Without a doubt, the most famous line from the entire movie is the repeated, “You’re killing me, Smalls!” Mostly this comes from Ham, but there are a couple of people that drop this line over the course of the movie. For the last thirty years, this line has followed actor Tom Guiry everywhere in his life. He estimates that he still hears it three or four times a day. A day!
It seems like that would be a tough thing to have to deal with. And while Guiry used to hate it, he’s started to appreciate it more and more as he’s gotten older. By this time he enjoys talking about his time on the sandlot, and he seems to appreciate how much of an impact the movie made on so many both of the time and afterward.
Throwing it In
Like most films, most of “The Sandlot” was scripted, but there were a couple of moments that were ad-libbed and thrown into the film. If we asked you to guess who was most likely to have made up some of his lines, who would you say? If it’s Ham, then you’re right on the money. When Ham was arguing with his nemesis Philips, there were a bunch of lines that Patrick Renna came up with.
So, too, were a lot of the lines that Renna said while he was wearing his catcher’s mask. Some of them were all Renna, though a couple of them got some help from the director, who was shouting ideas at him from the sidelines. Thanks to Renna, we have memorable lines like “You mix your Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam!”
The Best Scene of Them All
Out of all of the scenes in the movie, which do you think was the favorite for actor Tom Guiry, who played Smalls? It was the Fourth of July scene, which had plenty of magic in it. This is thanks in part to the fact that it was filmed at the best time to capture images of people – the “golden hour” or “magic hour,” just as the sun is going down.
The shadows are long, the sun is gold, and everything has a little bit of magic in it. Guiry has said that he loved the moment when they were all watching the photographs – apparently, even when he watches it decades later, seeing all the kids’ faces brings back all the memories of his time shooting the movie.
Big Names Among the Kids
Every single one of the boys that played the ball team was a young, unknown actor, but there were a couple of recognizable names among the adults in the film. Of course, the most obvious is James Earl Jones, who played the blind ballplayer Mr. Mertle – the kids were thrilled to find out that they would be able to meet the voice of Darth Vader.
There’s also Denis Leary, who made a name for himself playing tough guys – Tom Guiry expected him to show up in a cigar, wearing a leather jacket, talking fast. Guiry remembered telling his mom that Leary was much different in real life. Finally, there was Karen Allen, who played Guiry’s mother, who at that time had already been in one of the “Indiana Jones” movies.
Much Better Than He Looked
Scottie Smalls joins the sandlot’s baseball team despite an obvious lack of skill doing anything on the diamond, but that lack of skill was just an act. Guiry wasn’t a bad player at all – in fact, he’d spent a couple of years on Little League teams at that point. When he was cast as the newcomer to the sport, he had to be “taught” how not to use his skill to play when his character was supposed to be hopeless doing anything on the team.
He often had a hard time adjusting, and would sometimes immediately play to his abilities meaning they would have to redo the take. After the movie premiered, he was teased by his real friends that it didn’t look like he could play at all – including by none other than his Little League coach.