Twenty years ago nine kids took to a makeshift diamond to tell a story about baseball and capture the essence of youth in 1962. Two decades later, the actors from The Sandlot have scattered professionally and geographically, but some remain close and all are connected by the same experience and the same iconic line: “You’re killing me Smalls!” SI writer Matt Gagne takes a look at what the actors who played the nine main characters have been up to since the movie came out – from acting and playing poker to saving lives and running a pizza shop.
Rob Neyer is at his absolute best when he's writing historically. He has a tremendously large baseball library and, it appears anyway, he either has most of it memorized or at least painstakingly indexed. Yesterday he used that brain and those tools to put together a great column. The subject: the stories behind the players and coaches in the movie "42" who served as the movie's villains…
I came into the movie theater knowing that I wasn’t going to get a major history lesson of everything that happened during Jackie Robinson’s rookie year. But I knew that with Hollywood, the main message of the story would be told beautifully. That’s what I got when I saw “42” today.
The movie doesn’t detail every single thing that came with Robinson’s signing or Branch Rickey’s struggle to maintain a clubhouse that supported Robinson. But as any good Hollywood movie does, the reality is shown. And the reality was that Robinson’s arrival came with a lot of hate. From hate mail, to racial slurs to death threats, it all was emphasized throughout the film, an important aspect that I think the film captures wonderfully. Especially for a time period that so few of us actually lived through, it’s shocking to see how narrow-minded America was at one point.
I’ll be honest, I shed a tear a few times throughout the film because I think it still hurts to see racism today. Even though it was nothing like it was in the 1940s, the fact that we still struggle to accept people despite differences in our society makes this movie that much more powerful.
Quick synopsis: Gus (Clint Eastwood) is an aging baseball scout that has had a great track record and is on to seek a prospect for the Braves in the upcoming draft. His eyesight is starting to fail him and his colleague, a former scout now team executive (John Goodman) suggests that Gus’ overworked lawyer daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) accompany Gus on this scouting trip. There Mickey hopes to mend a broken relationship with her father while she tries to balance her own problems in life.
So I came into the theater having high expectations for the movie. After all, I love baseball and I enjoy Clint Eastwood. But after watching this movie, I don’t think this was much of a baseball movie. Baseball was the backdrop to a story that featured more of Gus and his daughter Mickey bonding together for the first time in their lives.
But there were some good baseball notions to it. It actually debunked everything “Moneyball” was about — that computers can’t determine a player’s worth. You have to see it, hear and and believe it. And there goes the current state of scouting — which approach works best?
I came upon this video Saturday (and it’s already been getting a buzz for the past few days) and I suggest you all watch and enjoy it. After watching, here’s the story.
Basically, Dan Freiman works with kids in Kenya and realized that the children’s passion for playing sports and making movies could be combined into a project. After thinking up some famous sports moments, they settled on recreating Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
The link has the interview and it was a joy to read. The video itself is amazing.
Happy Father’s Day to all the papas out there. The above clip may be the best father-son moment in all of sports movies. It gets to me every time.
When I think about fathers in sports, I just can’t imagine how many athletes we’ve seen over the years credit their father for their success. And how much more important a father means to a kid in their quest to balance their lives as an athlete and a person.
My dad was a huge influence on me with sports. He’s not a huge sports nut like I am but all those times he’s taken me to A’s games or watched the 49ers with me as a kid made it oh so special. Without him, I don’t think I’d ever get into sports and who knows what I’d be doing today.
Happy Father’s Day, pop!
Tonight is the Oscars and I did not get a chance to see a lot of movies in 2011. But of course one movie that I had to see was Moneyball. As some of you know, I am an A’s fan and I have read the book. The movie was something I could not miss and I saw it four times in the theaters.
The movie is up for awards in six categories tonight.
- Best Picture
- Best Actor (Brad Pitt)
- Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill)
- Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian)
- Film Editing (Christopher Tellefsen)
- Sound Mixing (Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco, and Ed Novick).
I really think Hill’s performance in the movie was really superb and he is deserving of the award. The adapted screenplay also was done well and that might be another category the movie might take. It’s the only nominated movie for that award that was actually based on a non-fiction book.
I doubt I will watch the awards show tonight but I am at least hoping that this movie gets at least one award.
Baseball is my favorite sport. Baseball is a children’s game that when you play, you remain forever young.
The other day, I ended up watching “The Sandlot” and it reminded me why that movie is my favorite baseball movie of all time. Inspired by that, I have decided to put together my Top 10 favorite baseball movies that I have seen.
(The list will contain clips from the movies. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t watch the clips.)