It’s on Netflix, baseball season is in full swing, and the 4th of July is near. What better time to check in on the cast of The Sandlot? Since it was released in 1993, the David Evans-scripted and directed movie has acquired a true cult following. Now firmly cemented in the American movie hall of fame, The Sandlot takes us back to simpler times. It molded a generation and has become required viewing for several more.
Though heavily focused on baseball, the movie is ultimately about friendship in the seemingly endless days of an adolescent summer. No wonder, then, that the kids in the movie allegedly sneaked in to see Basic Instinct when they weren’t filming. With an all-star cast led by James Earl Jones and Denis Leary, The Sandlot unites some of the most iconic child actors in recent memory to make for a truly spectacular film.
Take a look at Where Are They Now? The Cast of The Sandlot:
15. Art LaFleur (Babe Ruth)
“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, kid and you’ll never go wrong.“
Until he appears to Benny Rodriguez in an almost Biblical vision, Babe Ruth (Art LaFleur) hangs over the sandlot gang as a watchful guardian. More than just “the sultan of swat” and “the colossus of clout,” the Babe was practically a deity. To the team, a baseball signed with Babe Ruth’s John Hancock was worth sacrificing it all. When he unexpectedly walks through Benny’s closet door, the Babe is there to empower. Offering one of the film’s most memorable lines (“legends never die”), he inspires Benny to fight back the Beast, “a giant, gorilla-dog thing,” and go get that ball.
It’s hard to top The Sandlot, but Art LaFleur has worked on countless projects since the 1993 opened in theatres. Though a maven of television guest starring roles, LaFleur worked with Bruce Willis in The Hostage, played The Tooth Fairy in both Tim Allen The Santa Clause sequels, and linked up with the Wachowski sisters for Speed Racer. With a handful of films already slated for 2016 and beyond, Mr. LaFleur remains hard at work.
14. James Earl Jones (Mr. Mertle)
“I take it back. You’re not in trouble, you’re dead where you stand!“
The blind and retired baseball player Mr. Mertle is more legit than any signed baseball Scotty could ever get his hands on. As the living link to Babe Ruth himself, Mertle walked the walk in the MLB and now lives out his days in a quiet southern California neighborhood. His backyard has become a receptacle for home-run baseballs that young boys don’t dare retrieve. Emerging from his shack in rather intimidating fashion, Mr. Mertle quickly becomes the most endearing character in the film when he has the boys promise to come by and talk baseball with him once a week in exchange for a ball even more valuable than the one they’d lost to the Beast.
Twenty-two years before The Sandlot, James Earl Jones earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Great White Hope. His first movie was in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, and since his debut, Jones has racked up several Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony awards. With a career lasting well over sixty years, Jones remains a fixture of the entertainment industry, not least for his vocal talents that turned Darth Vader into the most iconic movie villain of all time. Conflicting reports have surfaced as to whether or not the 85 year old will return to voice the Sith Lord when he pops up in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this December, though at this point, it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking on the part. Regardless, Jones continues to work in the theater around the globe, most recently playing “Martin Vaderhof” in You Can’t Take It With You.
13. Denis Leary (Bill)
“Wow! You’re starting to hurt my hand.“
Scotty’s stepdad was a pretty decent guy. In the beginning of The Sandlot, however, Bill (Denis Leary) is portrayed as a fairly dismissive and self-absorbed 1960s caricature of the suburban male. He’s a man to be feared, so much so that his wife (Karen Allen) has to ask him to play catch with Scotty because her poor son doesn’t have the gall to do it himself. Though shocked at Scotty’s inability to throw like a man, Bill reserves his harshest sentencing for the end of the movie when he grounds the boy for losing his beloved Babe Ruth ball. What an insight into his character. He gets an upgrade ball, the Murderer’s Row keepsake filled with countless signatures from the 1927 New York Yankees, and he still grounds Scotty. The man has his priorities out of whack.
Denis Leary has had a one-of-a-kind career. In addition to creating Rescue Me (which ran for seven seasons on FX), Leary is a prolific stand-up comedian, writer and provocateur. He starred in the Pierce Brosnan-led hit The Thomas Crown Affair, Marc Webb’s The Amazing-Spider Man, and continues to voice Diego in the never-ending Ice Age series. His current show, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll has been on FX since 2015 and is already in its second season.
12. Karen Allen (Mom)
“Have fun! Climb trees, hop fences… get into trouble!“
However sterile and uninspiring Bill may have been, Scotty’s mom (played by Karen Allen) was every bit the opposite. She doesn’t just encourage her son to have fun, she literally tells him to get into trouble. This is the mother we all wanted (no disrespect to the ones we all had). When Scotty cowers in fear from his stepdad, his mom does the dirty work and goes to bat for him. She’s a lovely lady and serves as the impetus for letting Scotty find the sandlot and the group of friends he so desperately needed.
Karen Allen’s career started with Animal House, and within three years, she worked with Steven Spielberg on Raiders of the Lost Ark. After The Sandlot, she starred in The Perfect Storm and In the Bedroom, then later revived her role as Marion Ravenwood in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. On both TV and film, Allen continues to find ample work, though her next big gig may be as Indy’s longtime lover in the upcoming Indiana Jones 5.
11. Arliss Howard (Grown-up Scotty)
“Every summer was great. But none of them ever came close to that first one.“
Throughout the movie, Scotty is depicted as a truly good boy, honest, genuine and earnest to the nth degree. It’s no surprise, then, that when we meet his older counterpart (Arliss Howard) in the announcer’s booth of the LA Dodgers stadium, he seems as kind and likable as ever. Arliss Howard is on screen for just a few moments, but the resemblance to his younger self is undeniable. He helps make the final moments of the film particularly moving.
Howard has been in the game for years. He broke onto the scene as Pvt. Cowboy in Full Metal Jacket, starred in Natural Born Killers, then shot two Spielberg films back to back. He first worked on Jurassic Park: The Lost World (where things don’t end as well for grown-up Scotty), and then Amistad, Spielberg’s ambitious film about a slave-ship mutiny. Along with dominating the TV scene (starring in AMC’s Rubicon and recurring on HBO’s True Blood), Howard has appropriately found his most recent niche in sports management roles in both Moneyball and last year’s Concussion.
10. Brandon Adams (Kenny DeNunez)
“You want a heater? I’ll give you the heater.“
The man of the mound and the prince of the pitch, Kenny DeNunez (Brandon Quintin Adams) rained almighty hell with his signature fastballs. Just look at that wind-up. Kenny’s arm helped the ragtag team take down the Tigers and protect their sandlot turf. He wasn’t just limited to the pitcher’s mound, however. Whenever Kenny chimed in, he always knew what to say, like when he corrected Scotty over thinking “The Babe” was a girl: “the sultan swat…the titan of terror!”
As a kid, Brandon Quintin Adams crushed the Hollywood scene. He not only starred in The Sandlot, but he also played Jesse Hall in the first two Might Ducks movies. Adams dabbled in the TV world, too, nabbing a couple episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boy Meets World and Sister, Sister. Though he did some voice over work for Kingdom Hearts video games in 2007, his last on-screen role was in the 2012 short film, Stuck in the Corners.
9. Victor DiMattia (Timmy Timmons)
“Smalls, you mean to tell me you went home, swiped a ball that was signed by Babe Ruth, brought it out here and actually played with it?“
Timmy Timmons (Victor DiMattia) speaks for us all. Never one to mince words, he was as passionate off the baseball diamond as he ever was on it. After Squints tries to hustle some kisses from Wendy Peffercorn, Timmy recognizes the storm headed their way: “oh, he’s in deep sh**!” Timmy, of course, says this from a position of both respect and jealousy. Squints did what everyone wanted to do, though they lacked the gall to do it.
After filming The Sandlot, Victor DiMattia (in the black shirt in the picture above) started to retire his acting cleats and enter civilian life. He had a role in the 1994 TV movie Children of the Dark, but DiMattia has been largely absent from Hollywood, though you might be able to find him introducing The Sandlot at various 4th of July outdoor movie screenings in Los Angeles. Little is known of DiMattia’s post-Timmy Timmons career, but he absolutely dominated the child-actor scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s, taking roles in Tom Hanks’ Turner and Hootch, Radio Flyer and more.
8. Shane Obedzinski (Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons)
“The colossus of clout!“
As Timmy Timmons’ brother, Tommy (Shane Obedzinski) is often most comfortable repeating what his older sibling says, proving the brothers are at their best when they’re together. Though the runt of the sandlot crew, Tommy takes no guff from competing forces and has no problem throwing barbs at the pompous Tigers. As the second head on the two-headed Timmons monster, Tommy lives for the thrill. With a mouth full of nuclear dip, he boards the most nauseating ride at the carnival, and yells, “Yeah! This is the best!” Too young to form his own rational thoughts, little Tommy simply does what everyone else is doing and hopes for the best.
As for life after The Sandlot, Shane Obedzinski left it all on the field. Though he previously starred in the Macaulay Culkin-led My Girl in 1991, he only filmed one more movie after The Sandlot. His IMDb page does suggest he briefly left retirement to shoot the upcoming short film, Space Gila from the Deep, but other than that, there’s little to suggest we’ll see Tommy Timmons back in the game anytime soon.
7. Marley Shelton (Wendy Peffercorn)
“We all went because…well, Wendy Peffercorn was the lifeguard.“
We’ve all had a Wendy Peffercorn (Marley Shelton) in our lives. In The Sandlot, her beauty might not stop traffic, but it gives Squints 20/20 vision. As the resident lifeguard of the local public pool, Wendy’s beauty brought all the boys to her aquatic yard. Swimming together in a group (you know, for added confidence), the boys look at Wendy with almost tragic eyes. They know they’ll never fulfill that conquest, but they’ll keep dreaming, anyway. Who can blame them? Indeed, after baseball, the boys of the sandlot loved watching Wendy Peffercorn best of all.
Marley Shelton went on to big things, including starring in Pleasantville, Sin City, and a handful of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino features, including Grindhouse, Death Proof and Planet Terror (playing the same character, Dr. Dakota Block, in all three). Going full circle with the 1960s culture in The Sandlot, Shelton guest starred on the AMC classic, Mad Men, in 2013.
6. Grant Gelt (Bertram Weeks)
“I almost forgot. Big Chief!“
Bertram Grover Weeks (played by Grant Gelt) had all the connections. When the boys of The Sandlot needed it most, Bertram came through, gifting heavy helpings of his old man’s tobacco to those curious enough to try it (all of them). No wonder, then, that Bertram, as grown-up Scotty recalls, “got really into the ’60s…and no one ever saw him again.” He probably ended up at Woodstock with supplies far stronger than anything Big Chief could measure up to.
Though Grant Gelt stayed in showbiz for a few years after The Sandlot, performing in series like in Saved By the Bell and Boy Meets World, he ended his film career with the 1999 TV movie, The ’60s. Today, Gelt works as a marketing executive in the music industry. As the director of Business Development at Fullscreen, Inc., he helps many top-tier artists (including Eric Church, The Black Keys, Silversun Pickups and more) get connected with their fans.
5. Marty York (Alan ‘Yeah Yeah’ McClennan)
“Yeah yeah, he looks really crappy.“
Some nicknames are forced, others are truly earned. For Alan ‘Yeah Yeah’ McClennan (Marty York), the name could not have been more perfect. While it’s not quite scientifically accurate, studies suggest young Alan said the words “yeah yeah” in nine out of every ten sentences that came out of his mouth. At the very least, it helped the pugnacious kid stand out and build his reputation as a little scrapper. The next time you watch The Sandlot, keep an eye on Alan and watch how often he punches his teammates, however playfully it may be.
How appropriate, then, that Marty York grew up into an over-sized version of his younger self. While he might’ve dropped the “yeah yeah” stuttering, York picked up about one-hundred pounds of muscle that he has apparently dedicated to protecting his women and legacy as Alan McClennan (please do yourself a favor and watch that NSFW clip, you won’t regret it). Despite his spirited defense of his significant other’s honor, the former child star was also arrested on domestic violence charges a few years earlier after admitting to “backhanding” his girlfriend — so there’s that.
4. Patrick Renna (Ham)
“You’re killin’ me, Smalls.“
He might not be the star of the movie, but Hamilton ‘Ham’ Porter (Patrick Renna) absolutely steals the show. After twenty-three years of fans quoting his now infamous line, Ham remains the rightful owner of “you’re killin’ me, Smalls.”
There are child actors — and then there’s Patrick Renna. You can’t teach the style or coach the charisma that he instilled in Ham. Just watch how he instructs Smalls to enjoy some s’mores. One wonders if Renna was so fixated on the “mallows” at hand that he requested multiple takes just to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
With almost fifty acting credits to his name (including 1995’s The Big Green), Patrick Renna stayed in the Hollywood game and continues to get work. From guest-starring on ER to landing recurring roles on Judging Amy and Boston Legal, Renna has put together an impressive resume that will hopefully lead to his breakout role now as an adult.
3. Chauncey Leopardi (Squints)
“It’s about time, Benny, my clothes are goin’ out of style!“
The hero to The Sandlot boys and all of us watching at home, Squints (Chauncey Leopardi) dared greatly and rightly reaped the rewards. By putting “the move” on Lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn, he risked his manhood, pretended to drown, then got kissed by the prettiest girl in town for all to see. When Ham asks him if it was a spur of the moment decision or something more meticulous, Squints confirms, “Of course I did. Been planning it for years.” With his larger-than-life glasses and mischievous smile, Squints lives life to the fullest.
Like many others in the cast, Chauncey Leopardi converted his The Sandlot fame into a guest spot on Boy Meets World. From there, he joined Patrick Renna once again in The Big Green, guest starred on 7th Heaven and Walker, Texas Ranger, then recurred on Paul Feig’s cult-hit Freaks and Geeks. After reprising his role as Squints in The Sandlot: Heading Home (a true abomination), Chauncey was last seen onscreen in the 2013 drama, Coldwater.
2. Mike Vitar (Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez)
“What are you laughing at, Yeah Yeah? You run like a duck!“
Though The Sandlot takes place from Scotty Smalls’ eyes, the events that transpire happen thanks to Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez (Mike Vitar). Because of his kindness and humility, he not only keeps the crew together, but he makes room for newbies looking for community. Despite his precocious ability (that even the competitive Tigers acknowledge), Benny doesn’t have an ounce of arrogance in his bones. The definite leader of the pack, Benny holds court at The Sandlot, and by extension, requires all the other players to rise to his level.
Mike Vitar continued his streak of sports movies in both Mighty Ducks sequels, then branched out into several guest-starring roles on NYPD Blue and the medical drama, Chicago Hope. After ending his acting career, Vitar became a professional firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department. Though he has been serving the great public since 2002, Vitar was unfortunately implicated in a violent assault case last Halloween.
1. Tom Guiry (Scotty Smalls)
“Oh my god! You mean that’s the same guy?“
It’s not easy to be the odd one out. Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) knew all too well what that felt like, but thanks to Benny, even the biggest “egghead” found a way to fit in. When we first met Scotty, he was relatively friendless, bored, and didn’t even know how to play catch. When we said goodbye, he had lifelong friends, unforgettable memories, and a pretty sweet job as a professional MLB announcer.
Before anything else (including the mugshot above), it must be said that Tom Guiry starred in Ridley Scott’s impeccable film about the Battle of Mogadishu, Black Hawk Down. Despite being in a cast with countless other stars (including Tom Hardy), this makes Guiry’s accomplishment arguably the biggest acting gig of anyone to graduate The Sandlot. Along with roles in U-571 and Tigerland, Guiry made a solid adult return to Hollywood before working with director Clint Eastwood in the Oscar-winning film, Mystic River. While Guiry has battled the occasional legal dilemma, he continues to make waves in the entertainment industry.
What are your favorite moments from The Sandlot? Let us know in the comments!