Chapman and Maclain Way’s energetic telling of one of baseball’s great, unheralded stories is as much about independent spirit as it is about the game. When Portland, Oregon, lost its longtime minor-league affiliate, Bing Russell—who briefly played ball professionally before enjoying a successful Hollywood acting career—bought the territory and formed a single-A team to operate outside the confines of major-league baseball. When they took the field in 1973, the Mavericks—the only independent team in America—started with two strikes against them. What did Deputy Clem from Bonanza know about baseball? Or Portland, for that matter? The only thing uniting his 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, and he understood an audience. His quirky, unkempt castoffs won games, and they won 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. - J.N.
About the Directors
Chapman Way is an independent filmmaker/musician from Los Angeles who has experience as a director, editor, and composer. He has directed a variety of commercials, music videos, and short documentaries. He is currently finishing his sophomore album and has begun working on his first narrative feature film.
Maclain Way recently graduated from UCLA, where he studied American history and documentary film. He has worked with numerous film archives, universities, and cultural institutions. His debut documentary film was selected as the inaugural winner of the TFI/ESPN Prize for documentary films.
THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IS ONE PROGRAM OF SUNDANCE INSTITUTE, A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT
DISCOVERS AND SUPPORTS INDEPENDENT FILM AND THEATRE ARTISTS FROM THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD
AND INTRODUCES AUDIENCES TO THEIR NEW WORK.