I can’t think of anyone around my age who doesn’t laugh when you quote The Sandlot. The story of a young baseball team enjoying the greatest summer of their lives is one of the best sports movies of all time. It’s a story about being a kid, being part of a team and as we grow older, it’s about remembering your childhood. If the idea of enjoying The Sandlot & The Mighty Ducks back to back doesn’t make you smile then this list probably isn’t for you.
THE TOP 10 SANDLOT QUOTES
10. MR. MERTLE “Baseball was life…”
9. HAM “Hurry up, batter. This better be a short game, I gotta get home for lunch.”
8. HAM “You play ball like a girl!”
7. HAM “Low and outside… Just like I like it.”
6. SQUINTS “The kid is an L7 weenie!”
5. BENNY ‘THE JET’ RODRIGUEZ “Just stand out there and stick your glove out in the air. I’ll take care of it.”
4. HAM “You call that pitching? This is baseball! Not tennis!”
3. THE BABE “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”
I fell in love with basketball long ago. I played non stop for years but it wasn’t my first love. That distinction belongs to baseball. In the six years I played competitive baseball there were many moments I will never forget but one in particular rises above the rest.
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
It was my second season and I wasn’t old enough to play hardball yet so it was softball for me. I was basically an infielder my whole ‘career’ but for some reason, this was the only season I was a catcher. Our team completely dominated that year and made it to the championship game.
So there I was at the end of the summer, in the final inning with 2 out. We were only up by one or two runs so the pressure was on. The batter took his final swing and popped it up directly above my head. I had to hustle but I caught that ball and we won the championship. There’s nothing like making the final play to win a title, even if it was only little league softball.
Strangely enough, another memory I have from that day was a meteor shower that everyone was talking about. Back then, I was a little naive and I remember a few people messing with me causing me to ‘worry’ about one of the meteors crashing down to earth.
“The chances are slim but it could happen” They told me.
I stayed up that night and watched the only meteor shower I’ve ever seen. I haven’t witnessed one since.
It was an amazing day.
It wasn’t long after that when I became obsessed with movies as well and films like The Sandlot captured my imagination. I ran a bit of a poll on my Facebook account last week and asked people what their favorite baseball movie moment was.
I started it off with one of my favorite moments: Kevin Costner’s character playing catch with his father in Field of Dreams. Great moment. Many people mentioned their personal favorites like ‘The Pickle with Hercules’, ‘There’s no crying in baseball’, a whole bunch of awesome Bull Durham references and more…
It was so easy for people to select their favorite moment. Like it was instinct. Ask a question like ‘What is your favorite baseball movie moment?’ and people just know. It’s a part of them. People love baseball movies. I love baseball movies!
The more I thought about it, the more I kept going back to my favorite little league moment and how much fun I had. And so…
The Sandlot Wins For Me
Field of Dreams is a close second but I knew my favorite baseball moment would come from The Sandlot the second I started writing this post.
This classic is permanently etched in my mind but this isn’t about picking my favorite baseball movie. It’s about my favorite baseball movie moment. So I decided to go with ‘The Omen’ when Benny crushes the ball with such force it literally rips the ball apart.
I chose that particular moment above all the hilarious and quotable lines because it’s all about baseball. It’s about playing the game and being a part of something amazing.
That’s what baseball means to me. Even if the Blue Jays haven’t won for a million years…
In honor of the amazing World Series ending last night, (Congrats Yankees… I still hate you.) I thought I would start a new feature on the blog. A look back at the classic movies that I’ve loved for years. Even people who don’t like movies have films on this list. Lets say you’re flicking around the channels and you come across a beloved movie from your past. You’re stopping to watch it. You’ll even watch it on television with the commercial free DVD sitting on the shelf beside you. You can’t resist. It’s a classic. Your classic.
The Yankees/Phillies series was pretty much outstanding and the entire time I’ve been looking for a few free hours to watch my favorite baseball movie. The Sandlot. (I haven’t found the time yet but it’s on my list nonetheless.) I believe anyone who grew up surrounding themselves with sports has a soft spot for this movie. Who wouldn’t? If I sat down and made a list of my favorite sports movies of all time, it would be hard to find one to knock The Sandlot off the top spot. That’s saying something because you could make a pretty strong list of JUST baseball movies. Seriously, look at Hamilton ‘The Babe’ Porter over there. (Other nicknames include the obvious Ham and Long Ball Porter.) That kid still makes me laugh every time I see it.
“This is baseball, not tennis, gimme something to hit.”
Not to mention our old pal Squints. I don’t know a soul on this planet brave enough to pull the moves on Wendy Peffercorn like that. (Note: I thought it was Peppercorn until a quick google search proved otherwise. Woops) The entire cast was hilarious and the story is so simple it’s impossible not to relate.
A ball with Babe Ruth’s signature goes over the fence where a massive dog lives to terrorize the team. I suppose it’s a little more complicated than that but it’s an amazing kids movie that still stands up today and I’m 26 years old.
You can easily walk into a circle of sports fans, quote this movie and be instantly accepted amongst them. I know I pull out Squints’ “Fore-ver” from time to time. I remember when this movie came out on DVD, I couldn’t find it anywhere so I ordered it from Amazon because I couldn’t wait anymore. A few friends of mine found out and I actually had to order 3. It probably would’ve been a lot more if more people found out I was ordering it. Everyone around me loved The Sandlot. When we were kids, I can’t remember a pick up game that ended without someone calling their shot, smoking a deep fly ball and screaming:
“Low and outside, just like I like it!”
That’s what makes these films classics. Movies that stick with you “Fore-ver”. It’s because of the quotes that etch their way into your brain. The way you can watch them over and over again without fast-forwarding the ‘boring parts’. The movies you watch on rainy Sunday afternoons spent in front of the television with a bowl of soup and a massive comforter. Perfect days.
I called this new feature ‘Rainy Sundays’ for a reason. Couldn’t find a more suitable name than that.