If you have ever been lucky enough to see “A Christmas Story,” you will understand what I mean when I say The Sandlot is a summer version of it. Both movies are about gawky young adolescents trapped in a world they just know and doing their best to fit in while beset with the most amazing vicissitudes.
Neither movie has any connection with the humdrum reality of the boring real world; both tap directly into a vein of nostalgia and memory that makes reality seem puny by comparison.
The Sandlot takes place in a small American town in the early 1960s. A boy Scott (Tom Guiry) arrives in the new neighborhood and desperately wants to fit in. There is a local baseball team with eight players, and so he could be the ninth – if only he could play baseball but he cant. Thing only worst, he doesnt know the famous baseball legend Babe Ruth even his stepfather has a ball autographed by Babe. Scott asks his stepfather, Bill, to teach him playing baseball. Bill agrees but puts it off since hes too busy.
He could end up never know how to play baseball if Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez wont tactfully teaches Scotty what he needs to know, thus launching the finest summer of his young life. Scott becomes part of the team, and they play baseball every day. Behind the wall at the end of their sandlot is a backyard inhabited by the Beast, a dog so large and savage that it has become a neighborhood legend.
We catch glimpses of parts of it from time to time – a massive paw, slavering jowls – and from what we can see, it’s about as large as a dinosaur. There is a legend that Beast has eaten over 100 kids and balls. One day the boys’ last ball goes over the fence into Beasts jaw. Scotty runs home and takes his stepfather’s autographed ball. Unluckily, that ball is also slammed over the fence. Scott is calm until his friend tell him that his stepfather is not going to be overjoyed to learn that his trophy has become the Beast’s lunch.
The boys try every plan that they can come up to retrieve the ball, even the goofy. Throughout their effort to get back the ball from the Beast, a lesson of bravery and coalition has been told. The Sandlot movie has a happy ending when the ball autographed by Babe Ruth doesnt become the Beasts meal.
The Sandlot story is told in an original, quirky, off-center, deliberately exaggerated way. This is not the movie about kids and baseball that you expect ending with the team winning the Big Game. It isn’t about winning and losing, it’s about growing up and facing your fears. Breaking the traditional story of movies about kids and sport. Throughout the movie, the characters are allowed to be kid, there is no worry of competition, just their insular world of imagination and dreaming. The Sandlot movie brings back audiences childhood memory of the realm of the possible and ventures into the exaggerations of all childhood legends.