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Batter up! Site of 'Sandlot' film gets extra inning

Published May 31, 2013 5:21 pm

SLC set • 20th-anniversary event set in July.
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There's about to be another sequel for "The Sandlot."

On the 20th anniversary of the landmark made-in-Utah children's baseball film, local organizers will for one day in July reconstruct and open up the Glendale field where the most indelible scenes were shot.

Planners from the Utah Film Commission will hold a screening at the neglected field between Glenrose Drive and Navajo Street on July 20, and will welcome back members of the cast and crew for the event. Director David Mickey Evans has confirmed, and the commission expects several cast members to attend as well.

The classic 1993 film, which gave us cultural staples such as, "You're killing me, Smalls," Wendy Peffercorn and P.F. Flyers, was set in the San Fernando Valley in 1962 but was filmed around Salt Lake in the summer of 1992.

"I remember seeing it in theaters," said Brian Prutch, the Salt Lake Bees' director of corporate partnerships. "It's still to this day my favorite baseball movie."

In addition to the film showing, the "Sandlot" will host, for a day, clinics conducted by Bees players with neighborhood children, as well as a question-and-answer session with Evans, as well as cast members.

Film Commission director Marshall Moore has enlisted veteran Hollywood production designer Chris DeMuri, a Salt Lake resident, as well as community volunteers to replicate the field.

Free tickets to the anniversary event will be distributed by sponsors including Dick's Sporting Goods, the Bees and Zions Bank starting in early July.

Evans is spending the summer traveling the country and showing "The Sandlot" at major and minor league ballparks. In addition to the July 20 festivities, the movie will be shown the night before at Spring Mobile Ballpark, following the Bees game against Sacramento River Cats.

Since production ended 21 years ago, the "Sandlot" field has been ignored and currently can only be accessed by wriggling through a hole in chain-link fence. Inside is weedy grass, but also the stump of a transplanted oak in which a tree house was built.

On a recent visit, Moore found a fake leaf made from silk near the stump.

Also, he sees a lot of potential.

"We were all those kids," he said. "At least I was. I was those kids. The hardest thing was fielding a team. They had eight guys, they needed a ninth."


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