The Battered Bastards of Baseball - 7 stars out of 10
This Netflix original documentary explores the short history of the Portland Mavericks, the only independent single-A baseball club of the 1970’s. The story is interesting, the conspiracy behind their demise is surprising, but the most fascinating aspect of this film is its connection to movie star Kurt Russell. Not only was this team owned by his father Bing (who was also a well-known actor), but Kurt played for this ballclub between acting stints. It will not take long for you to feel an attachment to this underdog team, much like the baseball fans of Portland from 1973-1977. For baseball fans, it gives insight into minor league baseball. For non-baseball fans, it’s a truly interesting story. Interviews with Russell and the other members of this ballclub create a biographical perspective that stresses the importance of these events to this hodgepodge of rejected baseball players. Some of the players use strong language that is not entirely necessary, but it is worth it to learn about the rise and fall of this unlikely successful group.