MINNEAPOLIS — On Sunday, one of the classic baseball movies, “The Sandlot,” will be played on FOX Sports North and on the big screen at Target Field following the Twins game. As it turns 20 years old this year, it has proven to stand the test of time. Even major league baseball players still enjoy the movie and have fond memories of it. Here are some thoughts from the Minnesota Twins players on “The Sandlot” as it makes its way to Target Field this weekend.
Relief pitcher Brian Duensing
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“It’s a good indication of what I felt like what my summers were like growing up. I played select baseball a lot and organized baseball more often. The summers, we’d wake up and we played on the tennis courts, go play some tennis court baseball. You find yourself in some predicaments as kids like they did when they lose the ball. I think the movie does a good job of portraying how kids’ imaginations work. Obviously you’re not going to be able to use a vacuum and a catcher’s mask to suck up a ball from someone’s back yard, but those are the type of things you think about when you’re a little kid. The movie as a whole just kind of represents that really well.”
Relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak
“It’s a great movie. It’s great when you’re a kid. It shows you what’s fun about baseball. It’s awesome. … I think my favorite scene is when Benny gives Smalls a hat and a glove, so he could play along and be a part of the group. I thought that was pretty cool. As a kid, seeing that, showing him baseball’s a team thing and you can make friends in the game and stuff like that. I think that was a pretty cool scene for me.”
Starting pitcher Vance Worley
“It’s kind of how baseball used to be with kids. They’d all get together and they’d go play their own games down at the park. There wasn’t really that parent supervision that kids need these days. Back then it was just like, ‘Oh hey, what’s up? Do you want to go play a game? There’s this other group of guys that will be there. We can play against them.’ I can tell you it’s changed. It’s not like that anymore. It started dying out when I was a little kid. You can get a couple guys together and maybe take ground balls or just go hit in the park, but you could never field a team. It doesn’t work like that anymore. It just shows how close friends can be. That’s kind of how baseball is. All these guys, we’re more than just a team. We’re a family. We have that camaraderie where you’re not going to see that in a normal work atmosphere.”
Second baseman Brian Dozier
“I love The Sandlot. I grew up watching it. … It’s I guess one of the best baseball movies, especially as a little kid. It reminds me of what we used to do back home, just get out there and play. We used to use a tennis racket and tennis ball and play in the yard. All the kids from the whole neighborhood would come. We’d have it in my yard. I had the biggest yard. The tree was first base, the corner of the driveway was second. Then we’d lay down a lifejacket from my boat as third. It was perfect.”
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe
“I think it’s just a cool movie. It captures the essence of baseball being our national pastime and what a lot of us went through growing up, playing pickup baseball games and just really loving the sport for the fun of it, not having it be work for us.”
Relief pitcher Ryan Pressly
“I watched it with my buddy that lived right across the street from me when I was in Texas. It was probably one of my favorite movies growing up. … It’s just like how any kid would do in the summer. They’d just play baseball. And Wendy Peffercorn, she was my crush. (Squints) grew up and married her. That was supposed to be my girl. I loved that movie.”
Right fielder Chris Parmelee
“It’s definitely one of my favorites. It reminds me of childhood. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen that movie. Just watching it really reminded me of childhood and going out there on the fields that weren’t nice at all and playing with what you had, making bases out of cardboard boxes. I grew up watching the movie, so it was part of my childhood. … I can’t believe it’s been around 20 years. I guess I’m starting to get up there in age. I’m not 18 anymore. … The pool scene with Squints is one of my favorite ones. All the smack talking with Hamilton Porter and that private school team they play. The marshmallow and s’mores. Pretty much the whole movie’s full of great one-liners.”