“The Sandlot” represents the foundation of sport. The kids in this movie played baseball at every opportunity, simply for the love of the game. This attitude towards sport is the purest form of play because they had no one to direct their practice. They did not need a fancy field or fancy uniforms to play well. They were good, because thought they were good. To them baseball was the only reason to go outside, where they could spit, curse, and act like the pros until suppertime.
“Sandlot” takes place during the summer in a small California town, in the early nineteen-sixties. A boy, who in the movie goes by the nickname of Smalls, moves into town. He is trying to adjust to his new stepfather (a baseball fanatic), but moving to a new place does not make this easy. The boys in his new neighborhood play baseball religiously, especially since it is summertime. Smalls has no baseball experience but his new friend, Benny Rodriguez, quickly teaches him. After a very brief period of rejection and name-calling, because of his lack of baseball skills, Smalls is accepted into the sandlot gang. The gang plays an endless game of baseball everyday, stopping only when the heat becomes unbearable. They cool off by going to the pool where one of their own steals a kiss from the lifeguard. At one point in the movie, they encounter another distraction from their routine when a rival team, with sponsors and uniforms, drops by to harass them. It’s not long before the sandlot gang pummels the rival team on their fancy field.
One day Benny smacks a ball so hard the leather splits, ruining it. Smalls runs to his house and gets his stepfather’s favorite ball, the one with Babe Ruth’s signature on it, so that the gang can resume the game. Smalls ends up hitting his first home run, courtesy of his stepfather’s ball. Over the fence it goes, into the yard that no one dared to venture. The yard guarded by “The Beast,” a huge junkyard dog. So began the rising action of...
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