueled by social media and a kids' letter-writing campaign. When the sports writers vote next year, again likely snubbing the steroid-tainted candidates, the name William "Dummy" Hoy should make its way into the discussion, guaranteeing that he will finally get full recognition for accomplishing his baseball dreams.
3.5 stars. I had not known about William Hoy and am very glad this book exists. I will be doing more research to learn more about him. I wish the book had focused more on his baseball career without so much info about his professions before and after baseball, as there is not enough room in picture book format to include all of the details the author hinted at.
Sharon Lawler
Amazingly, this deaf major league outfielder has not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Even though he grew up in an era where differences were not respected, he overcame his disability was a high achiever before, during, and after his professional career.
Jan 01, 2014 Jodie rated it it was amazing
An inspiring biography about William Hoy. He was a professional baseball player who happened to be deaf. His story shows us how he was successful in other things besides baseball.
Feb 03, 2013 Donalyn rated it really liked it
I'm fascinated with biographies of forgotten or little known people with amazing accomplishments. I look forward to sharing Wiiliam Hoy's story with my students.
Genea T.
Dec 30, 2013 Genea T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: lead-reader
Learned something new reading this one!
A lot of people have never heard of Dummy Hoy and his contributions to baseball. This picture book is a nice bio for kids and has nice illustrations.
Oct 20, 2013 Megan rated it did not like it
For a book about baseball, this book lacked action. I felt it was poorly written and boring. I felt like I was reading a book report biography of William Hoy.
Fantastic biography of William Hoy, the first deaf man to play in the major leagues. His story will definitely resonate and fascinate students.
Amy Carr
Oct 17, 2013 Amy Carr rated it really liked it
A great story about determination, perseverance, and courage in the face of overwhelming odds. Very inspirational and well-written.
I'm partial to baseball stories, but I did think this was a fabulous story. Great addition for all classrooms and libraries.
Dec 17, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
Great information about a little know baseball star, pictures are interesting, and it conveys a great message.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 04, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Interesting and informative story of the first deaf major league baseball player.
Paul  Hankins
The story of William "Dummy" Hoy, the first deaf major league baseball player.
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