The Boys Who Came to Play

The Boys Who Came to Play

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Running time:

22 minutes


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Closed Captioned:


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In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson, ending an era of discrimination in professional baseball. The effect on what was then known as "The Negro Leagues" was that a lot of talented African-American ball players were out of work. Some of them came north to play in the Manitoba Senior League as well as the ManDak League, a group of rural and urban teams around Manitoba and North Dakota that included Winnipeg, Brandon, Carman and Minot. The period they played, from 1948 to 1954, was the Golden Era of Prairie Baseball. Yet despite the adulation and fan support, there was an undercurrent of suspicion and resentment. The racism that pervaded U.S. society had its expression here, too.

Lois Bentley of Brandon, Manitoba was a teenager and recalls the unsurpassed quality of these games. This documentary follows her efforts to have two outstanding players who played for the Brandon Greys-Dirk Gibbons and Armando Vazquez-inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Her efforts succeeded in June 2006 and represent a first and a victory for decency, persistence and recognition of excellent in the art of baseball.

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