The Battered Bastards Of Baseball

Directed By: Chapman Way and Maclain Way

A surprisingly interesting Netflix documentary about the Portland Mavericks, and their owner Bing Russell. The film starts out chronicling Russell’s childhood, where he grew up watching the Yankees in their summer training, and tried to parlay that into his own professional career. After being injured, he tried his hand at acting, and became most well known for his role on Bonanza. He’s also Kurt Russell’s father.

In the early 70’s, Russell formed a minor league professional baseball team in Portland, called the Mavericks, and they caused quite a ruckus in baseball history. They were the only independently owned minor league team at the time. Todd Field (In The Bedroom) was a batboy for them.

The film chronicles both the rise and fall of the Mavericks, and Bing Russell.  Kudos to Netflix for wanting to tell this story. Bing Russell was a good man, and fought a good fight. I was completely unaware of this story before, and I’m glad I know more about it.

FINAL GRADE: A-

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