Tired of the slave-like treatment of his team's owner, charismatic star Negro League pitcher Bingo Long takes to the road with his band of barnstormers through the small towns of the Midwest in the 1930's.
Tired of being treated like a slave by team owner Sallison Potter (Ted Ross), charismatic star pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) steals a bunch of Negro League players away from their teams, including catcher/slugger Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) and Charlie Snow (Richard Pryor), a player forever scheming to break into the segregated Major League Baseball of the 1930s by masquerading as first a Cuban ("Carlos Nevada"), then a Native American ("Chief Takahoma"). They take to the road, barnstorming through small Midwestern towns, playing the local teams to make ends meet. One of the opposing players, 'Esquire' Joe Calloway (Stan Shaw), is so good that they recruit him. Bingo's team becomes so outlandishly entertaining and successful, it begins to cut into the attendance of the established Negro League teams. Finally, Bingo's nemesis Potter is forced to propose a winner-take-all game: if Bingo's team can beat a bunch of all-stars, it can join the league, but if it loses, the players will return to their old teams. Potter has two of his goons kidnap Leon prior to the game as insurance, but he escapes and is key to his side's victory. As it turns out, there is a major league scout in the audience. After the game, he offers Esquire Joe the chance to break the color barrier; with Bingo's blessing, he accepts. Leon glumly foresees the decline of the Negro League as more players follow Esquire Joe's lead, but Bingo, ever the optimist, cheers him up by describing the wild promotional stunts he intends to stage to bring in the paying customers.
- In hopes of competing in the Negro National League, an African-American baseball star puts together his own highly theatrical team. (Josiah Howard, "Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide.")