'The Sandlot' At 25: An Interview With Director David Mickey Evans About the Baseball Cult Classic

It’s even inspired some of the best MLB players.

Over two decades ago, “The Sandlot” hit theaters. Moviegoers were introduced to a scrappy group of kids who spent long summer days on a makeshift baseball field in the early ‘60s. It’s a coming-of-age story about how the new kid in town learned to play ball and, in the process, made lifelong friends.

Since its original release, the film has come to be seen as a sports classic: one that Gen Xers saw as kids and then passed down to their Millennial children. These days, shirts emblazoned with the film’s signature catchphrase, “You’re killing me smalls,” are on sale at your local Target. And if you scroll through basic cable, you’re bound to run across “The Sandlot” for viewing on a Saturday afternoon.


The film has even been a huge inspiration for a number of Major League Baseball players.

A few years back, the film’s director, David Mickey Evans, and stars Chauncey Leopardi and Patrick Renna, watched the Boston Red Sox batting practice and David Ortiz gave them all a big bear hug and said, “You guys are my heroes.”

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On June 16, the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated the film’s 25th anniversary with an appearance by its stars and a screening of the film after a game versus the San Francisco Giants.

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To commemorate the film’s anniversary, GOOD caught up with Evans to talk about why the film still matters now:

While “The Sandlot” was a hit when it was released in 1993, 25 years later, it seems to have exploded in popularity. How did it happen?

It has absolutely grown in popularity and has been more successful every subsequent year than the year before. It went into the video rental market at the height of the VHS rental days and found a new and larger audience. Then when the DVD revolution hit, the rentals and purchases went off the charts.

Why does the film have such staying power?

The film’s staying power is – to state the obvious — because people love to watch it over and over again. I think, in a very basic way, that’s because no matter who you are, where you were brought up, or what the circumstances of your life have been, everyone either knew one of those characters, was one of those characters, or wanted to be one of those characters.

Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez was a great role model for Latino kids at a time when they weren’t represented much in popular culture. Was it a conscious decision for you to add a Latino role model?

Yes, it was. Where I grew up in the northeastern San Fernando Valley in Southern California in the 1970s, it was a predominantly Latino population. So I drew from those memories.

Have you run into people who were inspired by the Rodriguez character?

Many, many fans have told me how much the Benny character influenced their childhoods, and taught them lessons about friendship and standing up for the little guy.

Do kids today still have that “Sandlot”-style experience of spending long days playing ball with their friends?

Sadly, I don’t think so. When I was a kid, during the summer, we’d leave the house when the sun came up and went home when the sun went down — all without a second of adult supervision. In this day and age, I can’t imagine that happening anymore. I think the closest kids get to that sort of experience these days is with organized sports.

“The Sandlot” is an underdog story about Scotty Smalls, an unathletic kid who aspires to be better. Have “Sandlot” fans been inspired by Smalls?

Not the Smalls character specifically, but I hear from fans all the time who tell me how much the film means to them, and even professional baseball players who say “The Sandlot” is the reason they play baseball. When the New York Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers reenact scenes from your film, I suppose you have to believe it means something special to them!

Twentieth Century Fox is celebrating the film’s anniversary by bringing it back to theaters on July 22 and 24.

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

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The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Viral


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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