“The Sandlot,” a loving tribute to the wholesome, All-American pursuit of home runs, S’mores, and hot lifeguards celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a brand new Blu-ray release. In honor of the movie lets take a look at 10 facts about "The Sandlot" you probably had no idea about.
David Evans, who wrote, directed, and narrated the film based on his own real-life experience, modeled the character of Michael “Squints” Palledorous on a childhood friend named…Michael Polydoros. Far from flattered, the real Squints actually sued Evans and 20th Century Fox in 1998 claiming the character caused him shame and humiliation. 20th Century Fox eventually won before the supreme court of California.
Squints, the actor who played him – Chauncey Leopardi - Went on to get another infamous roll as Alan in the hit TV show "Freaks and Geeks"
The Truth about the Sandlot
The truth about the sandlot is much darker as Evens said him and his brother were constantly picked on and beat up by the local kids after they moved. Also when Evens explained when he hoped a brick wall to get a ball back for the kids it was a German Sheppard that actually was beyond the fence and attacked him and chewed him up pretty good before he got away.
Mike Vitar (who played Benny “The Jet” Rodriquez) didn't have much an acting career beyond The Sandlot except for a part in the "Mighty Ducks" He eventually became a firefighter.
In the final scene, the older Benny – seen playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers – is actually played by Mike Vitar’s actual older brother, Pablo.
You can say this about the Sandlot kids, they never forget their fans. In 2009, Marty York, who played “Yeah Yeah,” was arrested in an L.A. nightclub after allegedly getting into a brawl with his girlfriend (he claimed he “backhanded her,” but only in self-defense) He then asked Sandlot fans to help him pay his legal bills.
David Evens made a couple facts. In the voiceover, Smalls claims that Babe Ruth’s “called shot” was made at Yankee Stadium during game three of the 1932 World Series in the bottom of the ninth. It was actually the top of the fifth inning, in Wrigley Field.
Mr. Mertle Photo
The Picture Mr. Mertle shows Smalls is significant as it shows him with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, this would mean that Mr. Mertle was the first African-American to play professional baseball. Ruth retired in 1935 and Gehrig in 1939. Jackie Robinson didn’t break the color barrier until 1947.
The Yankees Famed "Murderer's Row "
The ball that Mr. Mertle gives to Smalls to replace his step-father’s destroyed Babe Ruth autographed ball features the signatures of the Yankees’ famed “murderer’s row.” This was the nickname given to the first six batters of the 1927 team: Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri.