Two Sandlot Actors Switched Roles Prior To Production

The cast of The Sandlot

Released in 1993, David Mickey Evans' The Sandlot would eventually become one of the most beloved baseball films of all time, earning its place alongside other classics such as The Natural, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham and Major League for being a movie that's steeped in a pure, unfiltered love of the game. You can scream "Your killing me, Smalls!" and virtually all film fans will know you are quoting the loud-mouthed "Ham" Porter, played by Patrick Renna. But as the cast celebrates 25 years of Sandlot glory, we now are learning that some roles were switched at the last minute, as Bertram (Marty York) and Yeah-Yeah (Grant Gelt) exchanged roles right before filming. Evans said:

Once we got everyone together, it became pretty obvious which of them belonged in which character.

In celebration of the film's 25th anniversary, The Sandlot director David Mickey Evans talked to EW about the pre-production and the filming of the cult classic, explaining that Patrick Renna actually was a late addition to the cast (after the original actor hired to play Ham dropped out right before the entire team went to Utah to film. Another change that happened to the core cast, according to this interview, was mixing up the roles played by ensemble actors Grant Gelt and Marty York.

These are semi-important roles, Bertram and Yeah-Yeah, and they're not quite part of the big three when it comes to The Sandlot. This isn't exactly like saying that Tom Guiry, who played baseball noobie Scotty Smalls, was up for the role of Benny (Mike Vitar) until the last second, and then director David Mickey Evans switched them. It's more that the script likely had some solid descriptions of the type of characters that would be in Benny's tight-knit orbit, and when he got the kids together, he realized that some were a better fit than others.

To that end, Evans also told EW that when it came to baseball, the kids weren't great at first, but they all got better:

Most of the baseball was done in cuts because most of them weren't particularly good. But by the end of the 42-day shoot, they could turn a double play like the best Little League team in the country

To refresh your memory, The Sandlot looked like this:

Where would you rank The Sandlot on your own personal list of all-time great baseball movies? Let us know in the comments below. And play ball!

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.