The Sundance sports documentary, “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” follows the story of the Portland Mavericks, an independent, underdog baseball team founded by actor Bing Russell in the ’70s. Bing Russell is “Escape From New York” actor Kurt Russell’s father, but the showbiz ties don’t end there. Oscar-nominated director Todd Field (“In the Bedroom,” “Little Children”) served as the Mavericks’ bat boy, Bing himself was a well-respected character actor before buying the baseball team, and Bing’s grandsons (Kurt’s nephews) directed this year’s documentary.
Earlier this week, directors Chapman and Maclain Way, Field, and Russell took part in the IDA Documentary Screening Series in Los Angeles to share their stories from the film. Indiewire TV Critic Ben Travers served as the moderator for the half-hour discussion, covering everything from how the brothers went about directing their first doc to Russell making up radio calls for the team.
Check out the highlights below and make sure to watch “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” now streaming on Netflix.
What’s more thrilling: hitting a baseball or making a movie? Bing Russell vastly preferred the former and said as much in the opening moments of “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” but do Oscar-nominee Todd Field or worldwide action star Kurt Russell disagree?
“The Battered Bastards of Baseball” is a true story, but the shenanigans the Mavericks got up to weren’t always 100 percent honest. Watch Kurt Russell talk about the stories he made up as a color man for the Mavericks radio broadcasts.
When the Way brothers first started filming, they never intended Bing to be the star of the show. Directors Chapman and Maclain discuss how the story took its shape and what’s it was like directing as brothers.