In his native Lenoir, North Carolina, Will Wallace, Jr. is a 1943 baseball star. It is said that his skills surpassed his father’s legendary baseball feats.
The mother of his high school sweetheart, Dena, disapproves of their romance and declares Will, a mere baseball player and lumberjack, to be beneath their social status. Dena, tenacious and a member of the second ever coed class at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Johnson C. Smith University, loves Will and in defiance, she rejects an educated suitor suggested by her mother.
Will joined the fight against America’s apartheid in baseball by accepting an invitation to play on an all-white team that was desperate to win and in need of his talents. Soon, the Ku Klux Klan teaches Will and the community baseball team a lesson in the status quo and attacks Will’s home. In the ensuing battle, Will suffers catastrophic losses.
Will’s father’s friend, a former Atlanta Crackers baseball player, devises for Will a clever escape from Klan pursuit and hides him in the U.S. Army. In her letters, Dena urges her baseball playing soldier to follow the writings of Langston Hughes, whose newspaper columns and books inspire Will to stand up for his dignity and fight for the right to fight Hitler’s war machine.
Will’s 366th Infantry Regiment’s first mission in Italy is keeping the pilots and planes of the 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) safe from enemy saboteurs while on the ground between aerial sorties. When Will fulfills his wish to fight against the Germans, he finds himself in intense combat that leaves him with flagging hope he will live to see Dena again.