Extra Innings is a documentary about the life story of a remarkable man with a physical disability.
It reveals a lifetime of accomplishment and self-actualization as Linn realizes his potential. It presents a multitude of his life’s challenges mostly from a first person perspective, but it also includes the perspectives of many supportive family members who knew him well. Linn’s journey includes environmental accessibility obstacles, required adaptations, advocating inclusion, and a myriad of associated feelings.
Community barriers experienced by the physically disabled are well described as not only physical (building accessibility, curb cuts etc.), but social and psychological. The viewer learns the necessity of courage, self-confidence, pride, and dignity, which are required to meet such obstacles.
The documentary is effective in conveying Linn’s philosophy of life, as well as the values which guided his life. He inspires and motivates persons with disabilities to “be as independent as you can” and “to not let anybody tell you cannot do it.” Viewers are reminded that “where there is a will, there is a way;” they are told that Linn who, when he was not just “one of the guys keeping score” or the Baseball Manager, once crawled his way to first base.
Linn aimed to be as “normal as possible;” accepting life’s challenges helped him to exceed his actual and other’s perceived limitations, which were often the result of prejudice. Inspired by Linn’s active involvement in so many roles and activities, such as his work with MIHI (Many Individuals Helping Individuals) and his work on City Council, this documentary encourages the viewer to advocate for persons with disabilities so as to enable them to “live every day to the fullest and contribute wherever they can.”
The fact that innovative ideas can come from the involvement of person’s with disabilities, including those who are institutionalized, is demonstrated by Linn’s development of a computer lab for his institutionalized peers in a health care facility. Through the description of his struggles within the health care system, Linn shows that you oftentimes need to “change a mindset” when dealing with low expectations. Linn’s achievements and the impact that he had on the lives of others gave him fulfillment, especially when he helped others solve problems, enabled accommodations, and changed attitudes within the health care industry.
Extra Innings is a truly inspirational documentary.