The Battered Bastards of Baseball

It seems impossible today. But from 1973-1977, before corporate control of America became nearly absolute, the Portland Mavericks, a Class A minor league baseball franchise, played independently, without any Major League Baseball affiliation. Competing against future Yankees and Dodgers (and the giant organizations that bankroll them), the Mavs improbably ruled the competitive Pacific League, fielding an adult roster of Bad News Bears assembled with the aid of an open try-out. Their owner-leader was the actor Bing Russell, a man for whom the description “larger-than-life” is only a little hyperbolic. The sensational documentary “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” tells his story. Whether or not you like baseball, Hollywood, or Don Quixote, Bing and his Bastards will amaze, delight and inspire.

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