Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum-Louisville, KY: Ah, ‘The Sandlot’, definitely one of the best baseball films ever made, and a favorite for many. Recently the Louisville Slugger Museum hosted a For-Ever-Fest to honor this great movie, featuring movie props as well as a Q & A with members of the cast and crew. To the props first. We were able to see the nick knacks in the movie that made it great, such as Benny’s PF Flyers, Squint’s glasses, and, of course, the baseballs signed by the Great Bambino himself.
After checking those out, it was time for the Q & A with some cast and crew, featuring director and co-writer David Mickey Evens, Shane Obedzinski (who played Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons), and props master Terry Haskell.
After the Q & A we did the tour and hit the gift shop. Brian got himself a new ‘Sandlot’ shirt and mini-bat. Lucky for us, David Mickey Evans and Shane Obedzinski were shopping at the time, also. I had a good little conversation with Evans, not just about ‘The Sandlot’, but about another one of my favorite baseball movies he directed, ‘The Final Season’. Brian was able to get a photo with ‘Tommy Timmons’, then we called it a day. On the way out, Brian asked: “Hey Dad, was this one of those once in a lifetime things?”. The answer was pretty easy: “Yes, son, it was…”.
Durham Athletic Park-Durham, NC: I’d be crazy not to check out the old stadium in Durham. You know, the one they filmed that movie at? It’s located just a mile or so from the new one, and it still sits in a neighborhood like it does in the movie. It seems like it’s still in use, as the outfield was being mowed when I got there. My luck, too, because the outfield gate was open, allowing me to sneak in a get a few pics, anyway. I was just amazing, though, to think that back in 1988 it was full of Hollywood magic, and Bull Durham would become one of the most loved baseball movies of all time. The first thing I did when returning home, was to watch the movie again (ok, it wasn’t the first thing, but I did watch it). It was cool to see where I had been, and knowing I’d been to Asheville, too, that was featured toward the end of the show. Our day wasn’t done yet, though, as we still needed to head west for some Carolina League action that night. I know what you’re thinking, though. Seeing four ballparks and two games in one day is a little excessive. Even for the Carolina League.