The Battered Bastards of Baseball


Documentary / Sport

IMDb Rating 8.0


Downloaded 177 times
12/2/2019 6:48:13 AM

80 min
P/S 19 / 44

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 8

This film is a very compelling documentary about the little guy tweaking the nose of baseball and getting away with it...kind of. It&#39;s about Bing Russell (father of Kurt Russell) and his ownership of the minor league ball club, the Portland Mavericks. But, unlike most other teams, his team was not affiliated with a major league team but was an independent that scraped together players rejected by other teams. And, what shocked the league was that the team was SUPER-successful and set attendance records...and won a lot of games. But, this rag-tag group of castoffs also irritated the powers that be because they had attitude and didn&#39;t play the game exactly like the rest. What&#39;s next? See the film.<br/><br/>Aside from some music that was too repetitive, the film was amazingly well made--especially since it was made for Netflix. You just don&#39;t expect this sort of thing being made for this DVD service!! But, it&#39;s well done and will be of interest to everyone--even those who couldn&#39;t care less about sports. Worth seeing.

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Reviewed by bbrown8870 9

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.<br/><br/>The mix of current interviews of actual participants, contemporary interviews, news reels clips and professional editing cement the documentation. Truly Oscar worthy.<br/><br/>You don&#39;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 &quot;Bonanza&quot;, ever heard of Lefty Gomez or know who Snake Plisskin is, you&#39;re in for a treat.

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Reviewed by ferguson-6 8

Greetings again from the darkness. What an excellent documentary on yet another in the seemingly endless string of baseball stories that are both fascinating and true. Don&#39;t make the error of assuming one must be a baseball fan to enjoy this ... it works just as well as a story of the little guy sticking it to the man (the man in this case is the court-protected giant known as Professional Baseball.<br/><br/>An original production of Netflix, it&#39;s directed by Chapman and Maclain Way, brothers and grandsons of Bing Russell. You may or may not be familiar with Bing. He is the father of actor Kurt Russell, a well known character actor (a recurring role as Deputy Clem in &quot;Bonanza&quot;), and the driving force behind the Portland Mavericks. The Mavericks were an Independent Professional Baseball team from 1973 to 1977, and this is their story.<br/><br/>As a kid, Bing hung around St Petersberg, where the New York Yankees held spring training. He ended up friends with Lefty Gomez, and hung around many Yankee greats. Bing had a true passion for baseball. He loved the game, the players, and the way of life. He even used to test Kurt on the intricacies of the game, and later created some very in-depth teaching videos.<br/><br/>Bing&#39;s real impact on the great game came from his stint as creative force and owner of the Mavericks. The film does a terrific job with interviews, archival footage and other recollections of Bing and the rag-tag group of players that disrupted the industry that does not like to be messed with.<br/><br/>Not only was the team successful on the field, but they also set attendance records and inspired true fan loyalty. They were the last independent league allowed to play in the minor leagues, and their legacy continued even after the team was shut down: two of the pitchers invented Big League Chew, one pitcher was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, the team hired the first female GM in professional ball, and they even had a left-handed catcher. Their bat boy (Todd Field) went on to become an actor and Oscar nominated director and writer (In The Bedroom). &quot;Ball Four&quot; author Jim Bouton made his comeback with the Mavericks, which led to his making it back to the big leagues, and even Kurt Russell spent some time playing during the Mavericks&#39; first year.<br/><br/>It&#39;s a shame this film didn&#39;t make the festival rounds, as it would no doubt have been well received. I expect every baseball lover will get a kick out of this, and I certainly hope others give it chance. Bing Russell&#39;s vision and passion are to be admired and respected, regardless of the industry. He was a &quot;can do&quot; guy who followed his bliss and made a difference.

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