Ogden charity baseball game to feature cast members from ‘The Sandlot’
A charity baseball game is set to build a sense of inclusivity — as well as bring a couple of film stars to Ogden.
Aug. 5 will mark the inaugural Brookey Bakes & Barragan Family Inclusion Ballgame with any funds raised going to the Utah Parent Center. The game is set to begin at 10 a.m. in the northeast ball field at Monroe Park and will feature actors from “The Sandlot,” which was filmed in Utah and is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Organizer Brooke Barragan told the Standard-Examiner that the theme of the game is inclusivity.
“We’re going to have a ballgame that’s inspired by First Lady Abby Cox’s Unified Sports Initiative,” Barragan said. “The idea is to have kids with disabilities on the same team as typical kids or even kids who play comp level sports. Each of the two teams have kids with needs and typical kids.”
Each team will also feature a special guest — they will be joined by Sandlot actors Chauncey Leopardi, who played Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous, and Marty York who played Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan.
Julio Cortez, Associated Press
“We’ll try a nice, easy-paced little ballgame and have lots of fun and laughs and just try to teach kids about inclusion and playing with other kids of varying abilities,” Barragan said.
She said the catalyst for organizing the game started very close to home. Barragan connected with the Utah Parent Center, a free resource for families of kids with needs, as her youngest daughter has an intellectual disability and behavioral and sensory needs.
“I’m on their advisory board and we try to do a little bit of fundraising for them as our family and as Brookey Bakes, but we wanted to come up bigger this year. We also happen to love baseball, we also happen to love The Sandlot and it happens to be the 30th anniversary. Chris (Barragan) has a lot of strong connections throughout the state, we made a few phone calls and we were able to get Squints and Yeah-Yeah up here for the ballgame and lots of great sponsors,” she said.
Members of the public are encouraged to come to the ballgame. After the game, there will be hot dogs and other activities available for families. There is no cost for admission but there will be opportunities to donate throughout the event. There will also be photo and autograph opportunities with “The Sandlot” stars.
“It’ll just be a fun, unifying event for the community,” Barragan said.
Leopardi will remain in Ogden for continued festivities with the Ogden Raptors professional baseball team on Monday, Aug. 7. The club has arranged a 3 p.m. meet-and-greet with Leopardi at Lorin Farr Pool, where The Sandlot’s pool kissing scene was filmed. The Raptors will then play a Sandlot tribute game at 6:30 p.m., featuring special uniforms and autographs from Leopardi at Lindquist Field.