The Sandlot represents different things to different people. I do remember watching the movie as a kid but it never really seemed like it stuck to my memory. Rather, it didn't have the kind of effect on me when I think back to stuff I watched at that age than it did for other people.
At that age I was remembering stuff like Jurassic Park, Demolition Man and Dazed & Confused. Although I should have related more to the story of a group of kids learning life lessons early, those aren't the stories that affected me in any lasting way. Part of that reason, looking deeper into it, is probably because I didn't have a group of friends like that. I could definitely relate with Smalls at the outset, being an outsider, but when he became one of the guys, adventures and all, it went beyond my childhood experiences at that time.
Also, I didn't play sports... go ahead and throw that out there (throw it, get it?! It's a baseball joke!)
I was a shy kid and I didn't have the luxury of being "free" to roam around the neighborhood. My mom was probably the opposite of the mother in the Sandlot. She didn't want me getting in trouble; she wanted me to be safe. Again, these experiences, I believe, are why this film doesn't exactly stick out to me.
I do appreciate the movie far more than I did as a kid, and there are definitely some aspects of the nostalgia that I tend to relate to. What I appreciate most though is that there are a swath of folks out there who DO love this movie. I appreciate that it was integral to their childhoods and how it helped shape them in their definitive years.
I may not ever be a fan of baseball (sorry Sizemore) but I can appreciate how the love of the game (and this film) fill people's lives with joy.