In “The Sandlot,” star player Benny Rodriguez has a dream of his star and idol, the dearly departed Babe Ruth. He appears in a dream to young Benny, offering words of wisdom and taking his Hank Aaron baseball card. He’s played by veteran actor Art LaFleur, who, just like James Earl Jones, also appeared in “Field of Dreams.” Incredibly, not only does James Earl Jones play a similar character, but Art LaFleur does as well.
In both films, he plays a legendary baseball player who has been dead for some time but appears to be the main character. Maybe the producers from “The Sandlot” thought he had done such a good job in “Field of Dreams” that they just had to have him. Maybe he wanted to revise his role.
Seen in Scary Movies
When Smalls first goes to visit the sandlot, you can see him passing a store called the Vincent Drug Store. It wasn’t the first time the store would be in a movie – it wasn’t even the second time! You can first see it in “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers,” when Rachel and her friend take Jamie to pick out a Halloween costume. Is that movie set around Halloween? Probably.
Exactly one year later, in the next installment in the Halloween franchise, “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers,” the drug store makes yet another appearance, in the scene where the Man in Black steps off a bus and starts making his way through town. We guess it makes sense for a movie series set in one town to have the same shops show up in different movies.
Paraphrasing a Famous Line
Perhaps the very most famous part of the entire movie is the line that Ham utters several times during the course of the film: “You’re killing me, Smalls.” This is actually a paraphrase of the line dropped by Denver Broncos coach Lou Saban – not even from the same sport – that goes “They’re killing me out there, Whitey.”
Saban’s famous temper resulted in him belting out this line to assistant coach Whitey Dovell. The same line was paraphrased in yet another baseball-themed film that came out a year before “The Sandlot,” “A League of Their Own” from 1992. While it might not be the most creative line we’ve ever heard, it seems to work really well in this movie, and it’s clear that it has a sports pedigree, too.
In Perfect Order
The movie was shot in only forty-two days, which didn’t leave a whole lot of time to move things around. Unlike most movies, the film was shot entirely in order, so the order we see while watching the movie is the exact same order that they were filmed in. This isn’t how most movies do things – most productions will film everything in a single location, or with specific characters, or whatever they might choose.
Filming everything in order kind of seems like how a kid would assume a movie is shot, which kind of works in this instance. On the other hand, we’re not sure why a production would choose to do this since it seems a lot more difficult. Maybe it was for the benefit of the child actors, to keep them in their roles better.
The Only Way to Make It Better
For many, especially those of the millennial generation, it would be impossible to improve “The Sandlot.” But what if we told you that a very special someone was originally tapped to provide the voice of the narrator instead of David Mickey Evans? Who could possibly fill such big shoes? How could this film possibly have even more nostalgia and pure childlike joy than it already does? What if the role of the narrator was instead played by the irreplaceable Robin Williams?
It’s true – perhaps the most famous voice of an entire decade was going to become part of this movie as the adult Scotty Smalls, but talks fell through for an unknown reason. Most likely it was simply because Robin Williams was getting tons of work at that point, and was just too busy.