Stanley Sandlot baseball doc to premiere on local PBS stations


© Sean Gladwell

In the 1950s, America loved baseball. Sandlot baseball leagues cropped up all over the country, as children dreamed of becoming the next Hank Aaron or Mickey Mantle.

A new locally-produced PBS documentary tells the story of a group of sandlot kids from small-town Stanley, Va. and their reunion six decades later at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. “The Stanley Sandlot: Cow Pies to Cooperstown” premieres July 18 at 8:30 p.m. on WVPT PBS (Harrisonburg) and August 1 at 9:30 p.m. on WCVE/WHTJ PBS (Richmond/Charlottesville).

When the documentary’s producer, Amy Roscher of WVPT PBS, heard about the Stanley Sandlot boys and their incredible donation to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, she knew it was a story that needed to be told.

“In 2016, I was contacted by one of the ‘sandlot boys,’ as I now affectionately call them,” recalls Roscher. “He told me their story, and I knew we had to share it with others. Several of the men came into the studio, and we interviewed them. Hearing their stories was so fantastic! So, here we are, three years later, ready to share their story with the world. It has been a labor of love, spending time with these remarkable gentlemen.”

“The Stanley Sandlot: Cow Pies to Cooperstown” is a heart-warming story about a group of boys growing up in Virginia farm country. Like so many youngsters at that time, the boys spent countless hours playing baseball. Given ongoing arguments about who was the best batter, best pitcher, etc., player J.C. Painter started keeping detailed records and compiling statistics for each game of the 1955 and 1956 seasons. Sixty years later as he was cleaning out his attic, Painter came across these very ledgers. It was this discovery that led a group of the original Stanley Sandlot boys to Cooperstown where they made a very special presentation to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Watch the premiere of “The Stanley Sandlot: Cow Pies to Cooperstown” on July 18 at 8:30 p.m. on WVPT PBS (Harrisonburg) and August 1 at 9:30 p.m. on WCVE/WHTJ PBS (Richmond/Charlottesville). Complete local listings are available at

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