from Dear Abby

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Nov 7 21:14:12 UTC 2002

a recent column tells the following story:

    In the early 1900s, the New York Giants had a pitcher
  naned Luther H. Taylor.  He was a deaf mute who was, in
  an era of insensitivity, nicknamed "Dummy."  Taylor lost
  a lot of games due to his inability to communicate with
  his teammates.
    John McGraw, the manager of the Giants, was under enormous
  pressure from the team's owner, then fans and the sportswiters
  to trade Taylor.  Instead, McGraw required the entire Giant
  team to learn American Sign Language.  Once that was
  accomplished, McGraw used hand signals to lead his team.
  That's the origin of the hand signals that are used in baseball
        Stephen Redmond, M.D.,
          Morgan Hill

Dear Abby thanks dr. redmond for "a fascinating tidbit of
information" (intended to be encouraging to a disabled

extremely dubious information.  but what i'm interested in is
any history of *the story*.  has anyone investigated its sources?

arnold (zwicky at

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