Baseball fans are few and far between these days. I love the game but I also like sitting outside in the summer and fall and eating, drinking and socializing until something important happens. Oh, and did I mention that I grew up in Atlanta in the ’90s during what was arguably one of the two greatest baseball clubs in the history of the game? All things considered, baseball really is the sport for me.
This morning Netflix released the official trailer for The Battered Bastards of Baseball, a documentary about actor Bing Russell, who happens to be the father of Hollywood icon Kurt Russell, starting the Portland Mavericks, a scrappy, independent baseball team of underdogs. Directed by Maclain and Chapman Way and starring Kurt Russell, Todd Fields and Jim Bouton, The Battered Bastards of Baseball explains that the only thing uniting Bing Russell’s players, recruited at open tryouts, was that no other team wanted them. Skeptics agreed that it could never work. But Bing understood a ballplayer’s dreams, having played professional for a time himself, and he most definitely understood an audience. His quirky, unkempt castoffs won games and fans, shattering minor-league attendance records. Their spirit was contagious, and during their short reign, the Mavericks—a restaurant owner turned manager, left-handed catcher, and blackballed pitcher among them—brought independence back to baseball and embodied what it was all about: the love of the game.
Released in the wake of the first day of summer, have a look at the trailer for The Battered Bastards of Baseball. The film premieres on Netflix Friday, July 11.