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Movie about Oshkosh baseball player creating umpire hand signals premieres

Movie premiers about Oshkosh baseball player creating umpire hand signals
Cast members from "The Silent Natural" on stage at The Grand Oshkosh. October 28, 2019. (WLUK)

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WLUK) -- Oshkosh had celebrities visiting for the premiere of "The Silent Natural." It's a film about William "Dummy" Hoy who played minor league baseball in Oshkosh in 1886.

Hoy was deaf and didn't speak -- but that didn't stop him from changing baseball forever.

"He's the one who introduced hand signs for hand and ball, and nobody is recognizing him for that," the film's director David Risotto said.

Here's a look at the full trailer:

"The Silent Natural" cast hopes their film will bring Hoy recognition for his role in baseball. Ultimately, they want him inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.

You may know Barry Pearl from "Grease," Sheree J. Wilson from "Dallas," and Marshall R. Teague from "Road House." They were at the Oshkosh premiere Monday and agreed that Hoy should be recognized.

"It's such an important film because he was such an important, you know, person that changed really how baseball was played," Wilson said.

Miles Barbee plays Hoy in the film. As Hoy made his dreams come true, Barbee is making his own come true.

"To be Dummy Hoy himself as a deaf individual and me as well being a deaf individual, I feel that immediate -- it's like a life parallel," Barbee said.

The representation in the film shows there are no limitations for those who may be deaf or hard of hearing.

"Seeing deaf actors actually be able to portray deaf characters is a very big key to showing this media within this Hollywood world and not only that but in America's culture as well," Barbee said.

Proceeds from "The Silent Natural's" Oshkosh premiere will go to the Winnebago Historical Society.

"It's not often that any community, let alone one the size of Oshkosh, gets a chance to see a piece of their local history come to life," Randy Domer, the Winnebago County Historical Society President said.

The film's producers say they're working on bringing the film to movie theaters across the country, and eventually streaming services.

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