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'The Sandlot' at 20: Made-in-Utah classic film revisited
Glendale » The “little baseball kingdom” rebuilt in Utah for a one-time anniversary celebration.

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"It was a big hurrah," Ingleby said.

That was the first time the movies came to town.

At a glance

‘The Sandlot’ 20th anniversary

What » Movie screening and Q&A at SpringMobile Ballpark on Friday after Salt Lake Bees game, and Saturday at 9 p.m. at original filming site in Glendale

Who » Director David Mickey Evans, producer Cathleen Summers, actors Patrick Renna (Hamilton Porter), Chauncey Leopardi (Squints), Marty York (Yeah-Yeah), Shane Obedzinski (Tommy Timmons), Victor DiMattia (Timmy Timmons), Daniel Zacapa (police chief)

To attend » Tickets for Saturday have all been distributed, but are still available for Friday. A ticket to see the Bees play Sacramento Friday is also good for the post-game screening. Bees tickets can be bought at slbees.com, by calling 325-BEES or in person at SpringMobile Ballpark.

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By 1992, Ingleby had amassed a collection of baseball memorabilia. His basement is filled with autographed baseballs and bats and pennants. Name a star, he has him.

And when "The Sandlot" was filmed, he walked over and snagged an autograph from star James Earl Jones on an inside page of W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, the book on which "Field of Dreams" was based.

As the 20th anniversary of "The Sandlot" approached, Ingleby wanted to do something that honored the movie, and also served Glendale.

"We get so many problems over here," he said, "drive-bys, stuff like that, I would like to do something so unbelievable that is good, and bring to light the fact that this movie was filmed in our community. Our people should be proud of that."

It’s a theme endorsed by Chris DeMuri, a production designer whose credentials include made-in-Utah productions "Touched By An Angel" and Academy Award-nominated "127 Hours."

"It’s not always a bad thing when a film crew comes into your neighborhood," said DeMuri, who oversaw the resurrection of The Sandlot. "Sometimes we build something that’s lasting."


Marking the anniversary » Ingleby didn’t know a project was already under way.

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In a small building next to the Capitol, Utah Film Commission Director Marshall Moore, who owns a Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez Dodgers jersey, had long daydreamed about an anniversary showing on the field.

One afternoon in May, he pulled out a binder in which he kept his clippings and planning materials. He flipped to a newspaper article from three years earlier that detailed his aspirations, including giving the field purpose again, and hosting cast members.

Looking up, he said, "It’s really happening."

A one-shot deal » The actors who played Tommy and Timmy Timmons will be there. So will those who played Squints, Ham and Yeah-Yeah. The Sandlot is a sandlot again, if only for a day.

"I don’t pretend to be an expert about movie publicity and stuff," Evans said, "but I’ve never even heard of anything like this. Twentieth anniversary tour, going back to the original place, rebuilding the stuff, community gets involved. What are the odds?"

Everyone realizes this is a one-shot deal. Devin and Melissa Barkers bought their house on Navajo Street in February and, while they have been good sports about hosting a projected 1,300 people in their backyard, they worry about future intrusions. They have hung "No Trespassing" signs and, once the backstop and dugout are torn down, they will plant a garden.

Late Thursday morning, Ingleby pulled into the driveway. A film crew was setting up, this one from a local news station.

Ingleby carried a DVD copy of "The Sandlot" and a pen and set out to find Evans. But the proud Glendale native earned this one. He was among volunteers who raked up The Sandlot, and loaded branches and trash into the back of Barkers’ pickup truck. On Wednesday, once base paths had been carved into the field, Ingleby sprinted around them.

He wore a white "Field of Dreams" T-shirt with the famous tagline, "If you build it, they will come." He put on an old glove and fielded grounders.

On one, he tripped and tumbled, then popped back up. Only when he got home did he realize he was sore. "You’re 69 again," he told himself. "You’re really 69 again."

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