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At age 35, former Yale Art major and NY based conceptual artist, Jeremy Spear, "craving the thrill of competition," joins the New Jersey Gators, one of America's major fastpitch softball teams. Chasing an old athletic dream, his journey into the little known sport of fastpitch softball brings him deeper than he first thought it would, into the heart of small-town America.
Later he is recruited by the Ashland Abbott Labs of Ohio. On a journey that brings him from the rural midwest to the Northern Ojibway territory, he meets with fans and players who have witnessed the decline of this sport that once rivaled the popularity of baseball.
He encounters a very eclectic mix of people. There are memorable figures, such as New Zealand outfielder, Shane Hunuhunu, who, despite hearing his name being massacred by native Ashlanders, finds among them a level of warmth and open-heartedness that breaks the stereotype one might have about rural America. Spear meets the financially-creative coach of the Ashland Abbott Labs, Nick McCurry, who has learned to stretch the fastpitch dollar a little more every year. He encounters Florida tycoon, Peter Porcelli, whose financial superiority has created controversy and rivalry among the other teams and who is obsessed with winning the World Fastpitch Championship, at any cost. The filmmaker finds himself face to face with the unrivaled Native American legend from the Toronto Gators, Darren Zack, who has found in fastpitch the fulfillment of a long-lasting dream to represent his people at a national level in the United States.
Spear records the daily survival of an amateur sport which lack of popularity has drawn sponsors away from, condemning it to a level of precariousness only inversely proportionate to the passion it still revives in players and supporters alike.
Some may find in it, just a pastime, some, a vehicle to carry out their fight against alcohol and drug addiction in their community, for others it remains the purest form of competitive sport.
The film details vanishing Americana, the line between hobby and obsession, and a pride in identity that transcends racial or regional affiliation.
Whatever the motivation, the involvement goes so deep that it is impossible not to share the passion for fastpitch. -- © Artistic License Films
All Critics (4)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (3)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (1)
It's not a great story, and it's not great footage, but it also won't leave you wanting to shove hot coals in your eyes, which ranks the film above reality TV, at least.
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