Daffodils are blooming, the days are lengthening, sporting goods stores are stocking up on jerseys, bats and gloves – yes, baseball is in the air. From T-ball beginners to summer collegiate stunners, dreams of home runs and dramatic outs are mere weeks from manifesting.
Except for one team: The Humboldt Steelheads.
Ben Horton wants to tell you the Steelheads' tale in his new documentary, Catch & Release: The Story of the 2011 Humboldt Steelheads
, a film aiming "to celebrate this overlooked group of misfits and the game they love."
From the Catch & Release Facebook page
Some of you may be aware of who the Humboldt Steelheads are, and many of you may not. Some of you also may be aware that after the 2011 season it was announced that the Steelheads program was being put on an indefinite hiatus. Beyond that, many are unaware that I followed the 2011 Steelheads with a camera and documented their season. The purpose of this film is to be a celebration of a wacky group of guys who – by my estimation – play the game for the purest possible reason: FUN. The film does not intend to portray anybody through a rose colored lens. This is not a family film; it is an honest depiction of what it is like to spend an entire summer with a team of ballplayers ranging in age from 19 to 31. It was a pleasure to be around such a fun, colorful group of characters. This team reminded me of why I fell in love with baseball in the first place, and I hope through this film I can pass that on to you.
Horton throws the gauntlet down more specifically near the end of his description, referring to the Steelheads as, "constantly overshadowed by their big brother and chief rival" – that would be the beloved Humboldt Crabs – and calling them, "Humboldt County's true local baseball team."
Where can you watch this sure-to-be entertaining story? Why, on Vimeo! Yes, Catch & Release
was released over the weekend – catch all five parts via here
Warm up with a teaser below – and please note, as quoted above, this film contains colorful language, cheerful imbibing and other behavior that may offend some. Are the Steelhead players role models? Or just a "crazy group of misfits and underdogs"? In any case, Horton hopes, through his documentary, to remind us what love of the game truly means.