The Cast of 'The Sandlot,' Then and Now

8:00 AM 3/30/2018

by Lou Vanhecke

The baseball film first hit theaters April 1, 1993.

The Beast, P.F. Flyers, L 7 Weenie — they all have one thing in common: The Sandlot. Making its mark on baseball movie culture in the early 1990s, the film quickly became a classic.

Following the antics of a baseball-loving crew of kids who accidently sacrifice a Babe Ruth-signed baseball to the neighborhood dog, The Sandlot captured the heart of young kids who share the love of the game.

Released on April 1st, 1993, the movie celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In honor of that milestone, The Hollywood Reporter is going down memory lane to remember where the stars were, and look at where they are now. 

  • Tom Guiry as Scott Smalls

    Right, Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

    Born in October 1981, Tom Guiry made his acting debut as "new kid in town" Scotty Smalls in The Sandlot at age 11. Projected into a career in film after the movie’s success, Guiry went on to star in the 1994 film Lassie and the 1996 film The Last Home Run. Moving on to more serious roles, Guiry landed the part of Yurek in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down and carried on with a performance in Mystic River. Guiry also appeared in the 2015 Oscar-winning film The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio. Guiry missed the 20th reunion of The Sandlot cast after being detained in a Texas airport for allegedly headbutting a police officer.

     
  • Mike Vitar as "Benny the Jet" Rodriguez

    Making his debut in The Sandlot after being discovered by a casting agent while waiting in line for a carnival ride, Mike Vitar went on to have a five-year acting career. After portraying Luis Mendoza in The Mighty Ducks movies, Vitar retired from acting and joined the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

  • Patrick Renna as "Ham" Porter

    Left, Photofest; Right, Renard Garr/Getty Images

    After stealing scenes in The Sandlot as Ham, Patrick Renna went on to appear in a multitude of work. Most notable were his performances in the 1993 film Son in Law, the 2000 film Very Mean Men and 2003's National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze. Most recently, Renna has appeared in guest roles in television series including Bones and CSI.

     
  • Chauncey Leopardi as Michael "Squints" Palledorous

    Right, Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    Starting out as an actor at age 5, Chauncey Leopardi was no stranger to the industry when he was cast as Squints, the love-obsessed kid with near-sighted vision. After the success of The Sandlot, Leopardi went on to appear in Boy Meets World and the 1995 comedy Houseguest. After playing Navy man Kyle on the hit television show Gilmore Girls, Leopardi made an appearance in the third installment of Sandlot movies, The Sandlot: Heading Home, as his childhood character Squints.

     
  • Marty York as "Yeah Yeah" McClennan

    Left, Photofest; Right, Tasia Wells/Getty Images

    Known for starting each sentence with "yeah" said in repetition, Marty York’'s portrayal of "Yeah Yeah" McClennan served as a highlight of his career. He went on to act in TV shows including Boy Meets World and Hey Arnold!. Since a run-in with the law in 2009, York has kept a relatively low acting profile.

     
  • Brandon Quintin Adams as Kenny DeNunez

    Right, Bobby Bank/Getty Images

    Starting his acting career in 1988, appearing in Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" music video, Brandon Adams went on to act in several films and TV series. After his performances in The People Under the Stairs (1991) and The Sandlot, Adams landed a role in the 1994 film D2: The Mighty Ducks and had a guest role on the hit shows Sister, Sister and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After taking a hiatus from acting, Adams reappeared in the industry, landing a role in the short film Stuck in the Corners.

  • Grant Gelt as Bertram Grover Weeks

    Right, Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    Beginning his career by voicing Franklin in the 1988 miniseries This is America, Charlie Brown, Grant Gelt expanded his acting resume with his portrayal of Bertram Grover Weeks, The Sandlot’s tobacco chewer. With 1993 bringing him success in both film and television, Gelt went on to act in Boy Meets World and The 60s. Gelt’s last role onscreen was in 1999.

     
  • Victor DiMattia- Timmy Timmons

    Right, Tasia Wells/Getty Images

    The eldest of the two Timmons boys, Victor DiMattia's performance of kid brother Timmy was not his first time in front of the camera. Beginning his career as a voice actor in 1986, DiMattia had television and film experience before coming to The Sandlot, most notably the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the 1991 film Sleeping with the Enemy. After the success of The Sandlot, DiMattia went on to voice a character in the Adventure in Odyssey projects before taking a hiatus in 1995. Returning to the industry in 2008, DiMattia has focused his attention to directorial work, including the short film Last Days in Iraq.

     
  • Shane Obedzinski- Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons

    Left, Photofest; Right, Mark Sullivan/Getty Images

    Timmy Timmons' shadow and "broken record" repeater was his little brother, Tommy, played by Shane Obedzinski. Starting his career in 1991 as Billy in the film My Girl, Obedzinski appeared in four films from 1991-93, including The Sandlot. He has not been in a feature film since.

     
  • Karen Allen as Mrs. Smalls

    Right, David Livingston/Getty Images

    Known as the mom who tried everything to get her son and new husband to bond, Karen Allen's portrayal of Mrs. Smalls was a wholesome counterpart to the boys' antics. Allen brought a wealth of acting experience with her to The Sandlot. Beginning her career in 1978, she had starred in films including Animal House and Raiders of the Lost Ark. After playing Mrs. Smalls, Allen went on to portray roles in films including 1992's Malcolm X and went on to reprise her Raiders role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Most recently, Allen has turned to acting on stage as well as directing, with her 2016 short film A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud winning best original short at the Manchester Film Festival.

     
  • Denis Leary as Bill

    Right, Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

    As the man who not only owned the Babe Ruth-signed baseball but who slapped a piece of steak on Scott Small’s bruised eye, Denis Leary’s portrayal of stepdad Bill is one to remember. Starting his career as a comedian in the 1980s, he went on to portray roles in films including The Matchmaker and The Thomas Crown Affair. Co-creating and starring in the television show Rescue Me, which ran from 2004-11, Leary earned three Emmy nominations. He continued his career by voicing beloved characters in films such as Ice Age and A Bug's Life, and continued utilizing his voice skills as he announced the 2004 World Series baseball game. Leary has branched out into the producing world, most notably behind the 2012 film Burn, winning the Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award.

     
  • James Earl Jones as Mr. Mertle

    Right, Walter McBride/Getty Images

    The man who owned The Beast, the neighborhood dog who terrorized the boys and their legendary baseball, was played by none other than James Earl Jones. Debuting as an actor in 1957, Jones is widely considered as a versatile actor and has received more than 20 awards in the span of his career. Having starred in films including The Hunt for Red October and having already voiced Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy, Jones brought an extensive resume to The Sandlot. He went on to voice Mufasa in The Lion King and continued utilizing his distinct voice in both acting and narration. Most recently, Jones reprised his voice of Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and will go on to reprise his voice role of Mufasa in the 2019 production of The Lion King.

     
  • Marley Shelton as Wendy Peffercorn

    Right, Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

    The apple of Squints' (blurry) eye was Wendy Peffercorn, the local pretty lady and summer pool lifeguard. Played by Marley Shelton, Peffercorn was the boys' longtime crush. Shelton began her career in the 1991 film Grand Canyon and went on to star in films including Never Been Kissed and Valentine. Redirecting her career from big-budget works to independent films, Shelton appeared in the dark comedy Just a Kiss in 2002 and the 2005 film Sin City. Her portrayal of Dr. Dakota Block in the Quentin Tarantino horror film Grindhouse brought her widespread recognition. Her most recent work is as a cast member of the new NBC show Rise.

     
  • Art LaFleur as The Babe

    Right, Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

    Known widely as a character-actor, Art LaFleur used his Babe Ruth likeliness to bring the baseball legend to life. After The Sandlot, LaFleur went on to appear in the 1995 comedy Man of the House and the television series M*A*S*H. Calling on his sport-icon past, LaFleur — who also appeared as baseball player Chick Gandil in the 1989 nfilm Field of Dreams — went on to play a New York Yankees coach in the 1992 film Mr. Baseball. Since bringing humor to his role as the Tooth Fairy in the Tim Allen holiday classics The Santa Clause, LaFleur has gone on to appear in several television movies.