After watching Casper and then Now and Then, I have become totally re-obsessed with watching movies from my childhood. What’s next—guys, remind me what I loved as a kid? The next natural step was to watch The Sandlot because it pretty much shaped how I feel about two very important things: boys and baseball. Everyone laughs when I say anything about sports, but here’s a secret: I freakin’ love baseball. Can I rattle off stats or name a bunch of players in the MLB? No. But do I love the game itself, and more importantly, movies about the game itself? Yes. And do I think boys that play baseball are the cutest of all the boys? Yes. Have you even seen Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez?
I have a Ben thing. This movie could be the reason why.
And there are great lessons in the movie, duh! Anything including a James Earl Jones speech is a lesson bomb.
EINTKILF The Sandlot
1. You must go to extreme measures to get the girl.
In the greatest scene in cinematic history, Michael “Squints” Palledorous cannot take his attraction to the superfly lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn any longer, dives off the deep end (quite literally) and makes her give him mouth-to-mouth. He then makes his move, slipping her the tongue, which seals the deal for their future together. She marries him later in life and they have millions of kids! Guys—you should all take a note from Squints. Sometimes, you just have to go for it.
2. All of Babe Ruth’s nicknames.
The Sultan of Swat! The King of Crash! The Colossus of Clout! The Colossus of Clout! The Great Bambino!! I am so Smalls before this movie—oh my god! You mean that’s the same guy?
Seriously, who needs that many nicknames anyway? (I have like…ten nicknames, and I have not even done anything to get into a hall of fame. Yet!)
3. Everybody gets one chance to do something great.
So do not be too afraid to take your chance, and certainly do not let it go unrecognized. And also, if you are really, really afraid of something, your idol just may come to you as a weird newspaper cutout hologram vision and make you feel better about your life. Like Benny and Babe Ruth, or me and that Tupac hologram that was at Coachella.
4. Never chew and then ride on rides at amusement parks.
I despise watching people vomit in movies. I always think, why do they have to show it? Why can’t it just be implied?! That being said, there is nothing greater than watching these boys all throw up during the song “Tequila” at the fair. It is so American, I want to stand up and pledge to the flag or something.
5. How to make s’mores.
Poor Smalls had never even heard of a s’more before he met good ol’ Ham Porter. My favorite foods in the world, in no particular order: maraschino cherries, black olives, whipped cream, avocadoes and s’mores. As soon as June hits, I’m tryna have as many s’more related items as possible. Ham breaks it down so perfectly for a sheltered kid to indulge in the messiest, most delicious dessert item ever. The other great things about this scene? I have a friend who says “I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?” every time anyone says the word “s’mores,” and another friend who gets so mad at him when he says it (over and over and over), that the last time we went camping, we had to call them “graham cracker sandwiches” to avoid the conflict. And the best, most quoted line comes from this touching moment: “you’re killing me, Smalls!”
6. There’s no crying in baseball.
Shoot, wrong movie, huh? Well, I think it stands for all baseball movies.
7. Mastiffs are not monsters.
Growing up, my neighbor had a mastiff and his mom was really weird about us going into his backyard because the dog was so mean, so naturally, I always pretended we were members of the Sandlot gang. Here’s the thing: that dog was a lil’ big angel. I want like three mastiffs and no children when I grow up and I am going to name them after Sandlot characters, and maybe I will call my husband Smalls. Or Benny, because that is way less condescending.
8. Follow your heart.
“The Babe” also teaches Benny the difference between heroes and legends–“heroes get remembered, but legends never die”–and tells him that, when following your heart, you will never go wrong. Benny follows his heart all the way to the big leagues, and Small follows his heart, all the way to…announcing Benny’s successes in the Big League. I am going to follow my heart all the way to trying to get Mike Vitar to tweet at me.
Dannnnng it, he doesn’t have a twitter. Patrick Renna? Tom Guiry?
9. Don’t steal from your stepdad.
Because you may think that his stuff is just stuff signed by ex-girlfriends when in reality, his stuff is gold.
Heeeeeere’s the cute one:
10. You can’t replace your childhood friends.
Yeah, you know how when you get older, friendships are a lot more “mature” and “serious” or whatever? Well, the ones you really, really cherish and speak of fondly almost always come from childhood. And maybe you keep those friends for the rest of your life, and you can sit around reflecting on the days when you tossed around baseballs for hours, or watched N’Sync videos or painted your nails or whatever you used to do before work and grad school and marriage, but nothing beats the carefree days of being young. I always tear up (ugh, don’t tell) when Smalls’ voiceover tells us that they never replaced the guys as they moved away. “We just kept the game going like he was still there.” Gahhhh, so touching.
Other things I learned: baseball tees are super hot, especially green ones, or any color Benny wants to wear; Ray Charles has the best version of “America the Beautiful” of all time; and did you guys know that Michael Vitar’s real older brother plays the grown-up version of Benny at the end?