The Great Hambino

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Benjamin “Benny” Franklin Rodriguez, Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan, , Tommy “Repeat” Timmons, Timmy Timmons, Scotty Smalls, Michael “Squints” Palledorous , Hamilton “Ham” Porter, Kenny DeNunez, Bertram “Grover” Weeks

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with this movie.   Probably seen it 375 times, and I think I might be underestimating.  On a random night back in 1993 my Mom mentioned something about this movie she heard about with kids and baseball.  It’s like Stand by Me without the dead body.  My family watched and have been the movie’s biggest fans ever since.

Of course I showed the movie to my kids a few years ago and it has now become our families favorite movie.  Every time the wife is out or away or something we make a list of things we have to do and “watch The Sandlot” is always on the list.  We cook popcorn, get candy and soda and watch this movie.  We also have a slight obsession with Chuck Taylor sneakers that comes directly from Benny The Jet’s PF Flyers.

The movie is incredibly quotable. What’s funny is when you watch a movie a billion times it ends up being the littlest thing that becomes your favorite.  We think people don’t love the movie as much as us if their favorite line is “You’re Killing Me Smalls”.  Our current favorite part is when Squintz kicks the bike after a great scene involving a weird group of other kids who apparently wear their baseball uniforms everywhere, but I’m sure that will change when we notice some other small detail that we think is funny or that we think only we have ever seen.

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I could write a book on all the best parts of the movie, or about how Scotty Smalls is EVERY kid who has to move to a new town or school, just trying to get lucky enough to fit in somewhere. Or how Benny is how you wish all kids were.  Smart, popular and just strong enough to help that L7 Weenie become one of the guys.  Or how Squints risks his life to kiss Wendy Peffercorn.  I haven’t even mentioned Ham yet.  He steals almost every scene he is in, from stuffing hot dogs in his mouth to puking on a roller coaster.

For me, The Sandlot was a cool movie experience I shared with my brothers, sister, parents and now my kids. It’s just one more thing I get to connect with my kids on.  We know every line, could probably mute the sound and still watch it.   We say the lines 10 seconds before they happen.  I’m sure if the kids ever watch this movie with their friends they would be so annoyed with them probably 2 minutes in and ask to turn off the movie.

As I get older I try and connect with them on as many things as I can, hoping a few of them stick. Just trying to make sure that one day when they get married (after they start dating in their 30s) they will be proud enough to have me walk them down that aisle.

It’s funny… Each time I write I learn a little more about myself. I try to tie everything back into me as a Dad.  It feels like every episode of The Wonder Years where they end the show with a song and the family being together in some type of cry able moment.  It’s not that I am only a Dad, it’s just that right now, being a Dad is my favorite role I get to play.

Categories: Family, Traditions

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