MLB celebrates Black History Month with ‘Undeniable’ animated shorts.

MLB celebrates Black History Month with ‘Undeniable’ animated shorts.

This Black History Month, Invisible Collective founder Justin Polk and Invisible Director Carl Jones are celebrating the launch of their three-part original series for Major League Baseball (MLB): Undeniable: Stories of the Negro Leagues. This animated retelling of the history and legacy of the Negro Leagues illuminates the League’s impact on the game of baseball, including its most legendary female players, its historic ballplayers, and its international influence.

The series will appear on YouTube Kids and Official MLB YouTube page. It will also be available at and the MLB app.

Undeniable: Jackie and Monte

undeniable is MLB’s first animated series and a key initiative among the plans of the organization, as well as its major and minor league clubs, to celebrate Black History Month. Creative and live-action production of the series was headed by Polk, a passionate baseball fan. Polk partnered with Jones (The Boondocks, Black Dynamite) and their animation studio Martian Blueberry to create a comic book-inspired spotlight on these important stories.

“There was no one else for the job,” Polk said. “Carl is already part of the Invisible family, and as the owner of one of the only black animation studios in the industry, he helped Invisible tell these diverse stories from a place of authenticity.”

The concept was sparked in 2020, when MLB decided it would begin officially treating the approximately 3,400 players in the Negro Leagues, which operated between 1920 and 1948, as Major Leaguers, making their statistics and records form part of MLB history. “After I found out, I contacted Major League Baseball to ask if they would do a celebratory campaign,” Polk said.

Undeniable - Women of the black stockings
Undeniable: Women of the Black Leagues

MLB asked Polk to pitch them ideas, which resulted in three animated shorts covering storied legends Jackie Robinson and Monte Irvin, female pioneers in the league like Toni Stone, and the league’s international impact. Polk originally discovered these stories Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and a passionate baseball historian who often told these stories to museum patrons. Now, Kendrick continues to spread the word as a narrator of animated shorts.

Jones and his Martian Blueberry team produced undeniableHand-drawn 2D animation over 12 weeks, working in partnership with MLB to get every detail exactly and historically correct, from the appropriate shade of blue on the Indianapolis Clowns’ uniforms to the cultural accuracy of the physical features of the player .

Undeniable: Jackie and Monte
Undeniable – Jackie Robinson and Monte Irvin

“These are black and brown legends who faced a lot of adversity and still found a way to overcome and become the icons that they are. We face similar obstacles to black creatives in Hollywood, where there a lack of diversity across the board,” Jones said. “Invisible and Martian Blueberry are aligned with our mission statements, and as black-owned businesses, we’re specifically focused on telling our stories in an authentic way. Which requires paying close attention to our cultural nuances: how we talk, we walk, we dress and we move.”

Polk noted, “This project was important to me in many ways: as a baseball fan, as a supporter of the history of the Negro Leagues, and as a Black man. I am very proud that Major League Baseball and The Black League Museum trusts Invisible to share these remarkable stories.”

All three undeniable The short films (five minutes each) premiere during Black History Month, starting today:

  • February 1 (National Day of Girls and Women in Sport) Women of the Black Leagues. With Toni Stone, Connie Morgan and Mamie “Peanut” Johnson
  • February 8 – International impact
  • February 15 Jackie Robinson and Monte Irvin

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