‘The Sandlot’ cast reflects on film during 30th anniversary

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From left to right sits Shane Obedzinski (Repeat), Marty York (Yeah Yeah), Chauncey Leopardi (Squints) and Tom Guiry (Smalls). All four cast members shared their experiences on “The Sandlot” set and how it shaped their lives over the years. (Ethan Porter)

Cast members from the “The Sandlot” gathered with fans on March 18 in Salt Lake City, where the film was shot, to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.

The event started with a screening of the film before cast members came out to reflect on the impact of the film.

Actor Tom Guiry, who played the main character “Smalls” in the movie, shared how getting the role ended up giving him the courage to continue acting. According to Guiry, “The Sandlot” was his sixth audition and he was growing disillusioned before securing the role of “Smalls” in the film.

“If I didn’t get ‘The Sandlot,’ because I didn’t get the role at first which bummed me out, then I probably wouldn’t have ended up pursuing acting,” Guiry said.

Guiry’s dedication to acting helped land him roles in films such as “Black Hawk Down,” “Mystic River” and “The Mudge Boy.” However, according to Guiry, being a child actor can be incredibly difficult because of all the notoriety and fame.

“When you’re an actor then you’re stuck, and you’re labeled that forever even if you wanted to change your mind,” Guiry said.

Marty York, who played “Yeah Yeah” in the film shared a similar sentiment about the difficulty of being labelled as an actor. “If you do anything else after acting people will look down on you but sometimes you just want to do something different with your life,” York said.

Although the actors may have been labeled at a young age, the opportunities and relationships built on the “The Sandlot” set have continued over the last 30 years.

“In many ways, I would assume it has impacted all of our lives in a positive way,” actor Chauncey Leopardi, who played “Squints” in the film, said.

The strong bond built on the set have continued to impact each of the actors over the last 30 years. “We’re still here together being friends which is great,” Leopardi said.

Although the actors were always good friends, they did not always stay in close contact over the last 30 years. According to Guiry, many of them didn’t see each other until the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the film when they got together at the sandlot in Glendale, Utah to celebrate the film.

However, Shane Obedzinski, who played “Repeat” in the film, said the cast members try to call or text one another at least once every six weeks ever since the 25th anniversary.

Obedzinksi also shared his gratitude for all the fans of the movie and how they have impacted each of the actor’s lives.

“I am very grateful that we are able to come together and do these things and, in a sense, give back to the people who have given us so much,”  Obedzinski said.

While on the set of “The Sandlot,” Guiry remembered spending time playing video games, swimming and playing baseball together. “It was like a baseball/acting summer camp,” Guiry said.

Obedzinski remembered the tree house being a safe place where the actors could run off and play together and act like kids.

According to Guiry, the film, which has become a cult classic over the years, reminds people of what it was like when they were a kid playing outside.

The emphasis on relationships and inclusion is another aspect of the film’s popularity, according to York.

“For most people, it just reminds them of friendship. I think, more than baseball, ‘The Sandlot’ is about friendship,” York said.

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