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The Boys of Summer (Minus 1) Are Back

A lot of sand is nothing to write home about. However, THE Sandlot is an entirely different (and thoroughly entertaining) story. Aside from the fact it’s been a quarter-century since The Sandlot premiered in movie theaters, this film is timeless and will always be 25 kinds of awesome.

What’s more trying: Avoiding the famed pitfalls of Friday the 13th or attempting to recover a baseball signed by Babe Ruth (or Baby Ruth, for true Sandlot fans) hit over a neighbor’s fence and into a backyard guarded a monstrous dog?

Well, you’ll only want to relive one on repeat.

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Happy Monday!

The 4th of July is only days away. Grand fireworks, American flags as far as the eye can see and a patriotic togetherness will spread from sea to shining sea and across purple mountains majesty. The celebration of our nation’s declaration of independence always showcases the omnipotent nature of the United States of America and its revolutionary founding principles.

It’s time to get everything ready for the neighborhood party!

Have a Great Week!

Top of the Tenth

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

After a summer of baseball and hijinks, the pinnacle moment had arrived. Stealing your stepfather’s baseball, autographed by Babe Ruth, and hitting your first ever home run with it over the fence into the lair of The Beast is enough to stress out the most powerful superhero. Multiple attempts to retrieve the priceless souvenir were concocted, but ultimately each of them failed. Yet, there they all stood, nervously waiting in anticipation as one of their own was taking his last few breaths of reflection before daring to do the craziest thing any of them had ever seen. The curtain for the final scene of “The Battle with The Beast” was set to rise at any minute. For Benny, his mind was either as clear as a Carolina blue sky or as clouded as a kid unprepared to take a pop quiz in Chinese algebra.

Most can probably quote verbatim the inspirational words Babe Ruth/The Babe/The Great Bambino/The Sultan of Swat/The Colossus of Clout said to Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez in his dream the night before he was destined to take on The Beast.

“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.”

And don’t forget to lace up those PF Flyers nice and tight.

It just goes to show you never do quite know who lives next door…

Yesterday’s passing of famed film critic Roger Ebert coinciding with the final scene of “The Sandlot” above reveals the power and cultural significance of the “thumbs up.” Like Smalls and Benny, did Mr. Ebert give it “two thumbs up”?

The Sandlot (3 stars) — “These days too many children’s movies are infected by the virus of Winning, as if kids are nothing more than underage pro athletes, and the values of Vince Lombardi prevail: It’s not how you play the game, but whether you win or lose. This is a movie that breaks with that tradition, that allows its kids to be kids, that shows them in the insular world of imagination and dreaming that children create entirely apart from adult domains and values.”
—Roger Ebert

Top of the Ninth

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

Being the new kid in town isn’t easy. This is especially true when you are not fluent in the language of the other kids: baseball. In this case, classifying the new kid as mildly conversational was a stretch a mile long. This serves as the opening conundrum for Scotty Smalls, or just “Smalls,” as in the universally known and cherished phrase, “you’re killin’ me Smalls!” After an awesomely cool speech from his Mother, Smalls got out of his honor roll bubbled room and explored his new terrain. Here is that rad speech for Mrs. Smalls (turn the volume up!).

“The Sandlot” is one of the best movies about baseball of all-time. It’s a cultural staple for an entire generation. Serving up not only favorite moments of nostalgia, the 1993 classic also paints the picture of a group of friends that experience summer the way it was intended way back in 1962. They played baseball all day and every day at their very own “sandlot,” they went to the carnival at night with a little too much “help from their friends,” scoped out the girls (Wendy Peffercorn!), caused a ruckus at the community pool, told epic tree house stories, celebrated the 4th of July the right way, got chased by the biggest dog in the world and had unforgettable nicknames. To serve as a refresher course, the names included: Smalls, Squints, Yeah-Yeah, Benny the Jet, Ham, Repeat and, of course, The Beast.

Below is the trailer and two classic scenes. Welcome back to “The Sandlot!”

“This pop isn’t workin’, Benny! I’m bakin’ like a toasted cheese-it! It’s so hot here!”

“You’re killin’ me Smalls!”

One quick recommendation: At least read an introductory book about your new language before venturing outside as to be cognizant of important phrases and figures, such as the most famous person of that culture.

Smalls: I was gonna put the ball back.
Squints: But it was signed by Babe Ruth!
Smalls: Yeah, you keep telling me that! Who is she?
Ham Porter: WHAT? WHAT?
Kenny: The sultan of swat!
Bertram: The king of crash!
Timmy: The colossus of clout!
Tommy: The colossus of clout!
All: BABE RUTH!
Ham Porter: THE GREAT BAMBINO!
Smalls: Oh my god! You mean that’s the same guy?