June 9, 2023
A new documentary detailing the history of Negro league baseball is coming to select theaters in July. The League, directed by filmmaker and longtime Spike Lee editor, Sam Pollard, and executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, will screen at AMC theaters in over 50 markets this summer.
Told through unreleased archival footage and never-before-seen interviews with baseball legends like Satchel Paige, Willy Mays, Hank Aaron, and Buck O’Neil, the documentary reveals how Black baseball was a pillar in communities across the country. From entrepreneurial titans Cumberland Posey and Gus Greenlee, to Effa Manley, the activist owner of the Newark Eagles and the only woman ever admitted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, The League explores Black baseball’s greatest athletes and examines the unintended consequences of integration.
Pollard has had a decorated career in filmmaking, earning an Emmy Award (Outstanding Picture Editing) for the film, By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, and coming off the success of another sports documentary he co-directed, Citizen Ashe, about the life and career of Arthur Ashe. Questlove won his first Academy Award (Best Documentary Feature) for the film Summer of Soul in 2022, a documentary he directed about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.
“This project really brings home the point that this wasn’t just the minor leagues,” Pollard told Front Office Sports. “It was a formidable league with phenomenal players. We think this is going to open people’s eyes.”
The League will screen at select AMC theaters on July 9, 10, and 12 before the digital release on July 14. Check out the showtimes in your city through the AMC Theatres website.