It was the biggest game in Czech baseball history. The small nation of under 11 million people, where some 7,000 people play baseball, always punched above its weight.
Despite a roster featuring all homegrown players -- most of whom played in the local Czech Extraliga, with each holding day jobs away from the field -- the Czech Republic had fallen one game shy of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. And now, at the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Regensburg, Germany, this past September, the Czech Republic was one win away from qualifying for its first World Baseball Classic tournament.
All they had to do was beat Spain -- a team that had previously beaten the CR, 21-7, in the first game at Regensburg. All they had to do was defeat a country loaded with former Major Leaguers and Reds No. 2 prospect, shortstop Noelvi Marte, atop the lineup. All the Czech Republic had to do was make history.
Sounds easy, right?
From director Martin Claus, cinematographer Tomáš Icík, and the Czech Baseball Association comes the underdog story of all underdog stories, with neurologists, firefighters, schoolteachers and more all coming together to make baseball history.
Check out the documentary, "Small Country, Big Dreams," below (available with English and Spanish subtitles), and then get ready to tune in when the World Baseball Classic tournament begins in March. Who knows -- maybe the underdog story has a few more chapters left to tell.