The Sandlot

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A 1993 classic Coming of Age Story, it follows the summer adventures and misadventures of a group of boys and their ragtag baseball team playing on "The Sandlot," their makeshift baseball field in Los Angeles, during the summer of 1962.

Scotty Smalls is fairly brainy but struggles with making new friends due to being uncoordinated (doesn't have any skill at sports) and general shyness. In addition to being The New Guy, his mom recently remarried and he isn't quite adjusted to his new step-dad. Watching a group of kids play at the sandlot, he is invited to join by their best player and team leader Benny Rodriguez. An outcast among the group at first, Benny guides Scotty to become a decent ball player in his own right and is accepted by the others.

As the film progresses, they learn about s'mores, crushes, friendship and that growing up doesn't always mean disaster. They are also forced to match wits with "The Beast," a vicious genetically altered dog who was locked up for killing some 170 people trying to steal from the junk yard, and now lives behind the left field fence.

Basically this movie was to the kids of The Nineties what The Goonies was to the kids of The Eighties. It also follows Hero's Journey so well it's practically the baseball version of Star Wars.

Two direct-to video sequels were made thirteen years after the original had came and went:

  • The Sandlot 2 (2005): Set in the 70's and features a new cast of kids taking over the lot. Essentially a Generation Xerox of the first movie only with girls in the group and replacing the prized baseball with a model rocket.
  • The Sandlot: Heading Home (2007): Featured a bit more originally as it features an arrogant professional baseball player getting knocked out and winding up back in 1967 (five years after the orignal movie) to relive his childhood and learn the Power of Friendship

Tropes used in The Sandlot include:
  • An Aesop: Tobacco is bad for you. Chewing tobacco, in this case.
  • Angry Guard Dog: The Beast, which has a reputation for eating trespassers. He turns out to be a Big Friendly Dog.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: "Shit" is said three times by the kids throughout the movie.
  • Beware of Vicious Dog: Not really.
  • Broken Glass Penalty: The Beast's owner has an impressive collection of baseball memorabilia.
  • Carrying a Cake:
  • Chase Scene: The film's climactic scene is Benny outrunning the Beast all over the whole town and to the sandlot again. LITERALLY all over town!
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Subverted. For most of the movie, the boys swear plenty, but when it comes time for the name-calling contest, they decide not to use the "B" word and substitute it with "female dog!" Granted, that's what it means, but still...
  • Cool Old Guy: Mr. Mertle, The Beast's owner.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The kids see The Beast as one. Turns out he's just a Big Friendly Dog.
  • Five-Man Band: Once you focus on the characters with the most lines, you get
  • Kiss of Life: Pretty much the Trope Codifier. Squints deliberately pretends to drown in order to get the kiss of life from a hot lifeguard (who is played by Marley Shelton so you can hardly blame him).
  • Knuckle-Cracking: Benny cracks his knuckles when he faces off with the Beast. He does it with one hand, pinching his fore- and middle-fingers with his thumb.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Mr. Myrtle to the Sandlot gang.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Wendy Peffercorn.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: The adult Scotty, voiced by the film's writer-director David M. Evans.
  • Oh Crap: Or, rather: "Oh SHIT!" when The Beast leaps over the fence to get the ball back from Benny.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Subverted; it initially appears like the Sandlot ragtag team have met their villianous match midway through the film with a rival team that is introduced, complete with snobby attitude and nice uniforms. That is, until the very next scene where the Sandlot team defeats them handily in blow-out fashion.
  • Politically-Correct History: Mr. Mertle, supposedly a contemporary of Babe Ruth, says that it was an eye injury that prevented him from pursuing Ruth's hitting records. In Real Life, he wouldn't have been allowed to play in the major leagues in Ruth's time due to the segregation policy that excluded black players from the league until 1947, long after Ruth had retired.
    • Who said he meant playing in the Majors? There is at least one Negro Leagues player acknowledged to have more homers than Ruth.
      • If he was in the Negro Leagues, how likely is it that would translate into being on first-name terms with MLB superstars.
        • Exhibition games between Negro League all-stars -- led by Satchel Paige -- and Major League all-stars -- led by Dizzy Dean -- were common between 1934 and '45.
  • Product Placement: For PF Flyers who were trying to launch a comeback based on the returnung popularity of their main competitor, the Converse All-Stars
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The sandlot team to a tee.
  • Real Life Relative: The actor who played the elder Benny is the brother of the actor who played the young Benny.
  • The Sixties
  • Spiritual Successor: You could say this is A Christmas Story for the summer months. (Even though the actual sequel, It Runs in the Family aka "My Summer Story", ain't half bad either).
  • Supporting Protagonist: Though Scott is the viewpoint character as well as the narrator, it's pretty obvious that Benny is the real hero.
  • Verbal Tic: Three guesses as to what Yeah-Yeah's is.
  • Wasted Song: The credits song is nowhere to be seen on the soundtrack.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Toward the beginning, Smalls suggests they go talk to The Beast's owner to have him get the ball back for them. Squints just shoots this down. The first thing Jones's character says when they tell them they were trying to get it back is to ask why they didn't just ask him. Cue everyone shouting at Squints and hitting him over the head with their baseball caps.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Type 4.

Hamilton: You play ball like a girl!

  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: As is typical for these types of films, the end has Scott narrating what ultimately became of his friends, their images fading out one by one. At the very end, we're treated to a Time Skip showing that Scott is now a sports commentator, and Benny now plays baseball professionally...for their hometown Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Benny successfully pickles The Beast to get the ball back...which leads to the Oh Crap moment above.