Sports, of course, are inherently tied to results. But movies too often limit the scope of their storytelling by leaning on the bankable dramatics that finish a game, a season or a championship run.
Which is why it’s so refreshing that the only real competitive game that occurs in The Sandlot comes at its halfway point. The group has been challenged by a pack of bike-riding brats dressed in Little League uniforms, but they offer little intimidation. Benny and his crew handle them with ease. Everybody smacks the ball, comeuppance is served without argument, and this self-regulated exhibition turns into a wipeout. In any other movie, this would be the final act, the ninth inning serving justice to the underdogs. Instead, it’s a laugh and a footnote.
Happy 25th anniversary, Smalls