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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baseball Hand Signals

By Wiley Channell

Baseball players would be in a pretty pickle if all signals were verbal. Would a player be excused, by an irate fit to be tied coach, if he did not hear the screaming that goes on.

The coaches are out there giving signals. The umpire is giving signals. Baseball players are watching everything. What is this signal thing about anyway?

There is a secret among a coach and his players and they dare not let the opponent in on the know. I have seen the first and third base coaches play around out there like they had the itch or mosquitoes biting or something.

They will scratch their shirts across the letters, take off their caps, run their hands through their hair, rub the back of their legs with their foot, and even rub their arms like crazy. I know something must be up. Wonder if it's catching?

I'll tell you who had better catch it. Those team players. I'm told these are their secret signals.

The umpires also go through all kind of gyrations. I have seen the base umps run down the foul line on a well hit ball suddenly stop, turn toward the playing field and point like a bird dog on point.

Another common antic of an umpire is he will intently watch when a runner is running to a base and a tag is about to be made. If the tag is too late to get the runner out then the umpire goes half ape. He will stand there throwing his hand out as if he is shooing away a swarm of gnats. Then he calmly turns his back and walks away.

Players may jump up and down and exclaim he was out and the manager may even come a running. Brother, the umpire simply stands there with his arms folded across his chest and utters not a word. The coach sends his players away with a hand motion. The coach has his say to the ump. The coach makes out like he is mad but suddenly, like an ole hound dog which has been shot with a B B gun, he tucks and trots away.

Folks all of this signaling and use of hands serves a most useful and human purpose.

Many, many years ago a couple of deaf players loved and played the game of baseball. These two gentlemen, a Mr. Luther Taylor and Mr.William Hoy, are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude for their dedicated insistence for use and development of umpire hand signals.

Their courage to play the game of baseball before crowds watching their every move and action put them both on display and many a less stout hearted persons would have never stood and played little less excel.

Luther and William are vivid reminders of what not only made them as individuals great among many but it tells a story about our game of baseball as well.

William and Luther advancing the hand signal requirement for acceptance as the norm and such as Pete Gray and Jim Abbot foregoing tremendous physical handicaps and Jackie Robinson taking up the mantle bringing desegregation to the forefront. Folks when you witness such as this all in the name of our great game of baseball you have to marvel at the far reach of this sport we call BASEBALL.

I refer to these gentlemen as Mr. in respect for what they did for our great game of baseball. You see they are credited with making umpire hand signals an integral part of the game.

Dummy Hoy, William Ellsworth Hoy played professional baseball from 1888-1932 with a lifetime batting average of .288.

Batter Up----Let's Play Ball.... is a signature statement of Major Wiley b. Channell USMC (ret) giving you an Introduction to the concept of baseball farming which includes ideas on strategies, training, and winning! at:

How are baseball skills acquired? Check out how this country boy Major Wiley B. Channell USMC (ret) describes the action at:

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Hello Baseball Friend,
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Have a great day, Nick