Portland Mavericks

From BR Bullpen

The Portland Mavericks began play in the Northwest League in 1973 after the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League moved to Spokane. They were operated as an independent club, owned by ex-minor league player and television actor Bing Russell. His son, actor Kurt Russell, played for the club in its inaugural season. 17-year minor league star Hank Robinson managed them to a division title that first season. There were no playoffs between division winners that season.

When the PCL expanded for the 1978 season, they added a new Portland team (with the previous Beavers name), and the Mavericks shut down (after receiving considerable compensation from the PCL). In 1977 the Mavericks attracted 125,300 fans to ~33 home dates, while the 1978 Beavers had 96,395 fans and ~69 home games.

The first year Mavericks-Hollywood connection was not limited to Bing and Kurt Russell. First year manager Hank Robinson was an extremely successful character actor. First year players Henry F. "Robbie" Robinson (1971-81 pro player and son of the manager), Jason Tatar (1972-78) and Ken Medlock (1967-74) all have had long careers as actors as well. Perhaps the most successful Hollywood story from the team is that of Maverick Bat Boy, Todd Field, who went on to have a long career as an actor before becoming a three-time Academy Award nominated Writer-Director.

Among the various cast-offs who made up the Mavericks' roster was pitcher Jim Bouton, who played for the team for a few weeks in 1975, and then again in 1977 when he started his comeback that would land him a few games with the Atlanta Braves as a knuckleballer the following season. His record was a combined 9-2 during his two stints with the club.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1973 45-35 2nd Hank Robinson won division (no playoff)
1974 50-34 2nd Frank Peters
1975 42-35 3rd Frank Peters Lost Playoffs
1976 40-32 2nd Jack Spring Lost Playoffs
1977 44-22 1st Steve Collette Lost Playoffs

Related Sites[edit]

Extended discussion of the Mavericks' time in Portland

Further Reading[edit]