'Sandlot' director, screening to come to Coolray

LAWRENCEVILLE — When David Mickey Evans director and narrated “The Sandlot” 20 years ago, he had no idea what an impact the movie would make on future generations of viewers.

On Saturday, he will be at Coolray Field for the last stop of the 20th Anniversary Tour to meet and greet fans, answer questions about the movie, then screen it at the field.

“Oh my goodness, I don’t know what my expectations would be,” the director said. “I just hoped people would show up, but we’re getting thousands of people in minor and major fields. It’s outstanding.”

Evans has met several hardcore fans on the tour, including people who have made hats and T-shirts that say, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls.”

“The No. 1 thing is that people don’t just love the movie … I can’t begin to count how many people — moms than dads — who said, ‘Mr. Evans, you don’t understand,’” he said. “One lady who had four of her six kids with her told me, ‘We love it and watch it a couple times a week.’”

Another man along the journey bought 12 copies of the 20th anniversary edition DVD and asked Evans to sign them all. He was giving them to four generations in his family.

During the tour, Evans has stopped by 20 major and minor ball fields across the nation. At each stop, he saw the same thing: the crowd coming together as one for “The Sandlot.”

“I love what I do and always will, but with this movie, (for me it’s) important to watch a good story, to lose yourself with people,” he said. “There were 20,000 people Dodger Stadium quiet as church mice, laughing and cheering at the same time.”

Now 20 years later, Evans has realized the influence he’s had on people for two decades.

“It’s (interesting) that tiny fictional piece of history has gained immortality,” he said.

Kids’ inflatables, concessions and other attractions will be open at Coolray Field prior to and during the movie.

The Gwinnett Braves will donate one third of all ticket sales to The Sandlot Baseball Field Program, which “coordinates baseball field renovations across the United States so that loyal fans and baseball lovers everywhere will get the chance to enjoy their own ‘Sandlot’ field in their backyards.”

Evans is writing a book about the tour. To keep up with the release date, visit davidmickeyevansblog.blogspot.com.