Twenty-two years ago today, one of the most iconic movies of our generation was released, “The Sandlot.” As a 23-year-old, I grew up on this movie and still quote some of its lines today. It’s weird to think the movie has been out this long, but with it still being one of my favorite sports movies of all time, it shows things do just get better with age.
With the few who have never seen the film, it follows a group of pre-teens infatuated with the game of baseball. Placed in the summer of 1962, the group of boys are faced with the ultimate challenge of retrieving a signed Babe Ruth baseball from the beast known as Hercules.
In a lot of ways this movie is more than just about baseball. It is a coming of age story showing how this game brought friends together in a summer they never forget. It has undertones of friendship, camaraderie and who could deny the young love of Wendy Peffercorn.
As I mentioned before, it’s weird to think this movie came out so long ago. I first saw this movie in a time when baseball was also the biggest part of my life.
Growing up, I played baseball year round with a brief two or three month break in the winter. Baseball cards dominated my hobbies and if I missed a Boston Red Sox game, I couldn’t live with myself.
Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez was somewhat of an idol and still is, as my fantasy team name is currently Benny and the Jets. Pretending to be Benny while playing whiffle ball was also big among my childhood friends.
The Sandlot went on to make two direct to DVD sequels which never quite lived up to the first. I personally have never seen them and probably never will.
In culture the movie still gets referenced. The term “you’re killin’ me smalls” is still often used. The New York Yankees also recently reenacted a famous scene from the film.
Even though I am now a college graduate about to dive into a career that will last me the rest of my life, I still look back fondly on my time playing baseball as a kid much like they did in “The Sandlot.”
“Heroes get remember but legends never die. Follow your heart kid, and you can never go wrong.”