Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Update on deaf actor from "Cold Case" episode

Ryan Lane

I asked for information about the deaf actor who played in the "Cold Case" episode March 30 and thanks to your comments I now know his name is Ryan Lane. He was a student at School for the Deaf in Riverside, Calif., in 2007, and according to imdb, began his acting career that year as well.

I was also informed about his acting job in 2007, in which he portrayed "Dummy Hoy" in a film of the same name.

William "Dummy" Hoy was the first deaf baseball player in the major leagues and his career spanned 18 seasons on professional teams , including five with the Cincinnati Redlegs, according to the "Dummy Hoy" filmmakers, Da-Cor Pictures. A native of Ohio, Hoy became "one of the greatest outfielders of his time. A celebrated 'flyhawk' on par with Joe Di Maggio, Willie Mays and Tris Speaker."

In his rookie year in the majors in 1888, Hoy led the National League in stolen bases and had a .288 lifetime batting average. "At the age of 38, over the course of 137 games, Hoy had 337 putouts and a .977 fielding average to go along with his 45 assists," according to Da-Cor. "It was the only time an outfielder has ever led the majors in all three categories."

"Hoy's proudest achievement in his career was throwing out three runners at home plate, from the outfield, in one game. This has rarely been repeated, "Da-Cor Pictures reports. "The most important contribution that Hoy made in baseball was the creation of hand signals, which is still used in baseball throughout the world today. Not being able to hear the calls, which were shouted out by the umpires, Hoy asked his coach to stand on third base and raise his right hand for a strike and left hand for a ball."

The deaf community has been lobbying for Hoy to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for a number of years, but it has not happened yet. The filmmakers of "Dummy Hoy: A Deaf Hero" are hoping that their film will spur his inclusion in the Hall of Fame. You can order the film at the Da-Cor Web site.

Deaf Life Press, an imprint of MSM Productions, which publishes books on Deaf issues and by Deaf authors is planning a biography of Hoy.