7 user 4 critic

Finding Buck McHenry (2000)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family, Sport | TV Movie 16 April 2000
When an 11 year old boy (Michael Schiffman) gets cut from his Little League baseball team, he sets out to form his own team. He persuades a school custodian (Ossie Davis) to be the coach. ... See full summary »


Charles Burnett


Alfred Slote (novel), Alfred Slote (teleplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ossie Davis ... Buck McHenry
Ruby Dee ... Mrs. Henry
Ernie Banks Ernie Banks ... Ollie Johnson
Michael Schiffman Michael Schiffman ... Jason Ross
Duane McLaughlin ... Aaron Henry
Megan Bowes Megan Bowes ... Kim Axelrod (as Megan Bower)
Kevin Jubinville ... Chuck Axelrod
Michael Rhoades Michael Rhoades ... Jim Davis
Karl Pruner Karl Pruner ... Mr. Ross
Catherine Blythe Catherine Blythe ... Mrs. Ross
Don Dickinson Don Dickinson ... Coack Barker
Marcello Meleca Marcello Meleca ... Tug
James Millington ... Brad (as Jim Millington)
Anthony Nicholas Antonacci Anthony Nicholas Antonacci ... Joey Kovich (as Anthony Antonacci)
J.J. Gallo J.J. Gallo ... Carl Diaz


When an 11 year old boy (Michael Schiffman) gets cut from his Little League baseball team, he sets out to form his own team. He persuades a school custodian (Ossie Davis) to be the coach. As the new coach starts working with the team, his knowledge leads the boy to suspect that the man is really an ex-Negro League legend who disappeared from sight years ago. The kid sets out to find out the truth about the man's background. Ossie Davis' real-life wife also appears in the film as his wife. Former Chicago Cubs' star, Ernie Banks, also appears as a Negro league star. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Sport


Not Rated



Canada | USA



Release Date:

16 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buck McHenry nyomában See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lin Oliver Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The name of Buck McHenry is a combined tribute to three Negro League greats: Buck O'Neil (1911-2006; Played for Kansas City Monarchs. After his playing days, he worked as a scout, and became the first African American coach in Major League Baseball. In his later years he became a popular and renowned speaker and interview subject, helping to renew widespread interest in the Negro leagues, and played a major role in establishing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO.), Walter "Buck" Leonard (1907-1997; Homestead Grays first baseman. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.), and Henry McHenry (1910-1981; was a right-handed pitcher and outfielder in Negro league baseball from 1930 to 1951, playing for the Kansas City Monarchs, New York Harlem Stars, Newark Browns, Pennsylvania Red Caps of New York, New York Black Yankees, Philadelphia Stars and Indianapolis Clowns.) See more »

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User Reviews

Afternoon Special
9 January 2001 | by MinofedSee all my reviews

`Finding Buck McHenry' is a strange film. It has all of the trappings of a low-budget ABC `Afternoon Special.' Its performances are wildly uneven. Ossie Davis gives a memorable performance as Mac Henry, the school custodian whom young Jason Ross (played by Michael Schiffman) is convinced is the fictional former Negro League baseball legend Buck McHenry. But Schiffman and the most of the rest of the cast give poor performances. Ruby Dee, Davis' real life wife, plays his movie mate, and has little to do. All of this is a bit surprising since Charles Burnett, who helmed the critically acclaimed `To Sleep with Anger," directed the film

But the movie does an excellent job of conveying the racism faced by the Negro League players, and doesn't reveal until the end whether Henry is McHenry.

Three problems with the plot: McHenry supposedly had three great seasons in the Negro League before disappearing after a brush with the law, and yet was named to its hall of fame. Hall of famers in almost any sport must have a much longer track record than that. Secondly, if Henry is McHenry, he supposedly had been in hiding for 50 years after his brush with the law, even though the movie acknowledges that his `crime' would have long ago been forgotten. Finally, the film wants us to believe that a baseball fanatic like Jason would never have heard of the Negro League, which I find unlikely.

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