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Bing Russell played Vernon Presley to his son Kurt's Elvis Presley in the television movie, Elvis (1979).
Russell owned the Portland Mavericks, the only independent team in the Class A Northwest League. Russell kept a 30-man roster because he believed that some of the players deserved to have one last season. His motto was fun. He created a park that kept all corporate sponsorship outside the gates, hired the first female general manager, Lanny Moss, in professional baseball, and named the first Asian American GM/Manager. His team set a record for the highest attendance in minor league history, but lost the 1977 pennant to the Bellingham Mariners. Subsequently, Major League Baseball regained interest in Portland and resurrected the Class AAA Portland Beavers minor league franchise. The Portland area was recovered but was forced to pay $206,000 to Russell after he took the matter to arbitration; it was the biggest payout in baseball history for a minor league territory. Ex-major-leaguers and never-weres who could not stop playing the game flocked to his June try-outs, which were always open to anyone who showed up. The team and archival footage of Russell were featured in the documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014).
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