The Battered Bastards of Baseball is one of baseball's last great, unheralded true stories. In 1973, Hollywood veteran Bing Russell (best known for playing Deputy Clem on "Bonanza") created...
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The Battered Bastards of Baseball is one of baseball's last great, unheralded true stories. In 1973, Hollywood veteran Bing Russell (best known for playing Deputy Clem on "Bonanza") created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the legendary Portland Mavericks. Bing operated without a Major League affiliation while playing in a city that was considered a wasteland for professional baseball. Tryouts for the Mavericks, which were open to the public, were filled with hopefuls who arrived in droves from every state in America, many of whom had been rejected by organized baseball. Skeptics agreed it would never work. But Bing's Mavericks generated unprecedented success: they shattered attendance records, signed Kurt Russell - Bing's son - as a player and team Vice President, produced the most successful batboy in baseball (filmmaker Todd Field), re-launched the controversial career of Jim Bouton, hired the first female general manager in Baseball, and inspired one of ... Written by
When I think about the Mavericks, I don't really think much about baseball. I think about those guys. I think about those characters, and the fact that they enjoyed themselves more than I'd ever seen grown men enjoy themselves. I remember thinking I hope I feel that way when I grow up. And that was as profound a guiding light as I would ever get.
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Perfect documentary of the 1970s. A delightful, educational watch.
The deliberate pace of this movie might not be to the taste of all viewers, but I found it riveting. It is a fascinating chapter of the history of Portland, Oregon (in fact the history of the entire Northwest) that has been brought back to life in an unforgettable way.
The mix of current interviews of actual participants, contemporary interviews, news reels clips and professional editing cement the documentation. Truly Oscar worthy.
You don't have to even LIKE baseball to sink yourself into this story. It will carry you. However, if you like the sport, if you have ever watched "Bonanza", ever heard of Lefty Gomez or know who Snake Plisskin is, you're in for a treat.
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