The Sandlot is a pivotal touchstone for a whole generation of cinematic sports fans, informing their feelings on baseball, childhood shit-talking, and the subject of Smalls, and whether he happens to be killing us. (Sources confirm that he is.) 25 years after the film’s debut, NBC’s Gadi Schwartz has now lobbed a nostalgic softball directly into said sports fans’ hearts, organizing a reunion of eight of the nine Sandlot kids for Today this week. (The sole holdout being Mike “Benny” Vitar, who retired from acting in 1997.)
And, hey, sure: With the exception of the still-recognizable Patrick Renna—who played the foul-mouthed Ham in the 1993 movie—these pictures could really be of any random collection of eight guys in their late 30s/early 40s. It’s still fun to see the whole gang together, though, standing on a beat-up looking baseball diamond, or bantering with writer-director David Mickey Evans for THR. (Revealing in the process that they all snuck in to see Basic Instinct when they were making the film, a fun, transgressive prank that carries the additional merit of not involving forcibly kissing someone who doesn’t want to kiss you back—apologies to Wendy Peffercorn.)
Anyway, feel free to consider this your daily reminder that our childhoods are over, our bodies and souls are inexorably aging, and soon we will all be dead, regardless of whether we bobbed apples out of the toilet or not. Cheers!