The Battered Bastards of Baseball

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Promotional poster
Directed by Chapman Way
Maclain Way
Produced by Juliana Lembi
Music by Brocker Way
Cinematography Chapman Way
Edited by Chapman Way
Distributed by Netflix
Release dates
  • January 20, 2014 (2014-01-20) (Sundance)
Running time
73 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Battered Bastards of Baseball is a 2014 documentary film about the Portland Mavericks, a defunct minor league baseball team. They played five seasons in the Class A-Short Season Northwest League, from 1973 through 1977. Owned by actor Bing Russell, the Mavericks were an independent team, without the affiliation of a parent team in the major leagues.

The film was directed by Chapman Way and Maclain Way, grandsons of Russell,[1] and features Russell's son Kurt Russell, who played for the Mavericks and worked as a vice president.[2] It also includes batboy Todd Field, Frank "The Flake" Peters, Joe Garza, Jim Bouton, and Joe Garagiola.[3][4] The film premiered to a standing ovation at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2014.[5][6] Netflix, initially one of several interested buyers, acquired the rights to the film and premiered it as an Original Documentary on July 11, 2014.[7][8]

After a bidding war between Fox Searchlight, Columbia Pictures, and DreamWorks, filmmaker Justin Lin acquired the rights to adapt the documentary into a feature film.[9] Oscar-nominated Field was attached to write and direct the adaptation.[10]


The Battered Bastards of Baseball received positive reviews from critics and has a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.[11]

Scott Foundas of Variety, said in his review that "So rife with underdog victors and hairpin twists of fortune that, if it weren't all true, no one would believe it."[12] Duane Byrge in his review for The Hollywood Reporter praised the film by saying that "The Battered Bastards of Baseball is not just about baseball. It transcends the game and is a charming anti-establishment yarn that should delight audiences who don't even know an r.b.i. from a balk."[13]

Dustin Krcatovich, from Esquire, wrote "easily one of the most raucously entertaining films to come out this year, and the best sports documentary in a while." [14] Katie Walsh of Indiewire grade the film B+ by saying that "The Batterered Bastards of Baseball is an entertaining celebration of the independent spirit and the love of the game."[15]

The New York Daily News listed the documentary as one of the 10 best films of 2014.[16]


  1. Barrett, Annie (January 13, 2014). "Sundance: Kurt Russell goes deep for 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' | Inside Movies |". Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  2. "Kurt Russell pays tribute to dad's Portland Mavericks with 'The Battered Bastards of Baseball'". Fox News. January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  3. ""The Battered Bastards of Baseball" impresses Sundance | HardballTalk". Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  4. "Sundance Review: The Battered Bastards of Baseball". Hollywood Reporter. November 17, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  5. "Justin Lin to remake Battered Bastards Sundance Doc". Retrieved Jan 14, 2015.
  6. "Sundance 2014: Documentary Premieres". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  7. "Netflix announces documentaries, beginning with Sundance hit, 'Battered Bastards of Baseball'". Variety. May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  8. "Sundance: Todd Field Eyeing Adaptation Of 'Battered Bastards Of Baseball' Docu". Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  9. Tatiana Siegel (January 24, 2014). "Sundance: Justin Lin to Adapt 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' Doc". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  10. "Justin Lin to Produce Adaptation of Doc 'Battered Bastards of Baseball'". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  11. "The Battered Bastards of Baseball". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  12. "Sundance Film Review: 'The Battered Bastards of Baseball'". Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  13. "The Battered Bastards of Baseball: Sundance Review". Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  14. "THE WILD STORY BEHIND NETFLIX'S NEW BASEBALL DOC". Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  15. "Sundance Review: 'Battered Bastards Of Baseball' Tells The Story Of Kurt Russell's Father's Raucous Adventures On The Field". Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  16. Neumaier, Joe. "The Top 10 (and Bottom 5) Movies of 2014". New York Daily News. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
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