'The Sandlot' reunion at actual sandlot draws fans, ball players

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com  |  July 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM
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Twenty years seemed like FOR-EV-ER when the original stars of "The Sandlot" stood again on the makeshift Glendale, Salt Lake City baseball diamond where the beloved 1993 movie was made.

Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York, Victor DiMattia: They're names aren't well known, and few have gone on to careers in movies. But they are the kids whose faces are forever linked to little league and summer.

So it was pretty special when Squints, Ham and Yeah-Yeah were on hand in Utah for a screening of the beloved movie, a baseball clinic with Angels AAA-affiliate Salt Lake Bees, and even a marriage proposal.

"I told him if it was going to happen, it better be special," said the newly engaged Stacey McGillis, whose new fiancee, "Sandlot" director David Mickey Evans, got down on one knee over home plate.

Evans, who credits the movie with giving him a career, said bringing "The Sandlot" back to its original home was a fitting tribute.

"Nowhere does this movie mean as much to everyone, especially us, as it does right here in S.L.C.," Evans said.

The anniversary event was a collaboration between the Utah Film Commission and the Glendale Community Council. They prepared for the weekend celebration by transforming four backyards where the film was shot to look like the original movie set.

"I think we underestimated how many people loved the movie and how much it meant to people," said film commission director Marshall Moore.

And how. Adults wore Squints-esque spectacles, and "You're killing me, Smalls!" t-shirts, and even the Bees players -- major leaguers -- were star-struck meeting the "Sandlot" kids.

Patrick Renna, who memorably played catcher Hamilton "Ham" Porter, was blown away by the turn out.

"I don’t think any of us, when we were playing basically on this field 21 years ago could have every know there would be 1,500 people here to watch us play baseball," he said.

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