A little preview to our score. Composed by Brent Allred.

Storytelling

Well… The Tampa trip is coming to a close. Our flight leaves from Tampa back to Indiana in about three hours. It’s going to be terrible returning a high of 37 degrees.. 

I wanna talk about how this trip has been different from our other ones a little bit. While here, we did not interview any historians, library curators, or professors. We only interviewed players, guys who truly experienced the life of Negro League baseball. I must say, after talking with them, I’m starting to feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to speak with them. The hardships they endured, just to play a game they loved, is inspiring in itself. The two men we interviewed, both of whom played for the Indianapolis Clowns, spoke with passion and conviction about their years playing in the Negro Leagues. They effortlessly recounted dates, team mates names, and times where racism was most prevalent in their lives. It’s hard for me to listen to the stories they tell sometimes. I interact with people of different races everyday, and think nothing of it. So, I can not grasp the concept of racism. Hearing them speak of how they were spit on, cussed at, and refused room and board in certain cities breaks my heart. 

What breaks my heart more however, is thinking about how these men did not get the recognition that they deserved. That is why I feel fortunate to be apart of this project. Our entire group has been given the opportunity to document these stories and attempt to tell them to the world. If anything, these men deserve to at least have their stories told. The players in Tampa were ecstatic when they heard that us young kids were eager to hear their stories. They were even more excited to share the stories in camera, hoping that their legacy would be preserved. 

I think that is the beautiful part of documentary film making. You help people share their stories with the world who are not capable of doing so. I have been given the opportunity to help these men tell their stories, and I am so thankful for that. 

I am excited to share this film with all of you. I hope it stirs emotion in you like it has me thus far. I’ll keep you posted on more information.

Aaron Mikel

Director of Photography

Black Baseball in Indiana

Muskegon, Mi.

This past Saturday, February 26, thr group took a trip to Muskegon Museum of Art. We made the drive to explore their exhibit WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of the Negro Leagues.  The exhibit is simply beautiful. I, personally, feel that the trip to Muskegon was a once in a lifetime experience. The museum showcased the original paintings of Kadir Nelson. His paintings display the culture and lifestyle of Negro League Baseball, and are featured in the children’s book that Kadir Nelson published entitled We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.

While in Muskegon, we also interviewed Larry Lester, co-founder of the Negro League Museum in Kansas City, Mo. He had offered us insight to the history of the Negro Leagues. We will be speaking with him again later in the semester when we drive out to visit the Negro League Museum.

In other news, three members of our team (myself included) will be flying out to Tampa Bay, Florida on monday to conduct more interviews and film b-roll of the spring training camps. We have received word that four former Indianapolis Clowns players reside in Tampa! It’s an interviewers pot of gold in sunny Tampa, Florida. 

Things are really starting to pick up around here, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. I’ll keep you posted on what’s going to be happening next with the project.

Apologies

Hello All,

My apologies for not keeping up with the blog for a couple of weeks. To be honest, there was not that much exciting activity to report. For the first couple weeks of the semester we spent our time studying up on the history of the Negro Leagues.

Just recently however, we took our first trip to Cooperstown, NY. While there, we visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The team got straight to work and began conducting interviews with museum staff and pouring through stacks of archival documents to continue research. It was tiring, but rewarding.

The production team has just now got all the footage logged and captured and ready for edit. While the Cooperstown trip was a big success and a kickstart to our project, we still have a lot of work to do. 

Here soon, we will be heading out to Kansas City, Missouri to conduct more interviews and continue our research at the Negro Leagues Baseball Hall of Fame. We are all very excited for what the rest of the semester has in store. 

I’ll keep you posted on documentary release dates and showtimes around the central Indiana area. Thanks for reading!

Aaron Mikel

Director of Photography

Black Baseball in Indiana

This is another sample clip from an interview we conducted a couple of weeks ago. The interview subject is Dr. Charles Payne, Professor of Secondary Education at Ball State University. He gives us insight on the model of segregation the America adopted after Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

This is a sample clip of an interview we conducted in Cooperstown, NY at The National Baseball Hall of Fame. The interview subject is Tim Wiles, Director of Research at The National Baseball Hall of Fame. He gives us his opinion on how and why baseball is important to American culture.

Canon T2i

Canon 1.8 50mm

No Color Correction or Audio work done.

Bob Motley: The Only Remaining Negro League Umpire ›

Research

The team started researching today. We spent our morning pouring through old newspapers looking for information on midwest baseball from the 1920s! We also have some new potential interview subjects. I won’t mention any names, but we have a couple current MLB players in mind!  I’ll keep you posted. 

Guess what Bob Marley is referencing in his song “Buffalo Soldier.” It was a negro infantry troop. This picture is of the negro baseball team, The Buffalo Soldiers, who made up the negro troop baseball team. More facts to come!

Title of Film Announced!!

Black Baseball in Indiana will be the title of the documentary film we will be shooting this semester!