I didn’t grow up in the 60s, but hot days at the pool, riding bikes around town, and neighborhood ball games were still a part of my daily childhood rituals. I grew up in a town where our mothers sent us out after breakfast and told us to be home by dinner. When it got too dark to see the ball coming at you it was time to go inside for the night. So even though I was 15 years old when this movie came out, it still resonated with the childhood memories I had only recently left behind.
I love this movie. It’s not a Star Wars, Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption kind of love. It’s not because of a big name cast, or a artsy fartsy production quality. I love this movie because it does an amazing job telling the story from the perspective of the kids.
I’m willing to bet most of us have experienced being the “new kid” and trying to make new friends. That’s how we are introduced to the group of kids, and the way Benny brings Smalls to the team is a great example of friendship. He knew Scotty wasn’t the best athlete and when the other guys started making fun of his lack of skill, Benny started pointing out some of the traits the other guys have that aren’t perfect. When Beeny talks, they listen.
When I was young, everything my friends and I did seemed like the biggest deal ever. It was the biggest card trade, the biggest cannon ball splash, the highest jump off the bike ramp, or in this movie the largest dog ever: The Beast. I love how we see the larger than life legend of The Beast through their eyes. Reality exaggerated through the eyes of youth.
When I saw there was going to be a Sandlot insert set in 2018 Topps Archives I got excited. Then when I read there was also a special Topps set in the recently released 35th Anniversary Blu-Ray I knew some of my card profit was going towards the addition of this movie to my collection.
Here’s what those cards look like.
The 1962 Topps Sporting News All-Star style cards are a perfect design to celebrate the movie. They have a slightly thinner Heritage look and feel, and the bios on the back recount the highlights of the characters summer and later life. It’s a pretty fun bonus addition to the Blu-Ray.
We had a family movie night which gave my two girls a chance to see the movie for the first time. I wasn’t sure what they’d think since the world they know isn’t anywhere near the same? Would the lack of hand held devices, style of music, etc turn them off, or would they still find a connection with the way their friendships developed. Would they recognize how the obstacles a nine year old faces seem larger than life to them?
Well they both loved it, and were into it the whole time. Their favorite parts were how Benny helped Smalls feel like a part of the group, and the pool scene. They were on the edge of the seat throughout the multiple attempts to get their ball back from Hercules. Finally, the ultimate confirmation of their enjoyment of the movie was how they were excited to learn we also got a digital copy of the movie with the Blu-Ray so they can watch it on the iPad during our road trips to the grandparents house!
It had been several years since I watched the movie, and I’m really glad I got experience it again with the whole family. The 25th Anniversary Blue-Ray is a great format to pick it up if you don’t already own it!