The Battered Bastards of Baseball Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Battered Bastards of Baseball is one of baseball's last great, unheralded true stories. In 1973, Hollywood veteran Bing Russell (best known for playing Deputy Clem on "Bonanza") created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the legendary Portland Mavericks. Bing operated without a Major League affiliation while playing in a city that was considered a wasteland for professional baseball. Tryouts for the Mavericks, which were open to the public, were filled with hopefuls who arrived in droves from every state in America, many of whom had been rejected by organized baseball. Skeptics agreed it would never work. But Bing's Mavericks generated unprecedented success: they shattered attendance records, signed Kurt Russell - Bing's son - as a player and team Vice President, produced the most successful batboy in baseball (filmmaker Todd Field), re-launched the controversial career of Jim Bouton, hired the first female general manager in Baseball, and inspired one of America's beloved bubblegums—Big League Chew. The Battered Bastards of Baseball is as much about the independent spirit as it is about baseball. The Mavericks' in your face attitude was contagious to fans, and during their short reign, they - and Bing Russell - basically held up their middle finger to the sports establishment and said we're playing this game on our terms, not yours. They were the real life Bad News Bears. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jul 11, 2014
    Behind the on-field shenanigans and eccentric personalities, there's a meatier story about the corporatization of sports and the disappearance of the barnstorming attitude Bing Russell took as a virtual religion.
  2. Reviewed by: Daniel Fienberg
    Jul 11, 2014
    It's full of laughs and, towards the end, I even got a bit choked up in places.
  3. Reviewed by: Katie Walsh
    Jul 11, 2014
    The Batterered Bastards of Baseball is an entertaining celebration of the independent spirit and the love of the game.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Whipp
    Jul 11, 2014
    The joy on display here is contagious.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jul 11, 2014
    A fast-paced valentine to Russell and his quixotic vision so rife with underdog victors and hairpin twists of fortune that, if it weren’t all true, no one would believe it.
  6. Reviewed by: Daniel M. Gold
    Jul 11, 2014
    The Battered Bastards of Baseball is an affectionate scrapbook of a documentary.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    Jul 11, 2014
    That Battered Bastards is practically a hagiography doesn't negate the fact that it has more anti-establishment joie de vivre in any given scene than most talking-head docs about previously unheralded mensches contain in their entire run times.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 13, 2014
    As a somewhat new Portlander, I appreciated getting to know an interesting part of city history from before I was even born. The joy of this movie is in showing how much has changed in sports since the Mavs played ball about thirty years ago. I have a very difficult time imagining a team such as this one existing in the profit driven world of sports now. I enjoyed getting to know the interesting cast of characters shown in this film. If you have a love of sports and the purity that comes with that love, this movie is for you. Expand