Friday, June 3, 2011

"You're Killing Me, Smalls"

So this blog post is being published about 3 weeks after I intended for it to be, but such is life.

If you don't know what movie that line is from you either didn't grow up in the 90's or you didn't enjoy baseball as a kid.  The # 138 entry in the Baseball Fan's Bucket List is to watch The Sandlot.  Personally, I'm upset that this film is so low on the list considering its only 162 activities long.  This is one of my favorite baseball movies of all time because this movie embodied everything I wanted out of a summer.  I would have loved to play baseball every day, had a night game played under the fireworks, or even put the moves on Wendy Peffercorn.  But I didn't have enough friends that lived close enough who enjoyed playing baseball, an old diamond to play ball, or a cute lifeguard to put the moves on.  Regardless of these facts, this is one of my favorite childhood movies.  After I watched it, my brother commented to me that all the good sports movies were one's in which kids were involved (Rookie of the Year, Little Giants, Sandlot, and Angels in the Outfield).  I must say that I agree with him, but that could be due to the fact that all these movies came out when I was a kid and I enjoyed every one of them.

Now for a "review" of the movie in a nutshell since I'm guessing many of you may have seen the movie before.  So, Scott Smalls moves to a new town right before summer and has no friends.  He follows a group of 8 boys to an old abandoned baseball diamond to watch them play.  Eager to join them, Smalls stands out in left field and embarasses himself catching and throwing the ball.  To be quick, Benny takes a liking to Smalls, he invites him to play ball, teaches him to catch, throw, and hit and the rest of Smalls' summer is set.  The majority of the movie follows the kids as they try to retrieve a baseball signed by Babe Ruth that Smalls stole from his step-father's office to continue playing baseball from the neighborhood dog, Beast.  After many attempts and a dream Benny has involving the Great Bambino, Benny pickles the Beast and get the ball back from Mr. Mertle, but Mertle trades Smalls that chewed up ball for one signed by the entire 1927 New York Yankees team.  (Now I hate the Yankees, but classic Yankees are OK in my book).  Flash forward 30 years and Smalls in a radio announcer for the Dodgers and Benny "The Jet" is pinch running on 3rd base.

This is where the only problem I have with the movie occurs.  The kids are 11-12 throughout the movie in the 60s and then the film fast forwards 30 years to Benny playing for the Dodgers as a pinch-runner (at least in this game).  He'd be 41 or 42.  No baseball team would put a 40+ year old in to pinch run, I don't think Benny is Ricky Henderson, but I may be wrong.  And if that's the only issue I have with the movie, fine, because its a very minor detail to the whole movie.

In all, this movie rocks and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet or has younger siblings/children that would enjoy sports movies.  This makes 2 entries completed in the bucket list...

...3 since I'm retroactively #24 Own a Baseball Glove, since I don't plan on buying a new one any time soon.