The Fall League!
Taller Trees Productions Announces Release of New Documentary: The Fall League
A Movie About Seniors, Softball and Life.
Following the regular 2013 season of the Cuny-Zink America n League in Dayton, Ohio, 112 slow-pitch softball players (all over age 63) played for six more weeks. If they were lucky, they made the playoffs. Luckier still, some played in the championship game. The winners claimed bragging rights into the next season, but … truth be told, everybody won… this is The Fall League.
This heart-warming film captures the vision of two men, George Cuny and Jim Zink. Both grew up in the Sixties playing tournament softball, but their participation and love of the game seemingly had to end after “aging out” when they turned 50 years old. With no quit in them, and a passion to continue playing, almost by accident they started a 50-and-over league and established the first slow-pitch league for seniors in the Dayton region.
Formed in 1998, it was initially comprised of six teams. Over the next several years their new league would experience tremendous growth to include eight 50-and-over recreational leagues, each with four to eight teams. Their start also spawned the Dayton Legends Softball Club—a group of six traveling tournament teams that compete in regional and national tournaments. Cuny and Zink never imagined this kind of success.
While The Fall League tells the story of a specific league, in a specific time and place, it goes much further. It explores the impact of the sport of slow-pitch softball in regard to family relationships, the bonding and camaraderie between players, and topics of physical and mental health that are necessary considerations for active seniors. It discusses accommodations that are made in the rules for senior leagues, and explores the development of equipment that allows players of all ages to improve and expand their game – and allows senior players to extend their playing careers. It highlights the military veterans in the league, and explores the relationship between team sports and military experience.
Above all, this is a movie about “a bunch of guys that like each other a lot, love to play the game,” and redefine what it means to be a “senior.” For these players, injuries, medical conditions, and replacement of body parts just means scheduling treatments, surgeries and rehab for the off-season. Expanding the scope of the film, The Fall League skillfully blends the commentary of experts in their respective fields. Dr. Leon Speroff is the author of two books on senior slow-pitch, a player himself, and an advocate of the many benefits of slow-pitch for seniors. Dr. Kathy Platoni, a retired Army psychologist and veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, supports the potential value of slow-pitch and other team sports in treating PTSD. Dennis Turner, a Hall of Fame softball player and the Slow-Pitch Manager for Louisville Slugger, discusses the growth of senior slow-pitch and the impact of bat technology in extending playing careers.
The players come from all walks of life and all levels of athletic achievement, from scholarship athletes and those already inducted into the Hall of Fame, to those just getting started … and those starting over. They all recognize that getting a good hit or a making good play at this stage in their lives is truly something special.
Senior players share the toughness and strength necessary to overcome all manner of physical – and emotional – challenges. Every single one has a story to tell. They love the game itself, and everything about it. They have no quit – the oldest player in the league is 89 – and they’re not done playing yet. And reaching age 70 just means you might have to “age up” to the next league.
Tim Gebard, Producer, with Jennifer Taylor, Director, and Co-Producer Dean Vincent will release the DVD and Blu Ray of the film through their website December 2014. The Original Music Soundtrack, written and performed by Tim Gebard, will also be offered through The Fall League website. This is the first full-length documentary film for Taller Trees Productions, a Dayton, OH production company.