Dear Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez,
So. We meet again.
I was ten years old when you first stole my heart, kind of like the way you stole home. And here we are again, rekindling that long-forgotten flame.
It’s my husband’s fault. Weird, right?
He just HAD to go out and buy The Sandlot, introducing it to my seven-year-old, a kid who has watched it every single day for the past four days. The same kid who, after watching it for the third time, came crashing down the stairs wearing a pair of ragged jeans, a white tee, and an unbuttoned flannel shirt yelling, “I’m gonna go play some ball, Mom!” The same kid who, after I gently suggested he change into something more appropriate for 85 degree weather, protested, “I’M FINE, MOM.”
Benny, I think you’ve won my son over too. So, you know, if you ever became his stepdad, I think he’d be all right with that.
Not only were you the best ball player in the valley; you were also kind. The moment you tossed your old glove to that Level 7 Weenie, that total square Scotty Smalls, I fell, and I fell hard.
But that wasn’t the last of it, was it, Benny?
You also hit a pop fly DIRECTLY into his glove as he stood out in center field, just to give the kid some confidence. His blockhead stepdad couldn’t teach him to play catch in half an hour, and yet you managed to do it in thirty seconds.
Plus? You pickled the Beast. AFTER a visit from The Great Bambino. The Great Bambino doesn’t exactly appear to just anyone.
But then you had to grow up and into that mustache. Benny, may I just say…Ew. And that’s pretty rich coming from a 29-year-old writing a love letter to a kid in PF Flyers.
So I’ll just pretend I’m ten years old again, and you didn’t grow up, and we’ll play baseball beneath the glow of 4th of July fireworks, and together we will eagerly wait for the next time that fart smeller Phillips is dumb enough to challenge the sandlot boys again.
Jessica “The Butt” Buttram