Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi and Tom Guiry – known to fans of the 1993 film “The Sandlot” as Ham, Squints and Smalls – recently visited Dripping Springs, outside of Austin, for a special screening of the film and a meet-and-greet with fans.
Twenty-six years after its release, they say people still get excited about the film that’s partly about baseball but also childhood friendship.
“It’s why we act – to be able to say you’re in a movie that stands the test of time,” Renna says. “It’s pretty amazing that people still care about something almost 30 years ago.”
Leopardi says one kid who came to the event shared that his father, a law enforcement officer, recently died. His dad used to tell him that he looks a lot like the character, Squints.
“These guys got pretty emotional cause everybody kind of teared up as we gave him a hug,” he says.
Leopardi says parents often share the movie with their kids, and bond over it.
“When you see something that’s traveled generations … it’s just humbling,” he says.
The movie has even sparked romances. One couple that met online shared a love of the film, and even had a “Sandlot”-themed wedding. They played “This Magic Moment” as the bride walked down the aisle – a song featured in the film. They also had a special “Sandlot” cake: “It said ‘Forever,’” Guiry says. It’s a nod to a well-known part of the film when Squints tells a spooky story about the beastly neighborhood dog.
What’s their prediction for this year’s World Series? They all say “Astros.”
“Houston’s gonna take it for sure,” Guiry says.
Written by Caroline Covington.