The movie Chance is one of the first films that explores the world of select youth baseball, which most college and pro players experienced growing up. It is a true story named after a player I coached personally for more than a decade. When you spend that much time with someone, your hearts become intertwined. Chance was a bright young man with Division I talent and a huge heart. However, he struggled with emotional gyrations – striking out was something that often caused tears. He just hated feeling like he let people down, even though he never did.
Chance took his own life in February of 2012. He was 16.
Our desire is to use our film to positively impact high school students and collegiate student-athletes across America. We visualize having high school students, parents, faculty, coaches and administrators see the film at voluntary showings (sometimes followed by organized curated discussions with dynamic mental health or faith-based facilitators). It would be special if the high school varsity baseball teams were champions for orchestrating these showings in some situations. Youth baseball is the lens through which the film explores themes relating to the greatest life issues faced by high-schoolers, many of which the current adult population never had to deal with:
- The impact of faith in a young person’s life.
- Raising awareness of social media/texting concerns for our youth and correlation with increased mental health issues.
- Teen suicide prevention conversations handled in the most sensitive manner. Youth suicide has risen 45% over the past decade.
- Impact on a young person being “held back” in school.
- Dealing with first love and jealousy.
- Bullying that may not be what it appears to a student.
- Judging classmates based on false information.
- Encouraging school administrators and parents to work closely together on mental health concerns.
- Promoting positive coaching in youth sports.
- Supporting mental health through youth baseball.
- Raising awareness of quality youth baseball by showing some of the best youth (12-year-old) baseball ever seen on screen.
- Promoting positive attitude in youth players in the face of adversity.
The film is touring major league cities over seven months in 2020, and private viewings can also be arranged for high school teams or other groups that may want to do a showing involving students/parents/faculty. This showing could be followed by a curated discussion involving mental health or faith-based facilitators. The film needs champions to join the cause. Well-known actor Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket/Sicario/Stranger Things) plays the coach in the film. A baseball fan himself, Modine previously played the great Honus Wagnerin the 2004 TNT network film The Winning Season. Tanner Buchanan (Designated Survivor/Cobra Kai/The Fosters), Amanda Leighton (This is Us/The Fosters/Powerpuff Girls) and Blake Cooper(The Maze Runner/Measure of a Man) starin teenage roles. Former major leaguers Chris Welsh (long term Cincinnati Reds TV announcer) and well-known pitching coach Tom House appear in the film. The score music is all performed and original, with the lyrics to original songs and vocals by Angela Parrish from La La Land. Genres include Family/Sports/Faith/Drama. The film is family-friendly.
The trailer can be viewed on YouTube
. Michael and his wife Pamela own the Flash Baseball Complex outside of Cincinnati. It is the principal location in the film. Michael can be reached at [email protected]