Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI), executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Oscar-winning SUMMER OF SOUL), Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner, Tariq Trotter (DESCENDANT), and produced by RadicalMedia, 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. From entrepreneurial titans Cumberland Posey and Gus Greenlee, whose intense rivalry fueled the rise of two of the best baseball teams ever to play the game, 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 as an economic and social pillar of Black communities and a stage for some of the greatest athletes to ever play the game, while also examining the unintended consequences of integration.
Born in 1897 in Philadelphia, Effa Manley was an American baseball executive who co-owned the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League alongside her husband, Abe Manley. In 2006, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. (source: MLB.com)