Yes, the rumors are true...when Hoop was around 7-8 years of age he developed a bad case of whooping cough and that is how he obtained the nickname Hoop. Now as far as George goes Hoop was known to wear work shirts (normally used) with a laborers name already stitched on the shirt. I would imagine that during one of his interviews he was wearing such a shirt and the press labeled him George "Hoop" Schaible. Hoop was different, would throw others off his game, all the while keeping mostly to himself or very close friends. I had many a breakfast and dinner with Hoop during the summers and he mostly read the newspaper, ate, and then head off to the garage without uttering a single word.
On the other hand he would do things that most uncles at the time would do. Like show a 10 year kid that he could make the buffalo on a nickel pee. That was a good trick and it was later in life when out metal detecting I dug up an old buffalo nickel with a small cap on one side with a small hole in it and knew immediately what it was used for. He could also make a quarter disappear by rubbing it on his forearms and then reappearing under a dinner plate.
Hoop had a 9th grade education but excelled in stone masonry, carpentry, mechanics, and heavy machinery. Anything on the farm that was mechanical or had a motor was Hoop's duty to repair to working order.
In the early 1950's Hoop joined the Army. He was not drafted but enlisted for a three year hitch. He ended up in Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the 11th Airborne Division. Hoop loved to jump out of airplanes! So much that he would charge his buddies $5 to jump for them to maintain their jump status. Hoop also was into racing stock cars down in Kentucky but little is known of those activities.