The Lancaster JetHawks, through the lense of two spectacular young documentarians

The Lancaster JetHawks ended their season Monday with an 11-4 loss to Rancho Cucamonga. It capped a 54-86 record — the worst in the 15-year history of the franchise.

Before turning the page, focus on a rather mesmerizing nine-minute mini-documentary on the Houston Astros’ single-A team by filmmaker Alex Jablonski and cinematographer Michael Totten.

As they explain on their site (linked here), the two are involved in a project called “Sparrow Songs,” where they create and show one doc a month, each month, for a full year.

All the docs are on their website,

JetHawks play-by-play man Jeff Lasky is the first, and last, person you hear talking in this one, setting and carrying the storyline of how everyone involved with the team — including him — is trying to get to the big leagues, and how they endure by keep grinding it out.

Watch Episode 10, filmed in July and released last month (which was also publicized on the website):

Sparrow Songs – Episode 10 – The Farm from Sparrow Songs on Vimeo.

In a blog that goes with the video (linked here), Jablonski adds:

“Listening to these guys, watching the way they played the game it reminded me that we do this because – to put it simply – it’s fun. Making and exhibiting these films is a source of joy. Sometimes the pressure, the praise and the desire to make something concrete out of the opportunities this project has afforded us obscures that. It was nice to be conscious of just how much fun this project is, to be aware of how much I’ve learned not only about filmmaking but also about the world itself. I think that line of thinking brought me to an understanding similar to what the players, coaches and broadcasters in minor league baseball all have: the work is the reward, desire and ambition are part of that, but the work is the reward.

“I love baseball and the chance to sit in a professional dugout for two games was a privilege. It offered an entirely different perspective. In the dugout, no one talks stats, you can’t hear the PA system or the incessant music pumped through it and the game seems much simpler, more pure – there’s the ball and the batter and the subtle drifts of the fielders and there’s a chance to start at home and a desire to make your way along the base paths and then return.”

Lasky, by the way, has already left town and started calling games again for Montana State football. His grind has no off season.

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