|The Sandlot: Scotty's Summer|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Mickey Evans|
|Produced by||Mark Burg,
|Written by||David Mickey Evans,
|Narrated by||David M. Evans (uncredited)|
Brandon Q. Adams,
|Music by||David Newman|
|Cinematography||Anthony B. Richmond|
|Editing by||Michael A. Stevenson|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||101 minutes|
The Sandlot is a 1993 American sports comedy film directed by David M. Evans. A coming-of-age film, The Sandlot tells the story about a group of young baseball players during the summer of 1962. The Filming location was in Glendale, Salt Lake City, Utah. The film was released with the title The Sandlot Kids in Australia and the United Kingdom.
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (March 2012)|
In 1962, Scott "Scotty" Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves with his mother (Karen Allen) and stepfather, Bill (Denis Leary), to a new neighborhood outside of Los Angeles. One afternoon, he decides to follow a group of eight neighborhood boys and he watches them play a game at a small field, which they call the "sandlot." Smalls joins in the game, but is teased for his lack of skills. Benny, who is the best player in the neighborhood, stands up for Smalls, gives him some tips on how to catch and throw better and convinces the other children to let Smalls play. Eventually the other players, who include, first baseman, Tommy Timmons, and his repeating younger brother outfielder Timmy Timmons, the coke-bottle glasses wearing shortstop Micheal "Squints" Palladorus, third baseman Alan "Yeah-yeah" McLlenna, named for his catchphrase, second baseman, Bertram Grover Weeks, black pitcher Ken DiNunez, and heavyset catcher Hamilton "Ham" Porter, all grow to accept Smalls as one of them.
Smalls continues to play with them, and shares many adventures with his new friends. One day, DiNunez, challenges Ham, who is at bat, to hit his trademark pitch, the "Heater" and Ham hits it over the fence, making the rest of the team furious. Smalls attempts to climb the fence to retrieve the ball, but the others stop him, and inform him that they try to avoid hitting home runs over the sandlot's fences, as the property beyond the fence is guarded by a ferocious 300-pound English mastiff dog, who the boys refer to as "the beast." When a home run is hit, the game is over for the day unless the boys manage to obtain a replacement ball. That night on a camp out, Squints tells the story of the beast, who, two decades ago, was bought by the Mr. Mertle, the owner of the property, be a guard dog. The dog grew to be so big and powerful that he killed many people, until the the chief of police (Squint's grandfather) ordered Mr. Mertle to chain him up forever. Rumor has it, that one kid had dared to climb the fence, since then, but didn't live to tell about it. One day, the team decides that it's too hot to play, and they take a trip to the pool, where Squints, who can't swim, deliberately jumps off at the deep end to get his lifeguard crush, Wendy Peffercorn, to rescue him. While Wendy is busy trying to resuscitate him, Squints promptly kisses her. She is offended by this and bans the boys from the pool forever. However hers and Squint's relationship is cemented. Later, the team plays a night game on the Fourth of July where everyone except Benny is more interested in watching fireworks than playing. Later the boys are confronted by a snooty rival team who begins an argument by telling Benny that he plays with a bunch of rejects. After the two teams spew insults at each other, Ham shouts the unforgivable insult, "You play ball like a girl," and provokes a challenge from the other team. But the sandlot kids earn an easy victory over their rival team. Later, they experiment with chewing tobacco at a carnival with disastrous results.
One day while Smalls' stepfather is on a business trip, and Smalls himself is still ill from the tobacco incident, Benny hits a ball so hard that the leather ruptures, causing the ball's entrails to come out. While the others are impressed, Benny feels guilty because the group does not have 98 cents to buy another baseball. However, Smalls runs to Bill's trophy room, and steals his stepfather's autographed ball, in hopes to preserve the game. The team is impressed with Smalls’ gesture, and allows him to have the first at bat with the ball. He proceeds to hit the ball out of the sandlot, but is shortly enveloped with fear when he realizes that he has lost Bill's ball. The situation is further worsened when Smalls learns that the ball was autographed by Babe Ruth, and is irreplaceable. Although even Benny is annoyed that Smalls would play with such a valuable ball, the team immediately scraps up change to buy a new ball. They then forge Babe Ruth's signature on the new ball to temporarily replace the missing ball until they can come up with a plan.
Smalls suggests going to Mr. Mertle for help, but Squints says that Mr. Mertle is a mean old man, and would not return the ball, so Smalls and his friends begin engineering elaborate plans to recover the ball. After five failed rescue attempts including a stick (The beast chews it in half), a pot on a metal rod (The beast wrecks it), a vacuum cleaner (The beast clogs the pipe causing it to explode), Yeah-Yeah on a pulley system (The beast confronts him, and the others pull Yeah-yeah out in a panic, causing him to drop the ball), and a catapult composed of an Erector Set (The beast intercepts the thrown ball, and destroys the catapult as he had everything else), Smalls prepares to accept his fate. Around the same time, Benny has an enlightening dream. In the dream, Benny is visited by Babe Ruth who encourages him to run into the beast's domain and use his speed to recover the ball and escape. Ruth leaves Benny with the words, "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." Benny summons his friends the following morning to the sandlot, and prepares to recover Smalls’ baseball. Using his PF Flyers, he steals the ball from the beast, and successfully manages to elude the dog as it chases him through town with the sandlot gang following. The beast chases Benny through an alley, a movie theater, a carnival, the pool, and back to the sandlot. Growing exhausted from the chase, Benny starts to slow down and the beast starts to catch up to him. Benny returns to Mr. Mertle's home and hops the fence. The race ends with the fence falling on the beast. Smalls and Benny both feel responsible for the ordeal, and they help the beast escape. After being rescued, the beast, whose real name turns out to be Hercules, becomes much more friendly towards the boys, and even shows them where he buried all of the baseballs that had gone into the yard over the years. Benny and Smalls then decide to tell the dog's owner, Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones), about the ordeal. Mr. Mertle reveals that he would have simply returned the ball if the boys had just asked him. The rest of the boys are upset with Squints for making up the story of Mr. Mertle being "the meanest old man that ever lived." Squints tells his friends that they should simply be happy to retrieve the ball. Benny and Smalls eventually learn that Mr. Mertle used to be a professional baseball player in the Negro League and a friendly rival of Babe Ruth. Mr. Mertle, whose career ended after he was hit and blinded by a stray pitch, agrees to give Smalls a ball signed by Murderers' Row—several of the best Yankee hitters in the late 1920s—including Ruth. In exchange, Mr. Mertle asks that the boys to visit once a week and discuss baseball. Smalls proceeds to give Mr. Mertle's ball to Bill.
While Bill is still upset about losing his original ball, he is pleased with the new ball and he decides to only ground Smalls for a week, bringing the two closer. Over the next thirty years, Yeah-yeah went to military school, enlisted in the Army, and became a pioneering developer of bungee jumping (for obvious reasons), Bertram got into the 60's and was never heard from again, Tommy and Timmy went on to become an architect and a contractor and became wealthy upon inventing mini-malls, Squints married Wendy, had nine kids, and they now own Vincent's Drug Store (Where the team bought their baseballs), Ham became a wrestler known as "The Great Hambino", and DeNunez, after playing Triple A Ball, but not making it into the Majors, went on to start his own business and coach a little league team that his sons played on, called "The Heaters" (Named after his trademark pitch), and Hercules lived to be 199 years old (In dog years). Thirty years later, Smalls is a radio sports commentator for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Benny is one of the team's star players. Benny manages to steal home in the movie's final moments, then flashes a thumbs-up to Smalls in the press box.
- The Sandlot Baseball Team
- Tom Guiry – Scott "Scotty" Smalls - a shy and academic boy who recently moved into the neighborhood.
- Mike Vitar – Benjamin Franklin "Benny the Jet" Rodriguez - the leader and eldest of the boys who is deemed as the best player on the team.
- Patrick Renna – Hamilton "Ham" Porter - a chubby boy who is usually the catcher of the team.
- Chauncey Leopardi – Michael "Squints" Palledorous - a smart aleck who wears glasses with thick black frames.
- Marty York – Alan "Yeah-Yeah" McClennan - given his nickname as he frequently says "yeah-yeah" before beginning a sentence.
- Brandon Quintin Adams – Kenny DeNunez - The team pitcher.
- Grant Gelt – Bertram Grover Weeks - wears glasses like Squints but with thin frames.
- Shane Obedzinski – Tommy "Repeat" Timmons - the youngest and smallest boy on the team and Timmy's younger brother. He earns his nickname due to always repeating his brother's words.
- Victor DiMattia – Timmy Timmons - Tommy's older brother.
- Other characters
- David Mickey Evans – Narrator (uncredited)
- Arliss Howard – Scott "Scotty" Smalls (as an adult) (uncredited)
- Denis Leary – Bill, Scott's Stepfather
- Karen Allen – Scott's Mom
- James Earl Jones – Mr. Mertle - Owner of "The Beast".
- Marley Shelton – Wendy Peffercorn - lifeguard of the local swimming pool.
- Art LaFleur – George "The Babe" Ruth - legendary baseball player whom the Sandlot boys admire.
- Wil Horneff – Phillips - leader of a baseball team that rivals the Sandlot boys. Shares a particular antagonistic relationship with Ham, as the two always exchange insults when they meet.
The Sandlot has received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 63% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 22 reviews. The sites consensus says "It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure." Critic Roger Ebert gave the film three stars, comparing the movie to a summertime version of A Christmas Story, based on the tone and narration of both films. He said of one scene, "There was a moment in the film when Rodriguez hit a line drive directly at the pitcher's mound, and I ducked and held up my mitt, and then I realized I didn't have a mitt, and it was then I also realized how completely this movie had seduced me with its memories of what really matters when you are 12." Bob Cannon of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, praising its simplicity and strong fundamentals.
Leonard Klady of Variety gave the film a mostly negative review. He praised the cinematography and score, but felt the baseball team did not come together, and that the film, while sincere, was "remarkably shallow wade, rife with incident and slim on substance."
Box office 
The film grossed $4 million in its opening weekend and a further $32 million through ticket sales. Figures for worldwide, VHS and DVD sales are estimated to be at $76 million. Since its release on both VHS and DVD, the film has become a cult favorite.
Defamation suit 
In 1998, Michael Polydoros sued 20th Century Fox and the producers of the film for defamation. Polydoros, a childhood classmate of David Mickey Evans, the author and director of The Sandlot, claimed that the character Michael "Squints" Palledorous was derogatory and caused him shame and humiliation. The case reached the Supreme Court of California, which ruled in favor of 20th Century Fox.
- The Sandlot 2 (2005) – A direct-to-video sequel in which a new Sandlot gang is featured. The only returning cast member is James Earl Jones in his role of Mr. Mertle.
- The Sandlot: Heading Home (2007) – Another direct-to-video sequel starring Luke Perry as Tommy "Santa" Santorelli who gets knocked back to 1976 from 2007 and relives his childhood. Chauncey Leopardi reprises his role as Squints.
The film's original score was composed by David Newman, and was unreleased until 2006, when a limited edition was released as part of the Varèse Sarabande CD Club.
Songs in order of appearance:
- "Finger Poppin' Time" - Hank Ballard and the Midnighters
- "Smokie Part II" - Bill Black's Combo
- "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" - The Tokens
- "There Goes My Baby" - The Drifters
- "This Magic Moment" - The Drifters
- "America The Beautiful" - Ray Charles
- "Green Onions" - Booker T & The MG's
- "Tequila" - The Champs
- "Wipe Out" - The Surfaris
- "The Sandlot". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
- "The Sandlot Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Ebert, Roger (April 7, 1993). "The Sandlot (1993)". Chicago Sun-Times. rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- Cannon, Bob (April 23, 1993). "The Sandlot (1993)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Klady, Leonard (April 4, 1993). "The Sandlot Review". Variety. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Chiang, Harriet (October 16, 1998). "Films Can Use Real Names, Likenesses, State High Court Rules". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Sandlot|
- The Sandlot at the Internet Movie Database
- The Sandlot at AllRovi
- The Sandlot at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Sandlot at Box Office Mojo