On April 7, 1993, one day before Macedonia joined the United Nations, history was made: David Mickey Evans’ The Sandlot was released in theaters across the United States. It’s been one score and five years since its release, so let us celebrate why this film still stands.
1. The shoes: There is still nothing better than seeing canvas Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars or PF Flyers striking the dirt diamond and trampled plates.
2. The amount of swearing: These kids seem to be slinging insults straight from the mind of a 10-year-old Quentin Tarantino. Needless to say, I look up to the Sandlot gang as linguistic heroes.
3. “You’re killing me, smalls!”: This works as the default catchphrase for anyone who wants to assert their dominance. You don’t know how to change a tire? You don’t know how to file your taxes? You don’t know the main cast of Sex and the City? “You’re killing me, smalls!”
4. How to make a s’more: This was also the first time in American history that a marshmallow was referred to as a “mallow.”
5. CPR and saving a life: David Mickey Evans clearly wants his audience to understand basic first aid while also teaching them how to (not) pick up girls at a swimming pool.
6. James Earl Jones in a baseball movie: I have always had a dream that Darth Vader would announce games for my Cleveland Indians. This is the closest to that I can get.
7. The utter admiration of Babe Ruth: Did you know that Babe Ruth has been accused of injecting himself with liquid from sheep testicles as a steroid? Just something fun to remember while rewatching Benny talking to the Sultan of Swat’s ghost.
8. Big giant dog: I’m pretty sure one of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shall love canines.”
9. The baseball standoff: The Sandlot transforms into a Western when the Tigers, riding on their stallion-esque bicycles, arrive to the barren baseball diamond. This is better than any John Wayne shootout.
10. The dangers of chewing tobacco…
11. …and the vomity aftermath: Who needs D.A.R.E. when you have a masterpiece that showcases young boys puking after using dip?
12. The soundtrack: Because of it, I knew all the words to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Tequila” when I was eight.
13. The cool but dumb engineering contraptions to get the baseball back: I believe the reason why I chose mechanical engineering as my major at Cornell was because of my dream to create the perfect machine that can retrieve an autographed baseball from a giant English Mastiff.
14. The fact that it is 1962 and JFK, Marilyn Monroe and Cuba were mentioned a total of zero times: The television series Mad Men, on the other hand, talks about these things all the damn time. The Sandlot > Mad Men.
15. Awesome chase sequence: Roger Ebert posits that the chase sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark was “the best chase scene I’ve seen in a film.” That is objectively false, as nothing beats a romp through Smalltown, USA, with a goliath dog.
16. It’s not Air Bud: I love dogs, but not because they are great movie actors who are also talented athletes.
17. The fact that one of the kids in the future “got really into the 60s, and no one ever saw him again”: This line is great. Did he go to Woodstock or Vietnam? To this day, I still don’t know what it really means.
18. There were two direct-to-video sequels, creating a Sandlot franchise: I’m pretty sure the Coen Brothers, Stanley Kubrick, and Alfred Hitchcock never had direct-to-video sequels. You do the math.
19. The nicknames: There are classics, like “the Jet” and “Ham,” but there are also cool original ones, like “Yeah-yeah” and “Repeat.” I wish I had friends to give me nicknames…
20. The hats: The ridiculous bonnet thing that Smalls wears is visual comedy at its finest.
21. Having been released in early April: Just around the start of the baseball season . . . brilliant marketing.
22. The director’s middle name is “Mickey”: HIS MIDDLE NAME IS MICKEY.
23. The father-son playing catch scene: My dad didn’t realize this is a responsibility of his until he saw the film for the first time. The Sandlot saves families.
24. Porter’s insults while playing catcher: “You know, if my dog was as ugly as you, I’d shave his butt and tell him to walk backwards.”
25. The fireworks baseball game: The only thing more American than that is a bald eagle in camo playing “Sweet Home, Alabama” on an electric guitar in the shape of the Constitution.
Wilbert Ren is a sophomore in the College of Engineering. He can be reached at [email protected].