For baseball boomers, the ultimate baseball movie experience is Bull Durham or Field of Dreams. For millennials, that honor falls to The Sandlot–a film turning 25 years old this month. Why does the film resonate so strongly with millennials?
Timing, really, as we’ll see later. But as time goes on, the popularity of The Sandlot just grows and grows: parents who saw the movie 20 years ago are now sharing it with their kids, and the power of the family-friendly flick expands over time.
Spring training 2018 was considerably brightened with this bit of viral video shot by the Milwaukee Brewers at the Maryvale Baseball Park training fields. Here, Brewers players (including Stephen Vogt and Christian Yelich) re-create one of the key scenes in The Sandlot:
Interestingly, this wasn’t the first time an MLB team re-created a scene from The Sandlot–the New York Yankees did so in 2015:
The Yankees and MLB even released a blooper reel:
When The Sandlot came out in 1993, it wasn’t a hit: none of the leads were huge draws or became huge stars. But it was a case of perfect timing: because of the emergence of VCRs, tapes, DVDs, video stores and cable television, The Sandlot was repeatedly exposed to a whole generation of kids who really couldn’t empathize with Bull Durham (too racy) or Field of Dreams (too maudlin for a teenager), but still had a love for the game of baseball. They could see themselves among the kids of The Sandlot: Scotty, Benny, Yeah-Yeah, Squints and Ham were everyday kids doing everyday things.
Today, you’ll see lots of references to The Sandlot in both MLB and MiLB ballparks: video clips are repeatedly shown on the videoboard, and some teams even show it at the ballpark as special events. The Sandlot really has become part of the modern baseball experience, and we expect to see lots of clips during our ballpark travels this summer.