Signs of the Time studies the origin of hand signals in baseball. In the 19th century, there were no signals for strike, safe, out or foul and no announcer to interpret the game. Prior to the invention of baseball signs, the only signal was the umpire’s voice. This documentary explores the origins of the pivotal innovation of hand signals, and the baseball pioneers that changed the game, including William Klem and Dummy Hoy.

Signs of the Time (2008) Documentary, Mystery, Sport | 23 August 2008 (USA) 7.5
Director: Don CasperWriter: Jim HughesStars: Richard Dreyfuss, Bob Feller, Brooks RobinsonSummary: Imagine watching one of baseball's earliest games, in the presence of thousands of fans but without the benefit of the signals on the diamond that guide us through the modern game. No signals for strike, safe, out or foul. No announcer to interpret the game. The only signal was the umpire's voice, drowned out by the screams of thousands of excited fans. The arm signals that have become such a colorful part of the game were not yet invented. Who was responsible for these signs? How did they originate? Although several have laid claim, only two deserve consideration: William Klem and William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy.


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