Long days, no school, good friends, and baseball — summers are the very best part of childhood. And for anyone who grew up in the ’90s, another treat that defined the season was “The Sandlot”
Of course, the kids from that coming-of-age film are all grown up now, but their memories from those glory days are as fresh as a newly mowed outfield.
On Thursday, the gang — including Smalls, Ham, Squints, DeNunez, Yeah-Yeah, Timmy, Bertram and Repeat — reunited on TODAY to reflect on their memories, share what life’s been like since, and toss the ball around again.
“It’s been crazy,” Marty York, who played Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan.. “I mean, it definitely gets you in places for free. I can’t walk through a Las Vegas casino without someone yelling ‘Yeah-Yeah!'”
The recognition they still get today is nice, but it’s nothing compared to the experience of making “The Sandlot,” which was released in 1993.
According to director, writer and narrator David Mickey Evans, “The film was made with the same amount of love that people have for it, and it was the greatest summer of our lives.”
For a lot of lives, actually.
While the stars never realized their Dodgers dreams in real life, their on-screen team spirit inspired many of today’s MLB greats.
“I think it’s awesome,” York said, recalling tributes, like the one the New York Yankees shot in 2015. “It’s a trip.”
Tom Guiry, who played Scotty Smalls, the new kid in town, agreed.
“It made a big impact on a lot of people’s lives,” he said.
In fact, their impact has gone far beyond baseball diamonds. NBA star Kevin Durant has a shot of young Patrick Renna, as Hamilton “Ham” Porter, serving as his Twitter photo.
But despite inspiring a generation of good sports, they didn’t necessarily inspire their own kids.
“I showed (my son) the movie for the first time, and … well, he’s really big on ‘Moana,'” proud pop Renna confessed.
Chaucey Leopardi, who played Squints, said his own teen daughter “thinks I’m just kind of a dork.”
But maybe that’ll change if she checks out what happened next during their reunion.
The team took the field again!
Since they were down a man, NBC correspondent Gadi Schwartz stood in for “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez, and he immediately got the business, Ham-style, from Renna.
Schwartz gripped his bat and pumped himself up with a familiar line: “Don’t be a goofus!”
The game that followed proved that while they might be rusty, the guys have still got it.
If you want to see more from the boys of summer, a new collector’s edition DVD and Blu-ray of “The Sandlot” has been released in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary.