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Racism & Civil Rights in America told via the lives of the Negro League baseball players. Rewards NOW available via paypal. theotherboysofsummer@gmail.com
Racism & Civil Rights in America told via the lives of the Negro League baseball players. Rewards NOW available via paypal. theotherboysofsummer@gmail.com
233 backers pledged $21,380 to help bring this project to life.

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Baseball & Civil Rights: The Other Boys of Summer

$21,380

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**The project reached its initial goal, but the campaign is far from over.**

YOU can still be an important part of this project. This is clearly a project that people feel is important and want to see and your support will enable the film to expand its reach and make a much larger positive impact. 

Check it out to see what the buzz is all about.  Big thank you to the backers who crushed the initial goal in record time!

What is the project?

"The Other Boys of Summer" is a documentary that tells the story of racism, segregation and civil rights in America through the eyes of the Negro League baseball players. It features exclusive, never-before-seen footage with the men who played alongside of Jackie Robinson.

Jackie Robinson stepped onto the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. This was before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. This was before Brown vs. The Board of Education. This was almost 20 years before the signing of the Civil Rights Acts under President Johnson. When Jackie crossed the color barrier, MLK Jr. was still in college. The men who played in the Negro Leagues can be seen as a catalyst to the civil rights movement. They are unsung heroes and trailblazers for civil rights.

In the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s Blacks were not allowed in Major League Baseball. There were many men of color who dreamed of playing baseball, and had the skills to play at the highest level, but with no place to play, they needed to create their own league. The Negro National and Negro American League were high caliber leagues that many say rivaled the skill level of MLB. There were professional teams in Atlanta, NY, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and many other cities. The players came from cities and small towns across America. They were signed under contracts and paid to play ball. And play it well.

The conditions they endured were harsh. They traveled by bus and sometimes the players had to drive the bus themselves. Many towns didn’t have hotels that would allow them to stay. They frequently had to eat on the bus because restaurants would not allow them inside. Some of the teams had unethical owners who didn’t pay them as promised. But none of this stopped these men from pursuing their dreams.

White Only Cafe
White Only Cafe

This film is a first hand personal account of what it was like - told by the humble men (and women) who played. Bob Scott, who barnstormed with Jackie Robinson, shares how he will never forget sleeping in a funeral home in Charleston, SC because there was nowhere else they could stay. Minnie Miñoso tells how when he made it to the majors, he heard managers tell their pitchers to throw at his head, because of his color.

Minnie Miñoso, played in the Negro Leagues and many years with the Chicago White Sox
Minnie Miñoso, played in the Negro Leagues and many years with the Chicago White Sox

John "Mule" Miles, who played for the Chicago American Giants, says it best when he shares some of the personal struggles he endured and tells us, "I'm not complaining, I'm just explaining". These humble giants aren’t bitter about what they endured. Their faces light up when they tell you they were just happy to play baseball. 

Why is this film important?

Not only did the Negro League players change the game of baseball, but they changed America.  The story is relevant today and has the ability to inspire people to pursue their dreams and believe they can impact change.  It offers an alternative to all of the anger and protests associated with civil rights today.  As this generation of players dwindles, their history is vanishing along with them. This film will preserve their legacy.

"The Other Boys of Summer" is part prosocial campaign, part love letter to a generation of unsung heroes and the game of baseball, and part civil rights advocate. Jackie Robinson is the face of Black baseball. But, there are hundreds of others who he played alongside of in the Negro Leagues, who also had a major role in impacting civil rights in America. These men and women can be seen as a spearhead to the Civil Rights Movement, but few people have ever heard of them.

Players from the Negro Leagues
Players from the Negro Leagues

How much has been done already?

The production of the film is 98% complete thanks to the support of many industry friends who have helped with production, editing and audio mix. Over the past decade more than $100K has been invested into the film, much of that in "in kind" donations of edit time, equipment, crew and priceless archival materials. People have donated materials and services because they believe in the project and understand how important it is to share these stories. It's important that this history is not lost forever.

I have the support of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, The Negro League Baseball Museum and elite researchers and historians. They have offered me the best rates possible for anything they can provide. But even with discounts and donations, the cost of licensing many of the photos can range from $10 - $800/photo. Video and newspapers can be more expensive.

I'm sincerely grateful for all the support I've received so far, but I need your support to bring it across homeplate. Without the money to license the music and archival footage the film is trapped on a hard drive waiting to be seen. 

Your support will preserve the vanishing history of the Negro Leagues AND champion civil rights in America.

Who is making this?

I’m a producer/director with a 20+ year track record of bringing in projects on-time and on-budget. I have credits on dozens of broadcast networks and digital platforms. A few years ago I directed an independent documentary project where we assembled a small team to travel cross-country and shine the spotlight on what's good in America. That project was "The American Dream Project”. It began as an idea and a dream and in 2017, it was nominated for an Emmy Award.  It's currently available on Netflix.

How did it all begin?

I began working on this film 10 years ago, completely out of pocket. I wanted to make sure I captured these stories while the people who lived them were still around to share them. I traveled to cities and towns and filmed interviews every chance I could in between paying jobs. It was intimidating at first, but the men who played in the Negro Leagues welcomed me into their lives like family.

I spent quality time with many of the Negro League players. Minnie Miñoso invited me to the White Sox stadium where he proudly showed me his statue. I interviewed Mamie "Peanut" Johnson in the dining room of her DC home. On the wall next to the breakfront were commendations from the city and photographs including a picture of her with President Clinton. They shared their personal scrapbooks and stories with me as they humbly painted vivid pictures of their lives. I fell in love with these gracious heroes as I was transported to another era. Many of the players I interviewed, are no longer with us.  I made a promise to them that I would not stop until I completed the film and shared their legacy. Without this film their stories may be lost forever.

Lauren Meyer, Director and Minnie Miñoso, "Mr. White Sox"
Lauren Meyer, Director and Minnie Miñoso, "Mr. White Sox"

 

Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, the only woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues
Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, the only woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues

 

Mamie "Peanut" Johnson with Bill Clinton
Mamie "Peanut" Johnson with Bill Clinton


Where will the money go?

Here is where the initial backing will be used AND what YOUR additional support will be put towards. 

Where the initial $12,800 is being used.
Where the initial $12,800 is being used.

With the success of reaching the initial goal of $12,800 (in the first 4 days) I will now be able to pay the costs of licensing the photos and music to submit the film to festivals and set up screenings.

NOW it's time to EXPAND THE REACH. 

It is humbling to see the enormous support I have received. This is clearly a film that people want to see and a story that needs to be shared.  Every dollar contributed NOW will be used to reach more people and make an even bigger impact.  I'm proud to be able to provide an alternative to all of the angry and violent material in the media about civil rights.  These men changed the world through dignity and grace.  They are proof that you can follow your dreams AND make a difference.

Your support will go towards:

  • Voice over record / Narrator
  • PR and Marketing
  • Screenings at community organizations, schools, churches across the country and larger venues.
  • Festival submissions
  • Making DVD/BluRay copies available
  • Connecting with museums to create exhibits and screening opportunities.
  • Creating educational curriculum to accompany the film
  • Composing original music

How You Can Help - Join the team!

1. Back the Project.

2. Spread the Word. Even if you can't donate, sharing the link with your family and friends makes a world of difference in getting more people to contribute.

3. Follow "The Other Boys of Summer" Online. Check out our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and official website for more information and images.

www.theotherboysofsummer.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheOtherBoysofSummer/

Instagram @TheOtherboysofSummer

Twitter - @NegroLeagueFilm

4. Connect With Us. If you have any questions or would like to contact us for press, send an email to theotherboysofsummer@gmail.com


Where will the finished film be available?

I'm going to bring it to the people. What???   Yep, to the people.

I have a team in place led by a renowned pastor who is an NAACP committee leader and community activist. He is arranging screenings for churches, schools and organizations. Broadcast and digital distribution is part of the big picture. But the starting point is at the grassroots level.

The film is an amazing conversation starter. We are going to create events where communities of different races and backgrounds can watch the film together and engage in open discussions. You'll fall in love with the guys in the film and find yourself smiling when the final credits roll.

This is not just Black history or baseball history... it is American history.

Be Inspired!

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Below are 2 of the signed photos that are available for rewards.  These initially "sold out" on day 1. Bob Scott (86) has been in the hospital since Nov. He is finally getting better and the positive response to the kickstarter is motivating him to keep working on getting stronger.  He has recently signed more photos and they are now available again as rewards.  Thank YOU Bob!!

Personally Autographed photo, Bob Scott - Played for the NY Black Yankees and barnstormed with Jackie Robinson 2 different photos available as rewards
Personally Autographed photo, Bob Scott - Played for the NY Black Yankees and barnstormed with Jackie Robinson 2 different photos available as rewards

 

Pedro Sierra Poster and Monte Irvin Autographed Photo available for reward.  (Monte Photo has been claimed)
Pedro Sierra Poster and Monte Irvin Autographed Photo available for reward. (Monte Photo has been claimed)

 

Risks and challenges

Every project has risks and challenges. I have the experience of directing "The American Dream Project" which was funded partially by kickstarter and went on to be nominated for an Emmy Award in 2017. It was picked up by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

One challenge is securing the right celebrity as the narrator. Morgan Freeman would be incredible, but I don't expect THAT to happen. But if you happen to know Mr. Freeman please let him know we'd love to talk. I'm prepared to record the Voice Over (and there is very little VO needed) with a non-celebrity if necessary. As much as an A-list name would help the project gain attention, not having a celebrity will not stop the film from getting out there.

Another challenge is finding the right venues for the screenings. I'm working with a renowned reverend/civil rights activist, who heads up a committee for the NAACP. He is already reaching out to churches and organizations nationwide.

There can be technical challenges when finishing and exporting a film. I am working with experienced professionals who have done this hundreds/thousands of times. I'm confident that when we hit any technical snag they will be able solve the problem.

I directed another series called "American Doers" where we profiled people who when they were told "you can't", they rolled up their sleeves and worked harder to achieve their goals. I am a "Doer". To quote one of my favorite American Doers... "People sometimes confuse patience with perseverance. Patience is waiting. Perseverance is pursuing. You have to pursue your goals."
- Tim Bishop

Don't let the history be forgotten. Help save the legacy and allow their stories to inspire a new generation.

THANK YOU!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Civil rights advocate

    Thank YOU!!! Every dollar makes a difference. You have just contributed more than the guys were given for food money while they traveled from town to town. We will put it to good use. We will also give you a shout out on social media. Please let us know if you'd prefer us not to do so.

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    Rookie of the Year

    You will receive a private link to stream the film as soon as its completed. We will also give you a shout-out across social media.

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    Relief Pitcher

    You'll get access to our dugout. This is a *Members Only* area of the website where you'll be able to view bonus materials before the launch of the film. This will include EXCLUSIVE interview clips and photos that may not be in the final film.

    Thanks for your support.

    Includes:
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    MVP

    Your name will be included in the credits under "Special Thanks".

    Includes:
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Production stills signed by the Director.
    • Listed on the film's official website as a "Supporter".
    • Shout-out across social media.
    • Most importantly you have helped preserve the legacy.
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    Pedro Sierra Spring Training Special

    Pedro was the last player from the Negro Leagues to attend spring training in the Majors when he signed with the Washington Senators in 1970. Pedro designed & printed this 16"x20" poster and contributed it for the campaign.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"
    • Production stills signed by the Director.
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Shout-out across social media.
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    All Star

    Woohoo!! You're making us blush.
    You will receive an 8x10 Autographed photo from an actual Negro League player.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Listed on the film's official website as a "Supporter".
    • Shout-out across social media.
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    Pledge US$ 225 or more About US$ 225

    Monte Irvin Classic

    You will received an 8x10 autographed Monte Irvin photo. 45 years ago Monte Irvin was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Another generous backer has donated the signed photo which Monte gave to him personally. Backers supporting backers! The film is bringing out the best in people.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Listed on the film's official website as a "Supporter".
    • Shout-out across social media.
    • Most importantly you have helped preserve the legacy.
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Champion of Civil Rights

    You realize how important this story is and how relevant it is today. You will have a chance to meet up with the film's director for coffee in NYC and hear some of the stories that the men and women shared with her that are not in the film. If you are outside of the NYC area we will arrange for a phone call or FaceTime / Skype.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Production stills signed by the Director.
    • Listed on the film's official website as a "Supporter".
    • Shout-out across social media.
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    Reward no longer available 12 backers
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    Civil Rights Hero

    You realize how important this story is and how relevant it is today. You will have a chance to meet up with the film's director for coffee in NYC and hear some of the stories that the men and women shared with her that are not in the film. If you are outside of the NYC area we will arrange for a phone call or FaceTime / Skype.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Production stills signed by the Director.
    • Listed on the film's official website as a "Supporter".
    • Shout-out across social media.
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Minnie Miñoso Special

    While making this film the director got to hear many stories, but the one memory that she will never forget is going dancing with Minnie Miñoso. This reward includes dinner with the director in NYC and she will tell you the story behind that event.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Production stills signed by the Director.
    • Listed on the film's official website as a "Supporter".
    • Shout-out across social media.
    • Most importantly you have helped preserve the legacy.
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    Hall of Famer

    Lauren Meyer - The Director will screen the film for you and up to 12 friends in your home or office and stick around to discuss the film after the credits roll. Travel outside of the NYC/NJ general area not included.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits under "Special Thanks"
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Production stills signed by the Director.
    • Listed on the film's official website as a "Supporter".
    • Shout-out across social media.
    • Most importantly you have helped preserve the legacy.
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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Associate Producer

    You will be included in the credits as a Associate Producer. You will also be Lauren's guest to a regular season baseball game in the NYC area. Travel not included. If you live outside the NYC area please email us to discuss first.

    Includes:
    • Private screening in NYC/NJ with the director. Travel Not Incl.
    • Listed on the official film website as a Big League Supporter.
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • 8x10 Autographed photo of an actual Negro League Player.
    • Shout-out across social media.
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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    Producer

    You will receive on screen Producer credit. You probably didn't do this for the swag but we will make sure you get it.

    We are truly humbled by your support.

    Includes:
    • Private screening of the film with the Director.
    • Movie Poster with your name listed as Producer
    • Link to stream the film as soon as it is completed.
    • Access to the *Members Only* digital dugout.
    • Production stills signed by the Director.
    • You'll be listed as a "Golden Glove Supporter" on the website.
    • Shout-out across social media.
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    MLB Player

    Are you a big league player? Maybe Curtis Granderson or Andrew McCutchen? Aaron Judge? Adam Jones?

    Bring "The Other Boys of Summer" to your clubhouse for a private screening. Or host a screening for friends and family in your living room.

    Let's do an event for YOUR foundation. Use "The Other Boys of Summer" to reach out and be a positive impact on the community with YOUR name as the presenter. The history of the men who paved the way is an important story that needs to be shared. Don't leave the trailblazers in the dust. Let's get this film out there where it can build a bridge between the past and present generations.

    Of course you'll get a copy of the film and access to our dugout. We will share photos with you and swap stories. We'll add you to the credits and you can take pride in being part of something positive and inspiring. Batter Up!!!!!!!!!!!

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Funding period

- (31 days)