On June 25, 1971, actor Kurt Russell makes his professional baseball debut by collecting a double, single, and two stolen bases for the Bend Rainbows of the Northwest League California Angels minor league affiliate. Russell was a switch-hitting a second baseman and shortstop, he will move up to the Walla Walla Islanders (1972) in the short-season Class A-Short Season Northwest League, then moved up to Class AA in 1973 with the El Paso Sun Kings of the Texas League.
While in the field turning the pivot of a double play early in the 1973 season, the incoming runner at second base collided with him and tore the rotator cuff in Russell’s right (throwing) shoulder. He did not return to El Paso, but was a designated hitter for the independent Portland Mavericks back in the Northwest League late in their short season. The team was owned by his father, Bing Russell (A former baseball player) and he had been doing promotional work for them in the interim. The injury forced his retirement from baseball in 1973 and led to his return to acting. His sister, Jill, is the mother of baseball player Matt Franco