'The League': How to Watch Documentary About Negro League Baseball

There have been a fair amount of movies and documentaries about the game of baseball. However, the Negro Leagues helped make the game what it is today, and yet there are not too many films about Black baseball players who played in the leagues due to segregation. The League is an in-depth look at the Negro Leagues and the challenges Black baseball players had to deal with. The documentary premiered in AMC Theatres on July 7, but it's now available digitally.

As the synopsis states, The League, "celebrates the dynamic journey of Negro League baseball's triumphs and challenges through the first half of the twentieth century. The story is told through previously unearthed archival footage and never-before-seen interviews with legendary players like Satchel Paige and Buck O'Neil – whose early careers paved the way for the Jackie Robinson era – as well as celebrated Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Hank Aaron who started out in the Negro Leagues.

The League is directed by Sam Pollard and executive produced by Questlove. Other executive producers on the film include actress Nina Dobrev and Philadelphia Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie. When asked about The League, Pollard revealed that his vision for the documentary was to "Find voices of those who played the game, surround them with historians and fans of the Negro Leagues, use as much archival footage and stills I could find and, to add drama, shoot period recreations and create animation that would add another level of cinematic texture to the film."

Pollard also said: "I was able to find the voices of former Negro League players because Byron Motley (whose dad, Bob Motley, had been a Negro League Umpire) had interviewed and recorded many former players years ago. It was a treasure trove of wonderful voices and added immensely to the telling of the story. Also, fortunately, many of the die-hard Negro League historians had access or knew where to find footage that I had never seen, which added enormously to visualizing the story."

Some of the most notable Negro Leagues were the Negro National League, Eastern Colored League, Negro American League and the Negro Southern League. The teams that won the most Negro League titles are the Chicago American Giants (14), Kansas City Monarchs (10) and the Homestead Grays (10).