Orlando was host to the first racially-integrated Little League baseball game in the South in 1955.
The all-black Pensacola Jaycees played against the all-white Orlando Kiwanis at Lake Lorna Doone roughly 63 years ago. Up until that point, white youth baseball teams had refused to play any African-American teams, and at the time it was all anyone could talk about.
Locally-grown film company, Strong Films (Website), known for their touching shorts and commercials which we’ve written about previously HERE and HERE, based their first feature-length documentary on the event and unveiled it this week at the Florida Film Festival to sold-out audiences.
Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story interviews the surviving team members who played in the history-making game in a touching tribute that also features big names from the Civil Rights movement and professional baseball like Andrew Young, Hank Aaron, and Cal Ripken, Jr.
More public screenings are currently being scheduled and we will share them in our calendar section as soon as they have been announced.
Editor’s Note: The players were recently honored at a ceremony this past Tuesday at Lake Lorna Doone, hosted by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Read Orlando Sentinel’s coverage of the event HERE.