Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Psychology of The Sandlot

Billy, a friend that Rich and I both knew, once explained to me a theory he had that everybody deep-down is one of the characters from the movie, The Sandlot. I hadn’t thought much about it, but I was intrigued by the idea. It was also interesting to me that despite the fact that there were very few female characters in the movie, Paula, Billy’s wife, readily concurred with his theory.

Assuming the theory has some merit, I’d like to hear which character you most identify with and why? And if you’ve never seen the movie, run, don’t walk and get yourself a copy, then weigh in.

BTW, don’t confuse this classic movie with the sucky, straight-to-video, sequel. Here are the primary characters in question and a short description of each.

Scotty Smalls – The outsider trying to fit in

Timmy Timmons – The know-it-all

Tommy Timmons – The tag-along

Kenny DeNunez – The second-fiddle

Hamilton “Ham” Porter – The wiseacre

Bertram Grover Weeks – The weird kid

Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan – The “yes” man

Michael “Squints” Palledorous – The daredevil

Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez – The humble stud

Wendy Peppercorn – The object of desire

Mr. Mertle – The has-been

Bill – The never-was

Mom – The blissful ignorant

The Beast – The larger-than-life figure

Despite the fact that I exclaim, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” anytime someone in my family or elsewhere exasperates me, I’d have to say that I probably identify most with Scotty’s character myself. I’ve often found myself watching “the game” rather than playing in it, waiting to be invited in, and then feeling like a “fish out of water” once I’m there. But maybe, that is the plight of the writer. Observe others, and then live vicariously through your characters.

I haven’t seen Billy in quite a while. Somehow we just quit running into each other and that’s too bad, because I enjoyed being around him. (We also had animated, but respectful discussions over our respective top ten seasons of Saturday Night Live and how much one’s list was influenced by their age. Perhaps the subject of another post.) I guess you can tell that we’re both really, deep philosophical thinkers. So, Billy if you’re out there, stop by the Realm and give us your two cents once in a while.


WandaV said...

Gotta go find the movie. It's now on my "to watch" list. But, looking at the list of characters, I'm thinking I have several of them living inside me. Does that make me Sybil? Kind of a split personality thing going on.


Rich said...

I'm definitely, no question, 100%:

Wendy Peppercorn - the object of desire.

WandaV said...

Ha-ha Rich!

That was the one character I didn't connect with.


DugALug said...

There wasn't an aimless idiot in the mix so I couldn't pick that. I'm gonna go with the outsider (Scotty Smalls) because that seems to fit well enough.


Rich said...


Tongue was firmly planted in cheek on that answer.

I was Smalls.

P&S said...

We can't all be Smalls, can we?

Are you sure you guys aren't "Yeah-Yeah"?

DugALug said...


Yeah-Yeah I'm sure.


Rich said...


I think we're all Smalls to ourselves, but other people probably see us as a different character. Like, I don't see you as Smalls at all. Then, I don't see you as Wendy Peppercorn, either.

Maybe Timmy Timmons, though.

Scot said...

For me, it's Squints, but I would not have characterized him as a daredevil.
My goal ever since seeing that movie is to have the goofy grin like was on his face after tricking Wendy to lip-lock him at the pool. Priceless!! It's the whole attitude of finally reaching the point of desperation where you don't care about what others think and whatever costs there are, it will be worth reveling in that moment and become a legend. The risk is worth the reward.
Yeah, I'm Squints. I just haven't made my dive at the pool yet.