Yankees remind us why we love “The Sandlot”

Reason number 112,975,921 why we love the Yankees: They reenacted a scene from the classic movie “The Sandlot.”

This past week, Major League Baseball posted the video.

I can remember going on a class field trip as a kid, and on the bus ride there watching “The Sandlot.” I instantly fell in love with it. I think it’s one of my favorite baseball movies because baseball is a kid’s game. “The Sandlot” really portrays how fun it is to get together with your friends and play baseball during your growing years.

Watching it for the first time it reminded me (and still to this day it reminds me) of how I played baseball with my own friends growing up; in a lot of ways I was watching me and my own friends.

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I think many folks who grew up playing the game among friends can probably relate to everything they see in the movie.

There’s always the loudmouth, like Ham Porter. There’s always the shy, new kid on the block who has no idea what he’s doing but he’s too nice so he has to be included, like Smalls. Usually there’s a kid who just goes along with whatever everyone else is saying, like Yeah Yeah. There’s a lovable nerd, like Squints. And generally there’s a gifted athlete in the group, like Benny the jet.

Jacoby Ellsbury made a great Squints. Brett Gardner was OK as Smalls, but not that convincing. It’s easy to tell he’s not an actor, but if Gardner can put on a 20 home run, 80 RBI, .285 batting average and 50 stolen base performance for 2015, we’ll all be fine with it.

The best performance, in this writer’s humble opinion, was that of Brian McCann. His portrayal of Ham was spot-on, from his facial expressions down to his delivery. It was perfect.


I liked the scene the Yankees chose to reenact. It was fitting, I suppose, because the Yankees have obvious ties to Babe Ruth. So much of “The Sandlot” had to do with Ruth, from the signed baseball down to the great bambino visiting Benny the jet in his dreams.

And really, who honestly knew about all of Ruth’s nicknames before they saw the movie? I know I didn’t. “The Sandlot” was there to fill me in.

“The king of crash, man.”

My favorite scene in the movie had to be when they played a “night game” on the fourth of July. Benny rounds up the collection of young ballplayers and tells them, “get your glove, let’s go. Night game.” They leave the fun of the neighborhood block party and go to the sandlot to play a game, using the fireworks to see, given there were no lights at their little “baseball heaven.” I still love Smalls’ grown-up voiceover explaining the scene:


“There was only one night game a year. On the fourth of July, the whole sky would brighten up with fireworks, giving us just enough light for a game. We played our best then, because I guess we all felt like the big leaguers, playing under the lights of some great stadium. Benny felt like that all the time. We all knew he was going to go on to bigger and better games, because every time we stopped to watch the sky on those nights, he was there to call us back.

“You see, for us, baseball was a game. But for Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, baseball was life.”

The outtakes were just as funny.

It’s good to see the team having fun. Team chemistry is important because as we saw in 2009, it leads to great things.

And speaking of great things, opening day is rapidly approaching. So beat the drum and hold the phone, because the Yankees will be playing ball at 1:05 p.m. Monday at the big ballpark in the Bronx against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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