The history of deaf ballplayers, and misusing “schizophrenia”

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

In Mark Viera and Zach Berman's excellent April 3 story on the Gallaudet University baseball team, they stated that Coach Curtis Pride, who hit .250 in 421 games spread over 11 seasons, was the only deaf player to reach the major leagues "in the modern era."

But in 1945, deaf-mute Dick Sipek hit .244 in 82 games for the Cincinnati Reds. I saw him play at the Polo Grounds in New York and have his autograph.

Perhaps the most famous deaf ballplayer was William Hoy, who, in less enlightened times, was called Dummy. He played until 1902, hitting .290 at age 40 and posting a career .288 batting average in 1,797 games over 14 seasons.

Bob Shvodian, Bethesda

In his April 4 column on Latino voters, David S. Broder wrote, "The mixed signals that Hispanics receive from the larger community . . . have produced an almost schizophrenic reaction among Latino constituencies and leaders."

If one more journalist refers to schizophrenia as a policy ambiguity, I think I'll scream. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness and personality disorder. It has nothing to do with political inconsistency.

Daniel Carroll,

Silver Spring

The writer is a board member of Jobs Unlimited, which provides unemployment services for those with mental health challenges in Montgomery County.


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