Saturday, July 19, 2014

Documentary Review: The Battered Bastards Of Baseball

Available For Streaming On
Netflix As Of 7/19/14
The Battered Bastards Of Baseball is a documentary that is just dying to be made into a major motion picture.

Here's how Major League Baseball works. The large MLB teams have "farm teams" that are AA and AAA which are different tiers of minor leagues, where they can groom or weed out players to see if they have the chops to play in the big league. This is how MLB wants it, and they don't like outsiders coming in and messing with their good-ol'-boy club.
Portland had one of these minor league teams. Attendance was low, and interest in the team was poor, so the powers that be decided to pack up and get out of there.
Bing Russell who was a fairly famous Hollywood Actor (He was the sheriff on Bonanza) decided to fill the void by creating an independent minor league baseball team. Independent meant that they were not associated with any major league team. He owned the team and paid them out of his own pocket. How did he find players to play for the meager pay that they would receive? Well, he put an ad in the Portland newspaper for open tryouts. And he found several Major League rejects. These were players that for whatever reason were not selected by MLB teams even though they had true talent.
Everybody thought they would flop. They didn't.. They won games, and they brought baseball back to Portland in a big way.. they played with no plan, they were lots of antics on and off the field, and more importantly they started filling the seats. They started setting attendance records.. some that still hold today.

I won't spoil anymore of the story, but let's just say that MLB was not amused and felt very threatened by their success.

This is one of the best documentaries I've seen in a long time. It is so much fun to watch these guys talk about their love for the team, for the game, and for Bing Russell. Oh, and you might recognize the name of Bing's son.. Kurt Russell. Kurt was on the team. His interviews in this film are fantastic, his insight is helpful and compelling. The most compelling part is watching MLB get in a heap by their antics, and their ability to be successful while breaking the shredding the major league rule book.
I think the trailer will spark better interest than what I can say about it...

I love this documentary. I give it 5 stars...

Go watch it today!

1 comment:

K. Garriott said...

Could care less about the article, but wanted to say Happy 1st anniversary to you and your beautiful bride, Kim, of one year!