July 25, 2016

It took three showings last week to present Mark Honer’s “Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball” to interested residents of The Carlisle Naples. A few friends of residents and even some strangers came in to see the documentary, too. All came out of the theater with smiles and praise for the film, which seems to have hit a lot of nostalgia buttons.

One man said he enjoyed it because it presented a bigger picture around his own baseball experiences. And now, he said, in his old age, he is playing senior softball. “I can’t give it up,” he added with a big grin. A woman bemoaned the fact that her dead father could not see this film because he loved playing baseball so much. Another woman gave an entirely different view: “My family was not into baseball, so I missed all this while growing up. The film helped me understand why so many people enjoy it.”

Many viewers complimented the producer for his skill and knowledge in preparing “Town Teams.” Mark Honer not only performed the basic research, he also wrote and directed the film. This is a professionally made film, with voiceover, reimagined scenes from the past, and appropriate music. It is also well researched and uses its sources skillfully, including the use of live interviews. I am proud to be associated with it by having the filmmaker include parts of an interview with me.

The main historical impact of the film is in showing how baseball affected American towns after the Civil War, speeding their growth because of the joy and pleasure the game gave to both participants and fans.

A story that appeared in the local Naples Daily News about the film garnered more requests to see “Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball,” so I expect to present it in Naples at least twice more this fall, again to a local baseball group in January 2017, and as part of a SABR committee’s presentation in Cooperstown in the spring.

Those who want to purchase the film for their own collection can phone Mark at his company, DHTV, at 913-262-7800, or email him at markh@dhtvdigital.com. Interested fans can learn more about this project on Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and LinkedIn.

And here’s the teaser: with the presentation of this film, we haven’t heard the last of Mark Honer.