Coffee is big business in Chiapas, Mexico, where baseball is even more popular than soccer. When a plant disease decimates the industry, five year-old Ricardo Perez is taken across the Rio Grande in search of a better life with his family. Before Ricardo's father abandons him, he instills a love of baseball in his son who manages to combine a little talent and a lot of hard work to secure a low-round draft ticket to the minor leagues.
He is now struggling through his third year in A-ball as a back-up catcher, barely hitting above "The Mendoza Line" (.200). His marriage to Christina is on the rocks. Her patience of spending the summers in a small hot valley town with no friends, caring for their two year-old son, working two part-time jobs while supporting Ricardo's progressively unrealistic dream is wearing thin.
As undocumented immigrants, they are constantly looking over their shoulders. Phil Pichette is Ricardo's manager, disciplinarian, teacher, role model and father figure tasked with indoctrinating young players into the athletic and business realities of the game, while trying to advance his own career and keeping his own marriage on an even keel.
Gino Montoya is the sage, veteran roving instructor; the philosopher king, baseball guru and cranky old man of the organization, always one step away from retirement but unwilling to finally cut the baseball cord and always mindful of the racial and cultural barriers he overcame on his way to major league success. "The Mendoza Line" takes place in the span of a few days after the June draft when a handful of minor league baseball players will be released to make way for the newest prospects.
Starring Juan Carlos Arenas, Cesar Flores, Valentina Lugo, Lon Sierra, Dawayne Jordan, and Laurie Burke; written and directed by Nathan Kaufman; produced by Nathan Kaufman and Hal Young.