The Sandlot 2

A couple months ago, I watched The Sandlot: Heading Home, mentioning here that I had actually been looking for The Sandlot 2 when I stumbled upon that third installment of the series instead.  This weekend, I finally did manage to get my hands on a copy of The Sandlot 2.  sandlot 2

This chapter of the Sandlot series follows the typical formula of all the movies in the collection.  There is the group of main characters comprising the beloved sandlot team, including a leader, a nerdy kid, a chubby kid, and a ladies’ man.  There is a rival, cocky Little League team that challenges the sandlot team and engages in a name-calling contest with them.  And the primary conflict of the film revolves around a battle for the sandlot itself.

The Sandlot 2 introduces us to Johnnie Smalls, who, we eventually learn, is the younger brother of the one and only Scotty Smalls.  Johnnie is the narrator of the story and proves himself just as nerdy as his big brother, spending his time playing with model rockets.  The leader of this story’s sandlot team is David Durango, who also finds himself battling puberty and his sudden interest in girls.

One girl, in particular, is Hayley Goodfairer.  In addition to being attractive, Hayley proves herself a particularly talented softball pitcher.  At first, the boys of the sandlot are miffed when Hayley and her friends start using the sandlot to play softball, but after a couple of contentious face-offs, the boys and the girls agree to join together into a single team.

We learn that the Beast, Hercules, has passed away, but not before leaving behind some puppies.  One of those puppies grew into the newest sandlot terror, known as “The Great Fear.”  As Scotty’s younger brother, Johnnie knows all about the Beast and the Great Fear, and passes the legend onto the sandlot’s latest tenants.

Like his big brother, Johnnie gets himself into a bit of a pickle.  But instead of a baseball, he launches a rocket that does not belong to him, and it lands on the other side of the fence, in the territory belonging to the Great Fear.  The sandlot kids rally, but as before, nothing seems to work to get the rocket back.  Finally, the Benny Rodriguez of this tale, David Durango, decides to step up, facing his own fears as he hops the fence to take on the Great Fear.  James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mr. Mertle, which is certainly a treat for fans.

Aside from the inclusion of girls in the new team, there’s very little in this movie that the original Sandlot doesn’t already offer.  If you’re an especially big fan of the Sandlot and you don’t mind the cheesiness of it all, this is still an entertaining way to pass a couple hours, and it is chock full of nostalgia.  If you’re looking for something new, however, maybe pass on this one.


“Sandlot World Series,” by Daniel Turner

This poem was published in 2017 through Poetry Soup.  I love how this piece captures the fun details of playing sandlot baseball.  Leave it to the parents to force the game to end in a tie.

*

Some walked, others biked
As we gathered at the park
There was Jimmy, Peewee
Ricky, Billy and Mark
Neighborhood boys
From blocks around, they’d descend
For the Sandlot World Series
It was friend against friend

There were seven to a side
The bat was tossed to Bob
It was fist top of fist
’til a thumb crossed the knob
Back and forth went the score
Our pride made us care
The other team would storm back
And the tempers would flare

I was Mickey Mantle
Stuck out in right field
With a gun for an arm
Two bare feet for wheels
In inning number seven
And getting quite late
The tying run once again
Strode across the plate

After Tommy struck out
It was our turn to bat
We were cheering and yelling
Shaking our rally hats
Peewee lined a single
He was always big trouble
Then Steve, my brother
Lucked out with a double

It was second and third
With nobody out
When I stepped to the plate
Jimmy’s mom gave a shout
Then I heard my dad
Holler,”Time to eat”
The game ended in a tie
As none wanted to get beat.

In nineteen sixty six
On a hot August day
There were fourteen friends
Who gathered to play
Not the first nor the last
That ended a little teary
As supper time brought a tie
To the Sandlot World Series


“You’re killing me, Smalls!”: A salute to The Sandlot

It’s a classic in the world of baseball movies and beyond:  The Sandlot.  And this month, April 2013, marks twenty years (!) since the release of this family comedy.  As I re-watched the flick last night, I was reminded of seeing it for the first time in elementary school and thinking, like so many other kids my age, about how cool it would be to have that kind of summertime experience.

The Sandlot introduces us to Scotty Smalls, the nerdy new kid in town who manages to befriend the local sandlot baseball team.  He meets Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, the town baseball star, who not only teaches Smalls the fundamentals of the game, but also secures his own status as the neighborhood legend as he helps Smalls out of the biggest pickle of his life.

It is a movie that continues to hold a special place in my memory, as well as in pop culture today.  Who among us has not heard the phrase “You’re killing me, Smalls” in the last year?  And even though I am speaking from a girl’s perspective, I’m pretty sure that even the guys in my class had unvoiced crushes on Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez.

Then, of course, you’ve got James Earl Jones playing Mr. Mertle.  Even though he only made a small appearance at the end of the film, there’s no denying that the movie simply would not be the same without him in this role.  “I take it back.  You’re not in trouble.  You’re dead where you stand,” Mr. Mertle announced to Smalls, upon learning that the baseball, now chewed up by the Beast, was signed by one George Herman Ruth.  He delivered the line perfectly, and the look on Smalls’ face was priceless.

Source: EverythingAction.com

So we’ve got baseball, a kid legend, a giant, killer dog, Babe Ruth, and James Earl Jones.  What’s not to love about this movie?  Here’s to you, Sandlot.  Your legacy will, no doubt, continue to be celebrated for another twenty years… and beyond!

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Sources:

King, Matt.  “The Sandlot 20th Anniversary: 20 Reasons It Was the Greatest Movie Ever Made.”  Bleacher Report.  Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 5 April 2013.  Web.  Accessed 11 April 2013.  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1435469-the-sandlot-20th-anniversary-20-reasons-it-was-the-greatest-movie-ever-made/

“The Sandlot.” The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). IMDb.com, Inc., 1990-2013. Web. Accessed 11 April 2013.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108037/

“Top 5 James Earl Jones Roles.”  Everything Action.  EverythingAction.com, 17 September 2011.  Web.  Accessed 11 April 2013.  http://www.everythingaction.com/2011/09/17/top-5-james-earl-jones-roles/