The Battered Bastards of Baseball

A lively chapter in Portland’s indie, “keep things weird” history is the unheralded story of the renegade Portland Mavericks baseball team. When Portland lost its longtime AAA team, the Beavers, Hollywood actor Bing Russell (Clem on “Bonanza” and father of Kurt), bought the minor-league affiliate rights and formed a new single-A team to operate independently of major league baseball’s farm system. Russell was in it for the love of the game, not the business, and when his team of castoffs—mostly assembled from open tryouts—took the field in 1973, the spirit of baseball was alive in Portland in a special way. Setting attendance records, the quirky Mavericks managed to whip the professionally stocked opponent teams, and today, in an era when professional sports seem ever more driven by cynicism and commerce rather than ideals, the Way brothers’ affectionate remembrance is more than just colorful local history.

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Documentary