The umpire's defiant fist as the perfect pitch crosses the plate!

The cross hand sweep of the man in blue as the runner slides into home!

The dramatic fist pump of the umpire as the runner, ball and baseman converge at first!

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. One was modest and reserved, the other, self-righteous and autocratic. They were big-league baseball's most celebrated deaf player and it's most revered umpire.

William Klem is the most significant umpire of the last century. He spent nearly forty years in professional baseball from 1905 to 1942, influencing many of the greatest legends of the game. He was well known for his authoritative style behind the plate and his boastful demeanor in public. In 1953, Klem became one of the first umpires inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame which would cast his link to hand signals in bronze. Bill Klem's plaque at Cooperstown gives him credit for the introduction of arm signals indicating strikes and fair or foul balls.

William Ellsworth Hoy started his professional career in 1886 as the centerfielder for the Oshkosh baseball club. At 5’ 4� he was considered small to be a ballplayer, but his stature was not his greatest obstacle. Hoy was profoundly deaf. While at bat, Hoy would struggle to understand the verbal calls of the umpire. He would develop a system of hand signals whereby his 3rd base coach would indicate whether the pitch was a strike or ball. With a glance, Hoy immediately knew the resulting call. William 'Dummy' Hoy was admired by his teammates, revered by the fans, and went on to become the most celebrated deaf player in the history of big-league baseball.

Both of these unique men made significant contributions to the game and each has laid claim to the signs of baseball. But like the origins of the game itself, the genesis of baseball's greatest innovation is steeped in legend and fraught with polarizing opinions. The film explores the origins of this pivotal innovation and the baseball pioneers that shaped the course of the game and history. Everyone will truly enjoy and learn from this film, not just baseball fans but anyone who likes a story about history, mystery and of human achievement.