By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Aug 03, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Documentary filmmaker Mark Siegrist may have found some gems among the baseball diamonds in Milwaukee, but his "Milwaukee’s Diamonds in the Rough" digs into the motivation of why two leagues have been serving the city's neighborhoods.

The Beckum – Stapleton Little League was founded in 1965, while the Felix Mantilla Little League dates back to 1973. In 2015, we see that strong tradition teaching children some important life lessons through the national pastime.

The documentary will air on Thursday at 7 p.m. on MPTV 10 and 36.2 Milwaukee Public Television.

Felix Mantilla was a member of the 1957 champion Milwaukee Braves, while James Beckum played in the 1950s for the East St. Louis Giants of the historic Negro Leagues. Since that time, the baseball veterans have endeared themselves to the community through their social outreach and through their nurturing programs that carry their names.

"It’s more than a game. It’s a lesson for life … played out on the fields of two iconic youth baseball programs in Milwaukee," Milwaukee Public Television reported about the core of the story in the documentary.

During the doc, Siegrist interviews Mantilla and Beckum about what they remember when playing the game while growing up and the lessons learned back then that stayed with them into the pros, as well as their adulthood. Siegrist also catches up with the young athletes preparing for the season indoors, waiting for the warm summer days they get to play in now. Many of the thousands of urban kids that have worn the uniforms see the participation as a rite of passage. Many of them live in some of the more challenging neighborhoods of the city, according to MPTV.

These diamonds may be in the rough parts of the community, but the parents, coaches and players that go through the baseball programs all share a common journey of learning the value of self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, respect and education.

"Throughout the 30-minute presentation Siegrist profiles the baseball culture of the leagues inspired by two hometown favorites," the statement from MPTV read.

And in that telling of the story, we see the impact of two programs and the positive effects every time a child steps up to the plate.

DEBATE: WISN-TV Ch. 12 is planning to air and stream on a debate among GOP presidential hopefuls starting a 6 p.m. tonight.

The forum, produced and hosted by New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper and C-SPAN, is being broadcast by a sister station owned by parent company Hearst Television Inc.

The two-hour event is taking place at the Dana Center at St. Anselm College in Goffstown. The livestream of the forum will online at 6 p.m., and broadcast over the air at 7 p.m. on WISN’s sub-channel MOVIES!

A repeat broadcast will air on WISN-TV Ch. 12 at 10:30 p.m., half-way through its normal full-hour local newscast.

"This is an important opportunity for our viewers to see this first event featuring most of the 2016 GOP candidates together answering questions in a journalistic framework," Jan Wade, president and GM, said in a statement. "We know Wisconsin viewers have a special interest in how Governor Scott Walker will fare in the crowded GOP race. To be able to provide an early look at his national platform and those of his opponents is part of our mission to lead the way with important local coverage."

The 14 candidates that are scheduled to appear are: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.