Netflix has released the trailer for the upcoming documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball. I got to see this movie earlier this year at Sundance, and it was interesting, colorful, and incredibly entertaining! I was not familiar with this slice of baseball history until I watched the movie.
The story centers on Bing Russell (Kurt Russell's dad), who in 1973 created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the Portland Mavericks. He brought in misfits who had been rejected by the Major League Baseball system and created a very successful, wild, and fun team that the city of Portland loved.
Fast and Furious franchise director Justin Lin has already picked up the rights to the doc and is developing a film based on the story. Here's a full synopsis for the doc:
Chapman and Maclain Way’s energetic telling of one of baseball’s great, unheralded stories is as much about independent spirit as it is about the game. When Portland, Oregon, lost its longtime minor-league affiliate, Bing Russell—who briefly played ball professionally before enjoying a successful Hollywood acting career—bought the territory and formed a single-A team to operate outside the confines of major-league baseball. When they took the field in 1973, the Mavericks—the only independent team in America—started with two strikes against them. What did Deputy Clem from Bonanza know about baseball? Or Portland, for that matter? The only thing uniting his players, recruited at open tryouts, was that no other team wanted them. Skeptics agreed that it could never work. But Bing understood a ballplayer’s dreams, and he understood an audience. His quirky, unkempt castoffs won games, and they won fans, shattering minor-league attendance records. Their spirit was contagious, and during their short reign, the Mavericks—a restaurant owner turned manager, left-handed catcher, and blackballed pitcher among them—brought independence back to baseball and embodied what it was all about: the love of the game.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball will be released on Netflix on July 11th, and I strongly suggest that you check it out. Even if you're not a fan of baseball there's a good chance that you'll enjoy the documentary.