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The Sandlot Character That Was Based On A Real Life Person

The iconic coming-of-age movie The Sandlot has endured in the hearts of viewers for generations. Set in the summer of 1962, it follows a group of baseball-loving kids in the suburbs of Los Angeles. When local baseball prodigy Benny Rodriguez (Mike Vitar) takes new kid Scott Smalls (Tom Guiry) under his wing, the two boys and the rest of the ragtag members of their team have a fun-filled summer of baseball, adventure, and laughs.

Aside from remaining one of the most-quoted sports comedies ever, The Sandlot also has ties to real life. A major plot point involves the legendary dog, The Beast, who lives beyond a fence bordering the sandlot. Though the events are much more dramatized, The Sandlot's writer David M. Evans wrote The Beast based on an animal from his own childhood. According to Evans, when his brother volunteered to retrieve a baseball for some neighborhood kids, he was attacked by a dog that was chained up on the other side of the fence (via Citizens Voice). Unlike real life, though, Evans changed the story and created a much happier ending.

Aside from The Beast, there's another iconic character in The Sandlot who was based on a real person — and this one may be a little more surprising.

The Sandlot has an inspiration for the red swimsuit

After a long, hot day of playing ball, the boys head to the local pool — and gawk at the beautiful lifeguard, Wendy Peffercorn (Marley Shelton). The mischievous Squints (Chauncey Leopardi) becomes overwhelmed with Wendy's good looks, and makes a shocking move. After a dangerous jump in the pool (he can't swim), Wendy dives in and decides to perform mouth-to-mouth. Squints devilishly smiles at his friends and pulls Wendy closer to him. The stunt gets the group banned from the pool.

Though this particular incident didn't happen in real life, there is a real-life origin for the attractive lifeguard. Evans confessed to High-Def Digest that he often visited community pools in his childhood, and he and his friends had their own lifeguards to admire: "...half of them, at least, were beautiful blonde girls who wore those one-piece red bathing suits – I remember that very clearly – and there was one of them whose name I only recall as having been Bunny and everybody always literally and physically looked up at Bunny."

He went on to explain that the scene came from a childhood crush: "I thought, 'What would be the ultimate sort of – if I could go back in time and pull out all of the stops – it would be faking my own drowning death in order to get a kiss from her.'" While we're glad this didn't actually happen in real life — it's seen by many as questionable in this post-#MeToo era — it sure left a mark on viewers.