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30 Years of “The Sandlot”

2023 marks the 30 year anniversary of the David Mickey Evan’s directed film “The Sandlot” which premiered April 7, 1993. Ever since, the film has been a staple of summer time and American childhood. To commemorate the film, and maybe to introduce it to some new viewers, let us take the time to realize why it is so special.

Perfect Baseball Movie

"The Sandlot" is the perfect baseball movie, because it is not really about baseball at all. They movie is about kids in a neighborhood on summer vacation creating lifelong memories through every-day shenanigans. Baseball is just the vehicle which assembles the characters in the same place. The movie is not driven by baseball, it’s driven by characters, their interactions, and the things they say.

Anyone who has played at least Little League may likely draw the easy comparison: their time playing was not defined by the game, but the memories they made with their teammates, opponents, and family members. Baseball was simply the catalyst that set gears in motion. The writers and director of the film perfectly understood that dynamic and balance.

What makes the film so endearing is how it reminds us of the people we all knew growing up as well: the jock who was fantastic at every sport, a sarcastic kid who runs his mouth, someone and their little brother they have to keep hauling around, a nerd who tries to keep up, and everything in between. We all knew a Benny, we all knew a Smalls, we all knew a Ham, we all knew a Squints.

To add to that, we all had a crush on someone just a little bit older who didn’t know how to talk to. We all remember the suspense of sneaking into the neighbors yard and avoiding the dog. We all remember telling embellished stories to scare the new kid, and we all remember the regret of a bad decision trying to sneak things around our parents. We all lived "The Sandlot" weather we played baseball or not.


In fact, I would argue that "The Sandlot" is too perfect, and almost sad to watch. It’s sad because it energizes such strong and vivid memories that it drowns the heart in sorrow and nostalgia for the days we can never have back. The film masterfully transports us to the days of no responsibility, the days of bonding brotherhood, and the days where adventure was to be found in our own backyards.

I think a big part of why so many people are in love with this movie, is how it reminds us that we too used to be satisfied with simple joys. It forces us to look at ourselves in the mirror and realize how difficult we have became to satisfy ourselves. "The Sandlot" reminds us who we were when we were at our best, and that is a hard thing to face.

80s and 90s nostalgia is still in full swing in modern popular culture, and baseball is no different. My hypothesis is that this trend has manifested itself because millennials witnessed such drastic changes over the course of their lifetime that they retreat to a time of optimism and comfort in effort to instinctively reject the societal downfall that they have witnessed. "The Sandlot" is the perfect Time Machine to provide such transportation.

Thirty Years of the Sandlot

At its root, "The Sandlot" is about friends. It can be perfectly summed up with a quote from the final episode of "The Office": "I wish there was a way to know you are in the good ole days before you left them." Well, "The Sandlot" is the good ole days that have been preserved for eternity.

What is your favorite scene from "The Sandlot"? Comment below!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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