Actor Patrick Renna premieres The Sandlot reunion trailer, talks TV reboot
Nearly three decades after the film’s release, The Sandlot cast is having a virtual union thanks to castmate Patrick Renna.
The actor who played Hamilton “Ham” Porter in the beloved 1993 film recently started his own YouTube channel titled You’re Killing Me with Patrick Renna, where he’s had a series of videos titled The Secrets of The Sandlot that all lead to a gathering of most of the main cast, a few actors from key scenes in the film, director David Mickey Evans, and a handful of Major League Baseball players.
“I never realized how much technical expertise goes into these things,” Renna tells EW, describing what it was like to reunite everyone virtually. “We started with Secrets Of The Sandlot just to get a feel for how it works one on one,” he adds. “Still going from one guest to 19 that, we didn't know what we had in store for ourselves.”
Renna had lost contact with the cast over the years, but after the team reunited in 2018 for a press tour celebrating the movie’s 25th anniversary, things fell back into place. “We're such great friends again, all of us, and it reminds me of what it was like filming the movie,” says the newly minted YouTuber. “We were such fast friends and they worked so hard to create that atmosphere. One of the deciding factors on casting any of us was that they would bring us out to make sure that we got along with the other guys. And because we were all such good friends in real life it showed through on the screen, and it's just funny even 25 years later, we fell right back into it.”
Some cast members who were missing from the 25th anniversary festivities, but joined in this time around are actors Marley Shelton, who played Wendy Peffercorn, Wil Horneff, who played Phillips, and Art LaFleur, who played The Babe. Mike Vitar, who played Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, once again won’t be participating in reunion festivities, but he and Renna still keep in touch. “Anytime we do something I'll send him an email and ask him and he's usually like, ‘No, I'm gonna step back on this one,’ but he's always really cool about it.”
In the absence of Vitar, the reunion will incorporate MLB players to fill in on some roles, and participate in activities like building the perfect s’more. “One of the guys we got was Dee Gordon, who was a former Dodger, and I found out he stole home twice I think.” Given how the film's ending has a grown up Benny playing for the Dodgers, and stealing home plate during a game, Renna jokes that “we had the real life Benny the Jet in the reunion.”
The special was in part organized by LA Dodger Justin Turner and his wife Kourtney, with the proceeds from the special going to the Justin Turner Foundation serving homeless veterans, children (and their families) battling life-altering illnesses and diseases (including COVID-19), as well as various youth baseball organizations.
While time will tell when the cast can reunite in person again, there are already solid plans in the works for a TV reboot of The Sandlot on Disney+. “We all met on it, and all the guys are interested in it. The concept is we're grown up and we have our own kids. And so it's, there's some cool angles to it.” Renna goes on to explain that since the original film was set in 1962, and the show would be around 25 years later, “the TV show would take place in the late 80s, which talk about an amazing era to do a TV show. I mean, you got Stranger Things and all these little fun 80s throwback TV shows and things like that. So I think that would just be a blast for Ham Porter to don his most fashionable 80s garb.”
The Sandlot Cast Reunion premieres Wednesday on the You’re Killing Me with Patrick Renna YouTube channel. Watch an exclusive trailer for the special above.