Directed by William Canning, Donald Brittain • Documentary • 1974 • 56 minutes
Spring 1972. The Chicago Cubs are poised to win the National League's Pennant race, lead by their star pitcher, a Black Canadian named Ferguson Jenkins, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Out of all the major league players in the history of the game, only a handful had come from Canada, and none had risen as high as the "golden" right-hander from Chatham, Ontario. The first Cubs pitcher to win the Cy Young award, Jenkins had tied a team record by winning 20 or more games, six seasons in a row. He stands poised on the threshold of greatness as he enters a season that will challenge the limits of his astonishing talents. Follow Jenkins and the Cubs through the trials and frustrations of the 1972-73 seasons, from the hope and innocence of spring training, to the dog days of an August slump. The camera gets up close to the skirmishes at home plate, and records the intimate chatter on the mound, in the dugout, and in the locker room. King of the Hill offers a view of baseball as seen from the inside. This must-have video for all serious baseball fans captures the human side of the game. It provides a glimpse into the rewards and pressures of sports stardom, in an affectionate testament to the sacred traditions and the easy cameraderie of the quintessential summer sport.