Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 by LibraryAdministration
Latin American names are common on major league rosters these days, but how those players end up in a Dodgers or Giants or Red Sox uniform may not be something the casual baseball fan has given much thought. Ballplayer is a gritty documentary that examines that process in the Dominican Republic, a significant source of players. Forget feel-good boys-of-summer tales. The film follows two well-regarded young players, Miguel Sano and Jean Batista, as they approach the date when 16-year-olds are eligible to sign. The trainers who have helped them develop their skills are hoping for fat contracts, of which they would receive a percentage, but the major league teams want to keep the signing bonuses down.
The resulting scheming — is the player lying about his age or are the teams colluding to avoid a bidding war — is dismaying, to say the least. Commendably, this film, narrated by John Leguizamo, sugarcoats nothing. Remarkably, everyone involved from the players, their trainers, their parents, to the scouts are remarkabl