Baseball is known as America’s pastime, but for many years, non-white people were socially and professionally excluded. Director Sam Pollard and executive producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson shed light on that history with The League, revealing how the dynamic style of Black baseball players came to define the way the game is played today. With the eye of a historian, Pollard delves into how Black professionals formed Negro League baseball, building a unique sporting culture and community of their own.
Utilizing newly discovered archive footage and interview recordings, The League offers a fresh avenue through which to appreciate Black American history. At the same time, there’s a lot that will appeal to fans of baseball, whether a casual follower of the sport or the most ardent fanatic with an encyclopedic knowledge of stats. The film’s approach to baseball history is comprehensive and approachable, making it an unmissable sports documentary.––Jarod Neece