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Ballplayer: Pelotero (2012)

John Leguizamo , Miguel Angel Sano , Ross Finkel , Trevor Martin  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Leguizamo, Miguel Angel Sano, Jean Carlos Batista
  • Directors: Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, Jonathan Paley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2012
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008BKQZN2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,783 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This compelling documentary narrated by John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!, Ice Age, Carlito's Way) is a gritty and rare look inside Major League Baseball's (MLB) recruitment of top talent in the Dominican Republic. Miguel Angel Sano and Jean Carlos Batista are among 100,000 teenagers vying for a handful of coveted contracts with MLB teams. As they turn 16 years old and become eligible to sign, each must navigate the fiercely competitive and frequently corrupt system if they are to lift their families out of poverty and achieve their dream: to one day play in the Major Leagues. Filmmakers Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin and Jon Paley take you inside this never before seen world for an up close and personal look at the cost of the American dream.

In English and Spanish with English Subtitles


Even the non-fan can appreciate! The good, bad, and ugly of big league baseball in the Dominican Republic. --Mike Silva, NY Baseball Digest

An engrossing expose! --Ronnie Scheib, Variety

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I admit that I'm not a huge baseball fan but this 79-minute 2011 documentary kept me glued to my TV screen with anticipation as to how the story (actually two stories) would end. If you are a fan of professional baseball, this is a "must-see" film.

There are two facts that you will learn quickly as the film begins: 1) 205 of all major league baseball, players come from the Dominican Republic and 2) July 2nd is the first day that MLB teams can draft a player (who must be at least 16 years old). The film follows two young men as they (and their trainers and agents - who get as much as 35% of the contract fee if the player is signed but NOTHING if no contract is completed) try to negotiate multi-million dollar contracts to get them out of the poverty they live in in the DR. Players from the DR began playing in US MLB in the 1960s but by the 1980s, they were getting $million contracts. Now it's, not about the game, but about "show me the money".

My fellow Amazon reviewer, K. Harris, has provided many details, so I won't re-hash those, but add some additional info I think you might find helpful.

The film is narrated in English by actor John Leguizamo and there are English subtitles for when the participants speak in Spanish, as well as many times they are speaking in English. The subtitles, while in white text, are easy to read. The soundtrack. Composed of both original music and DR pop songs, is great (I wonder if there is a soundtrack CD) and moves the film along quickly.

The DVD has no bonus features other than the Original Trailer and a photo gallery.

You'll look at the corporate world of Major League Baseball in a whole new light (and not a pleasant one, I might add) after watching this film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Having seen numerous baseball documentaries (a couple even about this very specific narrative scope), I thought it was improbable that "Ballplayer: Pelotero" would offer anything new to the discussion. The Dominican Republic supplies so many terrific players to the Major League American baseball scene, it's almost impossible not to be fascinated by a culture that lives for the game as one of its primary economic opportunities. As a statistical phenomenon and anomaly (this film suggests that the tiny country supplies 20% of contemporary players), it is a topic that has been studied, discussed, and analyzed in countless other variations. Having seen a few, I didn't expect "Ballplayer: Pelotero" to be essential viewing. But as they say, the subject makes the movie. And the two players who are profiled in this sparse new film (it runs only 77 minutes) provide plenty of unexpected intrigue and scandal.

Narrated by John Leguizamo, the film begins in the months preceding the annual July 2nd draft day for sixteen year old prospects. This is a big day for the country when most of the top players will receive offers, hopefully accompanied by the largest signing bonuses. The story follows two players, in particular, (and their coaches and families) as they are scouted before the big day. One is a solid short stop battling nerves, one is a wunderkind likely to be the star recruit of the season. The course does not run smoothly for either boy, and what unravels is a compelling drama that veers to some very unexpected places. I won't reveal too much, but one of the stories ends up being quite an indictment of MLB and its recruiting practices. A typical sports documentary morphs into a true-life thriller that is both entertaining and disturbing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By JNP515
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Great movie for an 8th grade Spanish class, except there are 2 spots where there are explicit words (bullsh*t & F*ck)...which is why I gave it 4 stars! It would have been perfect had the english subtitles not ruined it!!!! No worries, just covered up the screen for my students. It does a fabulous job of showing a new perspective of MLB scouting and the Dominican Republic. An excellent cultural film, my students ate it up!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This film is a gritty look of behind the scenes and a look on the inside of Major League Baseball and its top quality talent in the Dominican Republic. It describes what the contracts are about, the competition, and corruption. Who will qualify, standards, and what players will actually become a part of Major League and the American Dream. Interesting and thought-provoking throughout. Highly Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ballplayer: Pelotero September 23, 2012
By Karenin
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Great documentary about the Baseball industry and the training these children received. It really captures the pressure this country is under to produce great players and the importance of Baseball for many of these families.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight into DR baseball September 21, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Very interesting. I had interviewed Sano a couple of years ago when he first signed with the Twins. I write a sports column for two Florida newspapers. Book gave a great insight into the DR baseball world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, whether your a baseball fan or not! September 5, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Sometimes we are on the backend of watching baseball and the players. This gives a good look at players in a very poor country and how much the signings mean not only to them but the families involved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BALLPLAYER PEOLOTERO August 21, 2012
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Tech Problems
Unfortunately, the dvd wouldn't load in my dvd player. Will have to try it on my computer.
Published 1 month ago by Jesse Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars great insight into an "American" pasttime
This doc film is a great insight into the lives of the Dominican republic baseball prospects and the new "American" pasttime. Check it out....Worth watching!
Published 6 months ago by A.J. Ray
4.0 out of 5 stars Gift for my nephews
My nephews love baseball. I thought it would be a good idea to get this video for them. They have enjoyed it.
Published 7 months ago by Andres Vazquez
4.0 out of 5 stars A peek into the lives of ballplayers in The Dominican Republic...
This documentary was interesting and a bit disturbing at the same time. Children whose future rests on their ability to be chosen by a MLB team to play baseball. Read more
Published 7 months ago by LisaC
3.0 out of 5 stars Dominican Republic Ballplayers
Was a sad view of baseball and what happens to kids from this area of the world. Managers and MLB all don't have their best interests at heart and some start as young as 10, sign... Read more
Published 9 months ago by C.V. in Silver Spring
4.0 out of 5 stars Dominican Republic's natural resource
A baseball version of Hoop Dreams narrated by John Leguizamothis is the story of Miguel Angel Sano and Jean Carlos Batista who are 16-year-old (supposedly) on the island of the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by ellison
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing watch!
Anyone who considers themselves a baseball fan deserves to know the true story of how some of baseballs best players struggle to "make it". Read more
Published 12 months ago by BBFAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Documentary
A wonderful documentary showing how Major League Baseball created a baseball player production among the Santo Domingo poor, and the unintended consequences it has had.
Published 13 months ago by Manuel Perez
4.0 out of 5 stars great documentary
Very good insight into how they work drafting players in the Dominican.....The agents and some questionable moves by the scouts....a must see for baseball fans....
Published 14 months ago by Ric pontes
5.0 out of 5 stars Must viewing to understand the environment from where players develop
Players. Agents. Families. Teams. Who can you trust? Download this and show it to your USA youth players. Well open eyes.
Published 14 months ago by Jeff Vervlied
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