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Congressman Issa Honors 13 Gold Star Families Post Failed Afghanistan Pullout & The Sandlot Cast

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Join us this week as we delve into crucial conversations and heartwarming nostalgia. In this episode, our first guest, Congressman Darrell Issa, opens up about his dedicated efforts in supporting the 13 Gold Star families who have been profoundly impacted by the unfortunate fallout of the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Through insightful dialogue, we uncover the dedication and resilience required to address these critical issues.

Shifting gears, we invite you to a captivating trip down memory lane. We're thrilled to be joined by the charismatic cast of 'The Sandlot,' coming together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this beloved classic. Chauncey Leopardi (Squints), Marty York (Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan) and Victor DiMattia (Timmy Timmons) join us as they share their treasured experiences, behind-the-scenes stories, and the enduring magic that has made 'The Sandlot' a timeless masterpiece.

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Congressman Darrell Issa represents the people of California's 48th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.

The 48th District encompasses the central and eastern parts of San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County, including the communities of Fallbrook, Bonsall, Valley Center, Ramona, Escondido, Santee, Poway, Lakeside, Alpine, Temecula, Murrieta and the mountain and desert areas of the San Diego-Imperial County line.

Originally from Ohio, Issa enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was a senior in high school. Through his military service, he received an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in business from Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Upon graduation, Issa was commissioned as an Army officer, and ultimately obtained the rank of captain. He completed his active-duty military service in 1980 and turned his interests to the private sector.

At the height of his career in business, Issa served as CEO of a California-based electronics company that he founded and built in the mid-1990s, which became the nation’s largest manufacturer of vehicle anti-theft and auto security devices. In 1994, Issa was named Entrepreneur of the Year. Issa also served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, an organization of 2000 companies within the consumer technology industry.

Issa is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. From 2011-2015, he was the Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and previously served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee.

As a congressman and leader at California’s grassroots level, Issa has championed smart, limited government and advanced legislation to balance the federal budget and promote transparency to hold government accountable to the people.

A holder of 37 patents, Issa has been vigilant about protecting intellectual property rights. His successful efforts to fight human trafficking along the U.S. border have resulted in tougher laws, stiffer penalties, and more consistent enforcement. His watchful concern to guarantee that U.S. taxpayers receive the royalties they are owed from mineral interests on federal lands exposed fraud and mismanagement at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) in 2006. In 2008, when Congress was asked to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the wake of that year’s financial crisis, Issa stood by his experience starting and growing successful businesses, opposed giving a blank-check bailout to Wall Street, and voted against all government bailouts.

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The Sandlot Cast:

Chauncey Leopardi is an American actor known for playing Michael "Squints" Palledorous in the 1993 film The Sandlot and Alan White in the 1999 series Freaks and Geeks.

Marty York is an actor, known for playing Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan in The Sandlot (1993). He is also known for Boy Meets World (1993) and Due Justice.

Victor DiMattia is an actor and director, known for The Sandlot (1993), Cool as Ice (1991) and Dennis the Menace (1987).

About The Sandlot: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids who play baseball at the sandlot. Together they go on a series of funny and touching adventures. The boys run into trouble when Smalls borrows a ball from his stepdad that gets hit over a fence.

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Transcription

Chuck Warren: Welcome to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren with my co-host, Sam Stone. On this segment, we have Congressman Darrell Issa. He represents California's 48th Congressional District, which encompasses central and eastern parts of San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County. He is also a senior member on the House Judiciary Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee. And Congressman Issa, thank you for joining us.

Darrell Issa: Well, Chuck, thanks for having me on and and congratulations on your ever expanding listeners.

Chuck Warren: Well, thank you. And it's because of folks like you who are willing to come on and talk about important issues. And you have one coming up this Monday. You're holding a congressional forum for folks who want to attend it. It's at 10 a.m. Pacific Escondido City Hall. And tell us what you're going to be doing there during this congressional forum.

Darrell Issa: Well, this Chuck, this is the kind of official event that these district work periods are made for, you know, in 2021, with the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and 13 of our service members killed. Uh, we sort of, you know, said, okay, now turn the page. The administration likes to say the problem is for these the Gold Star families, the spouses, the parents, the children of these servicemen and women. You can't just turn a page. And they've never really been never been heard. They when they went to to Dover to claim the bodies, even that they managed to the administration managed to sort of screw up and make it happen and so on. So one of the things that we wanted to do in addition to we've had some of the Gold Star families in Washington, many of these individuals, they deployed from what's called the 21 here at Camp Pendleton. And so we've arranged to bring them back to the district, flown their families in, put them up and given them an opportunity, not just on Monday to tell their stories, but on Tuesday, thanks to the Marine Corps station, they will be transported to the top of this mountain where a marine. Includes their loved ones. They'll be taken up by Humvees. Walk that last few feet and and really have an opportunity to bring at least a little closure to it. And by the way, have thousands of people that support what their loved ones did and how that sacrifice may have been unnecessary mistake, but it was still their sacrifice. And so they're going to get a thank you from the people of San Diego and the Marines of Camp Pendleton.

Chuck Warren: I imagine. Have you have you met and talked with most of these these 13 families?

Darrell Issa: I have. We hosted nine groups of families in San Diego and Washington, D.C., but I've spoken to two at least one member of each family. So in some cases it's too soon for them to to really want to open up, to communicate. But there's usually, in this case, always at least one member who was willing to speak on behalf of the family. You know, years ago, Brian Terry, the Border Patrol agent that was killed based on the Fast and Furious mistake of the Obama administration, we saw one family member who the family felt comfortable saying, let him speak for all of us. And the same often happens here, but many of them will attend and, you know, have that quiet remembrance that see them, their loved ones honored by their fellow Marines at the memorial and at the ceremony on Tuesday. Now, that's a private ceremony because, again, they're coming on Monday. They'll tell their story and people will have an opportunity to meet with them if they want to. Tuesday, though, is really for the families to understand that the Marine Corps is a close knit family and their loved ones will be remembered for their sacrifice.

Chuck Warren: Let me ask you this. This may be a bit of a personal question. How has this affected you? I mean, I imagine this is emotionally draining. It probably gets the blood pressure increasing, talking to each one of these families and knowing that they they sort of died a little bit in vain because of poor execution. How has this affected you?

Darrell Issa: Well as a Vietnam era, serving with, you know, my colleagues who served in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, um, you know, all of us who have served, you know, ask, you know, what was it worth it? The ones we lost in training, the ones we lost later in in their service. And it is tough because you're constantly reminded that our men and women in uniform have won every war we've been sent to. Only to have the peace somehow screwed up by those who have PhDs and are supposed to know so much. You know, we won the Iraq conflict. We won the Afghanistan effort. No question at all. By the way. We won it with our NATO. It's like we never had before. Uh, just as we we fought North Korea and could have done more. There was a cease fire and no end to it. We won Vietnam and left a government with capability and then allowed it to be taken. So that's what I think the reminder is, is and I think it's important for your listeners, many of whom are in San Diego. Look, we we need to continue to thank those who serve, who go in harm's way. And then we need to hold those accountable who squander their efforts in Iraq today. We have an inherently chaotic country because not because we didn't drive Saddam out, but because while we held that country the same in Afghanistan, the experts couldn't figure out how to help them form a stable government that could go on. And you notice I didn't say a democracy, right. Not every not every place in the world is ready for democracy, but every every place we go into.

Darrell Issa: We have an obligation as the late George Herbert Bush once said and was told, you, look, if you break it, you own it and you have to leave it with the pieces back together. Uh, we we didn't do that in Afghanistan, and we withdrew at a time when we had the ability to keep it stable. We had the ability to give more time to to efforts to make that country able to sustain. Instead, we gave it back to the Taliban, who are the only reason we went in there was their control of the government. We we didn't have to take over Afghanistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden. We made the decision to drive them out. And 20 years later, we invited them in. That's not what we're talking about on Monday. Monday, we're talking about the sacrifice of these individuals, who they were and how much they they loved service in the Marines or the Army, which person is talking. And that's important. But we're not going to be talking about the mistakes that were made, how 160 other people died in that explosion and fire because they were crammed into an area. We're not going to be talking about how they should have been in Bagram, which would have been safer. Those are for other times. Those are for the times in Washington where we hold the hearings and try to hold those accountable, many of whom are still in power, made these mistakes.

Sam Stone: Congressman, I think and I would agree with you, it is really critical to hold those people in power accountable for what happened, in part because the mistakes they made, it wasn't the service members or their mistake. It was the mistake of the Biden administration, the people pulling out. But the repercussions of that, as seen in the actions of Russia, as seen in the actions of China, what they did in that period has made the world less safe for everybody.

Darrell Issa: You're exactly right, Chuck. That is that is the challenge that that we deal with every day, and particularly those of us who are veterans is how do we get there? And I serve on foreign affairs on top of it. We've got to get to where famously, you know, our allies count on us and believe in us, and our enemies fear us. Neither one is the case right now. I was I've been in Munich, I was in Kiev, in Ukraine, and so on. These people, many of them, you know, they're being encouraged to hedge their bets. Even some of our former allies in the Middle East are hedging their bets. That's not good. Even Israel, when I talk to the leaders there, they're they're very concerned that we don't have their back, which we've had since the founding of the state of Israel. And I will tell you, the when the speaker made the decision to bring the president of Israel to speak before Congress, he did so as part of what we could do. To assure them that we still are strong allies. Because if that if those allies don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us, we will be back in a major conflict, the type that too many men and women have given to to not have again.

Chuck Warren: I'm old enough to remember, and you are too, that when Republicans were wholeheartedly against Russian communists and I and I feel there's a segment right now who are opposed to Ukraine because of some affiliation or something to Russia. It's important Ukraine for the United States and for national security and world security.

Darrell Issa: Chuck, this is one of the things that's frustrating. I call them compromised, and I don't say they're compromised by money. I don't say they're compromised by something that somebody knows about them. And I don't even know if they're compromised by some sort of false information they've been given. But there are a number of people who I respect otherwise who clearly, on the issue of Russia, a few were on China, but some on China, they somehow hold out this hope that evil isn't what we're looking at, that these that you can somehow switch it. You can't. And that's what we knew for, by the way, Republicans and Democrats stood united. Kennedy was just as staunchly an anti-communist as Nixon. We need to get back to that resolution that there's good and evil. And once you determine that somebody is evil, don't be debating whether the other side's good enough. Deal with evil. Ukraine isn't perfect, but it's not Russia and it's not the aggressor.

Sam Stone: Yeah, nobody in the world is perfect, but there are absolutes in the real world. It is absolutely a fact that Russia and China are great power, opposites to us. They are our competitors on the world stage and if they take over, that leads to a much more dangerous world and a much, much less stable world for everybody. And I think there are far too many members who continue to discount that fact, Chuck, that that we just have to start looking once again. At the moment, we are in a great power conflict and there is good and evil.

Chuck Warren: Congressman Sam and I have told other guests we've had you can say Ukraine has corruption problems, but also we can't allow Russia just to go take a country. They're not mutually exclusive. And oh, you're absolutely.

Darrell Issa: You know, you're absolutely right. And I would tell everyone, Taiwan had corruption problems. South Korea had corruption problems. But they we worked them through that. And today they are sustainable democracies. So the transition can take a long time. But if Russia invades and takes them over, just like the 60 years before, there won't be a transition to an effective democracy.

Chuck Warren: With Congressman Darrell Issa. He'll be right back with us for our next break. This is breaking battlegrounds with Chuck Warren and Sam Stone. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren and Sam Stone. Today we have with us Darrell Issa. But folks, Sam's going to make a little point here for you.

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Chuck Warren: So the Supreme Court did the United States a really huge civics lesson favor in that they rejected Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness program for one simple reason. That is something Congress has to vote on. What do you see needs to happen so Congress start taking their appropriate role again on budgeting, on foreign policy, on things of this nature. It seems like we truly are, to use the catch phrase, swamp running. Dc It's just a bunch of bureaucrats. You guys pass a bill, they put the details in, they run it, they rule on it. What can we do to give that power back to Congress as it was intended to?

Darrell Issa: Well, that's a great question, and it's one that the speaker began when he literally clawed back $29 billion of funds that were already spent that were basically being used as walking around money for immigration. And he used the debt ceiling as a basis for it. But that's just a very small down payment, you know, living in Washington and having the honor of being able to lead people up to the top of the dome of the Capitol. When you look out on the dome from the dome, what you see is you see you're from the Capitol. You see six buildings total that belong to the House of Representatives and Senate for their their offices. And there were two more annexes. That's all the buildings of our entire branch. But you don't see is you don't see another building for miles. It is in part of the executive branch cabinet position after cabinet position. And of course, you know, what you see at the EPA pales in comparison to the field offices or all these other large bureaucracies. Congress has the ability to determine who hit it hires to do determination of its rights and responsibilities. And the reality is Congress needs to be more responsible and it needs to cede less in each law. And many of our laws require reauthorization. One of them actually is called FISA. It's just spying on people, presumably outside the US. But as we found, they used it to spy on President Trump and others.

Darrell Issa: We have the ability to take back a lot of that authority. We have the ability to give some of it to courts, but we certainly need to do that on foreign policy, Believe it or not, people have forgotten this. Every trade agreement is the absolute right of the House of Representatives. We pass a law every so many years, you know, that gives a right to the administration to negotiate and then come back to us with an up or down. And of course, sometimes, like Obama, they negotiate something they know that Congress will never pass and then they act like they were they were pro trade and we weren't. That's ridiculous. We can and should, for example, have members of the House of Representatives or people that we hire. Those trade negotiations with a seat at the table. Constitution says we can do it if we simply hold the constitution and return to original principles, including how we allocate money to the executive branch, we can absolutely take it back. But it's going to take every member of Congress understanding that ceding power to the other branch is lazy. And unfortunately, it's led to the kind of control that Democrats seem to like. And Republicans to a person go home and tell their constituents is wrong. So that's a long winded way to say the way we take it back is we begin taking it back every day with every bill we've had.

Sam Stone: Congressman, this is Sam. One of the things my background was in part working with the city of Phoenix and in talking to friends that I have who work in federal bureaucracies, federal agencies primarily outside of DC, one of the issues that I think is across the board in government now is they are just massively overstaffed. On the bureaucratic side, 20 to 30% of the people do 80 to 90% of the work. The others are frankly a drag on their morale. But the the overarch, the. Coming out of it is that when you have that many bureaucrats, they can really only justify their jobs by continuing to pass more and more regulation, more and more, expand the reach of their departments and their government agencies. And so much of the problems in this country, I think, now stems from the fact that our government, we can spend huge amounts of money to $2.2 trillion on infrastructure, and the signature outcome of it is a handful of pedestrian bridges to nowhere that we're not getting the bang for our buck because of that over bureaucracy, bureaucratization.

Darrell Issa: Well, you're exactly right. And, you know, one of the best examples is, you know, if you try to get a visa or a passport right now, you can't get a passport renewed. And unless you go to your congressman, you're going to wait months. Now, you sort of look and say, well, why is that? Is it because they can't get enough people or they they don't have enough money? Not at all. It's because they got used to basically they call it teleworking. I call it working. Congress has the ability to hold them accountable. And we need to right now, one of the things that Foreign Affairs is looking at is literally privatizing to a contractor. Most of that work with a recognition that we're going to pay X amount. It has to be delivered in a certain amount of time or they don't get anything. You can't do that very effectively with the in-house bureaucracy. You can do it when you force them to have a lesser amount of government worker and a greater amount of people who you can hold accountable. And by the way, you can fire them if they don't meet the target objective. So a lot of that has to be done that way. The headcount I'll give you an example. The Pentagon today has more employees for basically 1 million soldiers, sailors and Marines than they had when we had 11 million spread all throughout the world. And remember, back then, we were doing everything by paper with typewriters and carbon copy. The fact is that our overhead has become so bloated that, for example, in the Pentagon, holding someone accountable is almost impossible because there are so many people with so many titles needs to change again. When Congress authorizes money, we have the ability to authorize how many generals and how many colonels and by the way, how many DOD civilians. And I've challenged the Armed Services Committee to do just that, to reduce. And Ken Calvert, who's a California congressman, has actually begun the process of reducing the total number of DOD civilians and telling them that we know they can live with less and we expect them to do so.

Chuck Warren: Well, please, please keep pushing that. Congressman, we have about 30s left here with our time with you. We appreciate you coming on today with Congressman Darrell Issa, California 48th District. You're on the foreign House Foreign affairs Committee. What is the 1 or 2 things that keep you up at night with 30s left on that?

Darrell Issa: What keeps me up at night are three things the the cozy relationship this administration seems to want to have with Iran, the unwillingness to actually call China and Russia for what they are on an everyday basis. President Biden called Xi a dictator and then he backpedaled from it. He should never have backpedaled from it. Ronald Reagan called Russia Soviet Union an evil empire and it stuck and it made a difference. We need to get back to those three above all other countries, those three countries being called for what they are.

Chuck Warren: Thank you. Congressman Darrell Issa, thank you for joining us. We hope to have you on again soon. Folks, this is breaking battlegrounds. We'll be back.

Sam Stone: Welcome back to Breaking battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Moran. I'm Sam Stone. Well, as baseball geeks, as family movie fanatics, we were really excited for this next interview. I remember this film from a long time ago. Chuck and I really enjoyed it, rewatched it last night and I thought it aged better than I could have ever imagined. We are incredibly honored to have the cast of The Sandlot here to celebrate their 30th anniversary today. We have Chauncey Leopardi, squints known as Squints Marty York, who played Alan Yaya McLennan. And guys, thank you so much for joining us today. We really love having you on the program. It's it's you know what I thought about the film last night rewatching it. It was an homage to a lost era in American childhood in many ways. You know, the last free kids in America.

Chuck Warren: We used to play baseball every day. Yeah, wake.

Sam Stone: Up all day, every day.

Chuck Warren: So you're both we're young child actors. Did you play baseball like this? Did you have a bunch of friends you gather with and played baseball every day in the park?

Chauncey Leopardi: Um, I think you guys nailed it with the homage to, like, a Lost childhood, because I definitely feel like today's generation and even, you know, the generation before kind of lost that out all day until the, you know, the streetlights came on type of vibe. But yeah, we both were athletic, I would say, and we didn't play organized sports. We were sandlot kids ourselves.

Marty York: So yeah, I mean, we, uh, we learned a lot before we went to the field. So we, we actually became very good at playing in Los Angeles before we came to Utah. And our, our coach, our baseball coach was actually squints his grandpa. Oh, wow. Uh, during the, the squint scene where he talks about in the tree house.

Chauncey Leopardi: Police chief Squiggman Pallidus.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yes.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. He's a Kappa. He's a Giants fan. But we won't hold that against him. But he actually was our baseball.

Sam Stone: Here in Arizona. We do hold that against him also.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, we do too. Silently in Los Angeles. But, you know, he's. He's fond of heart.

Chuck Warren: Do you do you get tired? I know you're doing it 30th anniversary. And, you know, this film's become very special for a lot of people. Um, do you do you do you look back on it with fond memories or just something like this is just in the past. And I'm a new chapters in life now.

Chauncey Leopardi: No mean you see the joy that it brings people and that it's it's continued over, you know, three, four generations now of like, you know, parents passing it down to their children. And you see the moments that they've shared and the the genuine happiness that the film brings and the fact that kids will still watch it to this day, which is, you know, super odd and doesn't happen very often anymore. So we enjoy it, we embrace it and take on the roles that we've been given. And I guess we're here to carry the torch for, you know, for the sandlot kids everywhere now.

Marty York: Yeah. I mean, it's still surprises us when we, you know, we go to these sporting events and these like professional athletes are like, we love your movie or you guys are the reason we play baseball or, you know, it's it's still, you know, it's like year after year it just gets bigger and bigger, which is really cool.

Sam Stone: I asked a bunch of parents if they had shown it to their kids. You know, with young kids right now and universally they had.

Chuck Warren: Like, well, it's a movie. It's a movie you can actually watch with your kids to generational film. So, um, Chauncey and Marty, do you both do you both have kids? Do you have nephews and nieces?

Chauncey Leopardi: I have. I have a bunch of kids. Marty doesn't have any kids. Not that I know of.

Chuck Warren: So have you made. Have you? But. So, Marty, we'll leave that for another episode one day. John, we.

Chauncey Leopardi: Got 50.

Sam Stone: Minutes coming up in the second segment here.

Chuck Warren: Chuck, Chauncey, have your kids all watched the show?

Chauncey Leopardi: So, you.

Chauncey Leopardi: Know, my oldest is 21, so she's seen it previously. But I have a five and a seven year old that I just started showing it to them. And like I caught my son, who's five, watching it the other day, just like it might be the first like live action movie that he's actually sat through. So it still holds strong. You know, he's still like, they're excited. They're with us. They they came here to Utah with us and they're going to be at the sandlot. So they're so excited to be in The Sandlot movie because that's what they think's going on.

Chauncey Leopardi: Oh, that's fantastic. And.

Chuck Warren: Chauncey, I want I want to make a correction, though I split time between Arizona. Utah when you said a bunch of kids in Utah were thinking, that's five, six, seven kids. So just realize three kids in Utah is not a lot of kids.

Chauncey Leopardi: I have four, but yeah, I'm working on it. I'll get.

Chuck Warren: There. You get there. You got to get there and be part of it. Are you both baseball fans?

Chauncey Leopardi: It pours a.

Chauncey Leopardi: Lot in l.a.

Chauncey Leopardi: Are you both? Yeah, we're baseball fans. Are you baseball.

Chuck Warren: Fans? So.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. Did.

Chuck Warren: Were you baseball fans before the movie?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. I mean, I was in a basketball phase when we did Sandlot. It was the Michael Jordan era. So, you know, basketball was king at the moment. But I think over time, the game has grown on us because we've become such a part of it. Um, and, you know, it's a great thing.

Victor Dimattia: Yeah. Oh, and this is Victor Dimattia, by the way. I played Timmy Timmons. Y'all didn't introduce me, but I'm hearing you. Hi, Victor. How are you talking? So I'm good, man. Good.

Chuck Warren: Victor. Hey, Victor, We want to hear you. We're going to take a quick break. This is breaking battlegrounds.

Victor Dimattia: You know, I'm leaving. Never mind. We're going to.

Chuck Warren: Come back with a very bitter victor. We'll be right back. This is breaking battlegrounds. We're with the cast of Sandlots with Marty, Victor and Chauncey. We'll be right back.

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Sam Stone: Welcome back to Breaking battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren. I'm Sam Stone. Folks, are you looking for an opportunity to earn a tremendous rate of return that's not tied to the stock market. The stock market can go up. The stock market can go down. You can still earn up to a 10.25% fixed rate of return. That's right, 10.25% fixed. Just give our friends at invest refi a call. You can call them at 888 y refy 24. Or just go online, invest the letter Y, then refy.com and let them know Chuck and Sam sent you. Okay. Continuing on with the cast of the Sandlot, we are very excited to have them in studio. I was really stunned, Chuck, rewatching that movie at how well it has held up over all these years and so the opportunity to talk about it, we have Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York, Victor Dimattia online with us today. Guys. I was stunned at how well, like even the really kind of goofy effects about the beast kind of held up just because they they sort of still seemed like kids. Overblown fears. And the rest of it looks like it could have been made yesterday.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, Yeah. It's really cool.

Chauncey Leopardi: I think it's kind of lost in time because of the way that David shot it. David Mickey Evans is the writer director and he had Tony Richmond, the DP. He handed him like Kodak chromatic film and he said, I want the film to look like this. And if anybody remembers Kodak chromatic film, it has that like. That that weird like, like pop art type of vibe to it. And so it's kind of like this last summer that's just, you know, it's like a time capsule and it doesn't really age and it just is, you know, a piece of Americana.

Chauncey Leopardi: It connects it.

Sam Stone: Beautifully.

Victor Dimattia: That it I think the fact that it's set in the 60s, it came out in the 90s but set in the 60s kind of also sets it apart like that. So it doesn't look aged like kind of like a Christmas story, how it takes place like in the past, correct. So it just like, it just never like looks like it's dated.

Chuck Warren: Um, Victor, Marty, Chauncey, you all seem like you have a good relationship. I'm sure a lot of movies, a lot of movie casts. Can't say that. Have you all stayed close over the years?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, we got a great group chat. It's been cracking lately. Actually, I've been. I've been putting some really good memes in there.

Victor Dimattia: Yeah, it's mostly just Chauncey and Marty making fun of each other, but. But it's entertaining, pretty much.

Chuck Warren: I tell our audience. What was it like filming? Okay, so your young men, how long did it take? How long were you out there? You know, I know filming at times, too, can be quite boring at times because it's a hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. What was it like being young men, boys, teenagers, filming something like this? Victor, we'll start with you.

Victor Dimattia: Oh, it was a long it was a long shoot. I mean, it was like almost three months, which like these days you don't do that anymore. Really. Things move a lot faster. But they really took their time. And we had a lot of days in Lake City filming this movie.

Sam Stone: Yeah. One of the things I mean, in watching it, it looked like you guys were having a ton of fun throughout it. I mean, it's hard, I think, for kids sometimes to to hide their their personal experience on film other than the pool scene, which I guess apparently was was freezing cold that day. But you guys look like you were having a ton of fun throughout that movie.

Chauncey Leopardi: It was a blast. I mean, we got to play ball all day. You know, you got nine kids running around, you know, with their their their set parents or, you know, we had our parents come to set. It was it was a really cool experience. And it was a.

Chauncey Leopardi: It was a lot.

Chauncey Leopardi: Of it felt like the last of like a real film production where, like, all those sets were really built. They were all hard sets. You had real props. Nothing was CGI. Everything was like, really done. So you really had like that awe of like, you know, this is a cool period sports movie with kids and a dog. And it was a lot going on. It was a really good time.

Marty York: We all did our own stuff too, which was really cool. Well.

Chuck Warren: The big stunt.

Marty York: This is Marty, the scene where I'm actually going over the fence in the harness. I actually really did that. Oh, did you really? Yeah, It was about 25, 30ft in the air and just literally held on by a fiberglass harness. And the crew was pulling me with these, like, metal wires. So it was I mean, it was dangerous. You know.

Chauncey Leopardi: It was definitely an OSHA violation.

Chuck Warren: How long? Oh, definitely. How long did how long did it take to film that scene? How how long were you in that harness?

Marty York: I think we did. It took about two hours. Three hours of filming.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, Marty had to perfect his.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah.

Marty York: You know, that was, uh. That was all improvised, too. We improvised a lot of the stuff on set, too.

Chauncey Leopardi: Also, if you watch it when. When they. When we pull him up, Marty pushes off of the the railing of the treehouse because he would have cracked his head open. So you definitely can't do that kind of stuff anymore with child labor law.

Chuck Warren: No, you can't. Not at all. I have a question I want to ask all three of you individually, and I'll start with Victor, then Marty, then Chauncey. How did you get the role? Did you have to go through a bunch of auditions? Victor, I want to start with you. Then we'll go to Marty and Chauncey. How did you get the role?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, it was a really long casting process. I mean, I had done a bunch of stuff before and it was like, you know, you go out and maybe have a callback or two, but this was like they kept bringing us back over and over, and then they would like pair us up with different kids and like kind of see how we interacted together. And they brought us out onto a field and had us play baseball and stuff. So it was like definitely a much longer process than than other stuff that I had done.

Sam Stone: I have to ask because I had totally forgotten when I got to the end of the movie last night that James Earl Jones was in it.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah.

Sam Stone: Did you all get that? I mean, because obviously that's post Star Wars Post Darth Vader. Were you guys a Star Wars fans and be like, what was that like? Did you get to interact with him and what was he like?

Marty York: Yeah, this is Marty. Actually, I did get a chance to interact with him. My mom said I'm actually going to take you to meet Darth Vader. He took me to his trailer, and she said. She said, Yeah, that's. He was like eating breakfast or something. And she's like, That's Darth Vader. And I asked him that and he goes, I said, Are you Darth Vader? And he goes, I am your father. And yeah, and the James Earl Jones, you know, Darth Vader voice. And it was amazing.

Chuck Warren: Jones I want to go back to these auditions. Chauncey, How did you get your role?

Chauncey Leopardi: Um, originally I was reading for another part, actually, I think I was reading for. Yeah. When I went in and like Vic said, it was a pretty rigorous, I think I went back on like 4 or 5 callbacks and then we did like a lot of like, I guess it's kind of like screen testing. But we went to this place in LA called the Sportsmen's Lodge. It's where a lot of the kids from out of town were staying and we would like run lines on film or tape. Like for 2 or 3 hours in the morning as they pulled in kids and mixed and matched and did their thing. And then we would go play baseball in the afternoon with our baseball coach and see if the kids could actually look like they could play. So it was probably the the, you know, the most strenuous casting process I had ever done. I mean, sometimes you go in, you don't hear anything, and then you book a job or sometimes you read a couple times and maybe screen test. But this was like a month and a half long process probably of like, you know, continuous. Um, you know, rigorous auditioning and and baseball training. You know, and I think obviously they did what they had to do and the film held up. So I guess it was a good process for them.

Sam Stone: The baseball training worked. It looked good.

Chuck Warren: Yeah, it looked it looked legitimate because they obviously can play. So how many of the kids that you saw during.

Chauncey Leopardi: Some of these guys were rough? Yeah, Well.

Chuck Warren: That's my question. During auditions, how what percentage of people during auditions really cannot play baseball at all?

Chauncey Leopardi: Like like 90% of them probably.

Marty York: Really horrible.

Sam Stone: The theater kid crowd does not cross over entirely with the baseball kid crowd.

Chauncey Leopardi: You know, the thing is, actors, they had clips of audiences when you would go to like a casting call and of course your mom or whatever be like.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, yeah, you can do all of it. Just if they ask, just tell them you can do that to ride a horse. Sure, we'll figure it out later.

Chuck Warren: I think that's what all parents advice is. When you have a job opportunity, just say you can do everything. We'll figure it out later, right?

Marty York: Exactly.

Chuck Warren: Hope is not a battle plan, but sometimes it is in the world. Yeah. When you got done with the film, were you just of the mindset like, All right, I'm ready for the next job? Or did you realize what a wonderful experience this was? And I mean, how how and we'll start with you, Chauncey, then Marty, then Victor. How did when it got done, what were your feelings with it? Just it's done. I'm worn out. It was three months in Salt Lake. I'm ready to get back to other things in life. Try new things. I mean, what went through your mind?

Chauncey Leopardi: I was late to start junior high.

Chuck Warren: Oh.

Chauncey Leopardi: I went right back into school.

Chuck Warren: Did everybody know you were an actor in junior high?

Chauncey Leopardi: I mean, it was starting a new school because I was just going into sixth grade, so I think it was a little funny. I met one of my best friends. We're still friends to this day because we were the only two kids in the back of gym class with no gym clothes on and we were just sitting there next to each other because we were both he was moving from somewhere else from San Diego up to L.A. And I was just had come back from doing this film, so we were both late to school and had no gym clothes. And that kind of set the tone for our friendship kind of, you know, which is pretty cool. Um, yeah, it was cool. And when the film came out, it's interesting. It was a different time. So, you know, nowadays I think that like there's a lot more social media presence, especially for young actor kids, and they have, you know, a more demanding promotional schedule. We did go on a promo tour, but outside of that, you kind of lived a normal life even if you were, you know, a quote unquote, celebrity at the time. I mean, they had like teenybopper magazines, but there wasn't nobody chasing you around or paparazzi or that type of deal. So, you know, you came in and you did movies and then you went home and you had a normal, you know, teenage life.

Chuck Warren: Marty, how about you?

Marty York: Yeah, I mean, it was, you know, after the, after the movie I. Yes, auditioning for stuff. I think like a lot of Boy Meets World and it was, you know, going to my school experience was like very strange because I was like the only actor there. And, and the, the jocks didn't like that for some reason. So it was an interesting experience for me. But I mean, you know, life and I kept acting and doing stuff and. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: And Victor, how about you?

Victor Dimattia: Um, yeah. I mean, you know, um. Lake Chauncey was saying, you know, right after that, I went back to school and was a little bit late getting back in there. But I went to school in San Fernando Valley in California. So like, there was other kids in my class that were actors, and I think all of them were trying to be actors and going out on auditions and stuff. So, I mean, it wasn't really all that all that weird, but we stayed in touch, you know, after the movie and we went and hung out. We actually I remember Brandon, who played Nunez, was in the Mighty Ducks that had filmed just before The Sandlot. So right after the movie Wrapped Ducks came out shortly after that. And I remember, um, a few of us that lived in LA all went to the theater to go watch that together and go see Brandon and the Mighty Ducks. So that was pretty cool.

Sam Stone: That's awesome. Is there is there one scene that you guys had the most fun filming that that was like just a blast that day?

Chauncey Leopardi: I really like the playing. The baseball against the other team was fun. We played a lot that day. It was pretty cool.

Chauncey Leopardi: I saw you said the pool scene.

Chauncey Leopardi: I mean, not that everybody. I mean, I guess not everybody has the same experience. I think for us as a group, like I like the stuff when we were actually getting to play ball. I know that as we were shooting the film, we were shooting a movie, but we were always trying to just like hit dingers and like hang out together and have that kind of thing, you know? So.

Sam Stone: Yeah, what I loved about that scene, it sort of as a baseball fan, it portended in many ways the future of baseball, where it moved from the sandlots of the country to the organized teams. And personally, Chuck, I don't think that's helped the game. I think they built stronger players when it's that opening of it, when they talk about they just never stop playing.

Chuck Warren: No, no. Well, we see the.

Chauncey Leopardi: Kids in with the with the the milk, the milk box gloves just coming in and crushing the league. So I guess you're right, right? Yeah.

Sam Stone: Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Guys, we're going to go. We're ending this segment wherever you can. Stay with us just for ten minutes more. Go into our podcast portion, which talk a little bit more with you. Can you all three do that? Do you have time for ten more minutes?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, we're good.

Chuck Warren: Okay, good. By the.

Chauncey Leopardi: Way, the green room.

Chuck Warren: Here, by the way. Yeah, I saw that there at the hockey stadium. Marty, I understand you were born in Auburn. I graduated high school in Auburn in 83. And you were born in 80.

Marty York: Oh, get out of here. Auburn, California.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. Plaster High School. Go, Go! Mighty Hillman.

Marty York: Oh, awesome, man. Yeah, it's. I haven't been down there since I was, like, ten, but it's changed. It's grass Valley has grown. Grass Valley is actually. That's where I lived. Are born in Auburn, but lived in Grass Valley.

Chuck Warren: Fantastic. This is breaking battlegrounds with the cast of Sandlot. Please join us for our podcast portion with Marty, Chauncey and Victor, and we'll talk a little bit more about the 30th anniversary and how this films influenced baseball and kids and families. This is breaking battlegrounds. You can find us at Breaking Battlegrounds, Dot Vote or wherever you find your podcasts. This is Chuck and Sam. We'll be right back.

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Sam Stone: Welcome back to the podcast. Only portion of breaking battlegrounds with your host Chuck Warren and Sam Stone continuing on the line with us. And thank you guys so much for doing so. We have key members from the cast of The Sandlot, Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York, Victor Dimattia, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate having you on the program. Kind of reliving a little slice of of my childhood, if you will. And guys, I just got to thank you rewatching that. I really enjoyed it again last night. It was That's a blast. It's such a fun film, Chuck.

Chuck Warren: It really is. So what do you tell us a little about what's going to go on this weekend for the 30th anniversary?

Chauncey Leopardi: So tonight we're going to be at the Salt Lake Bees game. Um, hanging out there with the fans and the team. And then tomorrow, um, on the lot. Uh. Think we'll be doing a VIP session early and then we're going to do a public signing for all the ticket holders, and then they're going to show the film after we do a big Q&A for everybody. Um. And yeah, that's kind of the gist of things, you know? But on the lot celebrating 30 years.

Sam Stone: And the bees are a ton of bees.

Chauncey Leopardi: Be there.

Chauncey Leopardi: Oh, the.

Chauncey Leopardi: Bees. Yeah, the bees are great. Yeah, that's a good time. We haven't been back for about five years.

Victor Dimattia: Yeah, we've been there. Yeah, we were there for the 20th anniversary of the 25th. And now the 30th.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. They always take good care of us There.

Chuck Warren: That's fantastic. So being child actors, which I think would be very difficult, is it something you would recommend for kids to pursue if they really want to pursue it now that you have 30 years to reflect on these things?

Chauncey Leopardi: If they really want to pursue it. Yes. It's not something that I would necessarily. Um, throw my kids into unwillingly.

Marty York: But it's kind of a different ballgame now as far as like social media and everything and like YouTube and yeah, the way that auditions are done nowadays is they're like self tapes. Whereas like, when we were kids, our parents would take us to auditions and, you know, they'd be shuttling us around all over Los Angeles. And nowadays it's like a bunch of thumbnails on a computer screen. And you know, these casting directors have to choose like that. So I mean, I definitely think nowadays it might be like, you know, a little tougher, but it's easier on the parents nowadays than it was back in our day.

Chauncey Leopardi: Do you feel like it can be a lot of pressure? Yeah, I have kids, so I feel like I would say that, you know, there was times that I wanted to be a kid and I had a job, you know? And it's.

Chauncey Leopardi: Hard to.

Chauncey Leopardi: Tell a ten year old that wants to go hang out with his friends that he's got to go hold down the family. So, you know, I feel like if it's something you're passionate about, you know, we. But thought wasn't necessarily. You know, I don't want my kids auditions necessarily, and force them into that life either. I guess to each their own.

Sam Stone: Yeah. The social media element has to be really, really tough because it's tough enough to be a kid in a social media world, much less a famous kid in a social media world. As parents, that's, I think, a tricky.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, a lot of it is like. That's kind of the focal point of this field now to I mean, the whole business is kind of ran off of social. So if you don't have a social presence, especially for younger, younger people, then they don't really have a place, you know what I mean? So it's more driven around that. Do you have a following? Not like, are you an. Get it. Are like, you handle the social game and can you go viral on TikTok and and can you more or less you know.

Chuck Warren: Yeah right, right. So let me ask you this question. We'll start with you. Chauncey, who played skits on Sandlot. Who has been your favorite athlete?

Chauncey Leopardi: You've met my favorite athlete. We've met. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: You've actually met Wade Boggs?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. Wade Boggs. Yeah, man, Wade is a he's a I've met a lot of athletes and they're all great. But Wade is we played we played a softball game with him at the Field of Dreams. Oh, wow. And Wade Wade took us out drinking afterwards and did karaoke with us. Me and Wade did a duet. And at the end he he grabbed me and he whispered in my ear. He sang back up for me. We were singing Leonard Skynyrd. And. And at the end of the song. He he whispered in my ear and he said, That was f*****g beautiful, brother.

Chuck Warren: And you can say and you can quote that on podcasts. That's amazing. And see and see and see. Chauncey That should be on social media right there.

Sam Stone: Okay. As a as a Boston kid born and raised now I'm super jealous. I'm super jealous.

Chuck Warren: Marty, how about you?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. No, he's.

Chuck Warren: Go ahead.

Marty York: I'll have to go away, too, man. Wade Wade's just. I think we'd all probably go with Wade because he's made an.

Chauncey Leopardi: Impression on us.

Marty York: He's the funniest guy to be around. And it's funny because we just saw him at the Baseball Hall of Fame. And the moment we walked in, he goes.

Chauncey Leopardi: The Little Leaguers.

Marty York: He goes, the Little Leaguers are here, tells us a little leaguer. It's not the same.

Chuck Warren: As your old men in your 40s Now, that's fantastic, man.

Chauncey Leopardi: I'm sorry I missed that.

Marty York: He had his he had his cooler of beer right there, too. He always has his cooler of beer.

Chuck Warren: Oh, that's amazing.

Chauncey Leopardi: I. Yeah, we saw him in Cooperstown two weeks ago and then I saw him again last weekend in Chicago. And he just as soon as he saw me, he goes, How did I get so lucky? I got two weeks in a row seeing you guys. And. And Wade's a kisser. He's a kisser. Is he? Yeah. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Well, I guess when you're.

Chauncey Leopardi: Affectionate with this loved.

Chuck Warren: One. Yes. When you're carrying around a cooler of beer, you're going to be affectionate all the time. Is there. Is there some homage or recognition of Sandlot at the Hall of Fame?

Chauncey Leopardi: There is. So they have I think they have the original screenplay signed by everybody. And there's a couple big posters and then a I think the Babe Ruth Ball is there as well.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, they got a few things in there. Yeah.

Chauncey Leopardi: So it's there and the baseball section. So that was really cool to see that as well.

Chuck Warren: How was it playing at Field of Dreams? How was that?

Chauncey Leopardi: That was incredible, bro. A really great experience. We got two minutes left, guys. We got to go on air. No worries. But the field of Dreams was incredible. It was an experience that I hope that we get to have again. Yeah, we played softball with Reggie Jackson and Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith and Wade Boggs, and we came out of the cornfield and and, you know, it was it was a it definitely bring a tear to your eye because the field is still the same. And it's pretty inspiring if you're into baseball and films.

Sam Stone: And someone who's deeply into baseball and films, we're going to let that be the final word. Thank you so much to the cast and crew from The Sandlot, guys. That's an amazing experience. And I think every baseball fan, every fan of the movie would love to have been able to to see and participate in that like you did. Unbelievable. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

Chauncey Leopardi: Thanks, guys.

Marty York: Thanks, guys. Have a good.

Chuck Warren: Weekend. Take care. Thanks, guys. You too. Well, Sam, that was fantastic.

Sam Stone: That was brilliant. That was brilliant.

Chuck Warren: And I'm glad. I'm glad the Hall of Fame has that recognition in there for them.

Sam Stone: You know, I do like that. It's interesting. I think baseball generates better movies than any other sport. Yes. I mean, it just for some reason, it lends itself to the moviemaking business, right? Like the pacing of it, maybe. I don't know exactly what it is, but it does. And yeah, the hall I was probably there before that display went up, but I remember the one from a League of their Own, which had just, just gone in there when I went.

Chuck Warren: Um, we definitely need to go scalped some tickets and go hit the Field of Dreams game Major League Baseball does during the summer next summer. So yeah.

Sam Stone: Absolutely. I mean, look, the the field at Cooperstown is one of the most beautiful little stadium fields you've ever seen in your life. They do just a brilliant job, folks. If you haven't been to Cooperstown, if you're if you're baseball fans, if you've got a kid who's a baseball player, take the time to go to Cooperstown. That is it. It's so different than the basketball or Football Hall of Fame. It's really a living experience when you're in that town.

Chuck Warren: Well, we've had a great show this week with the cast of Sandlot, and we appreciate them coming on. And Congressman Issa from California introducing us. He's our first guest for the San Diego market. That's very exciting. I want to talk a couple a couple political issues here to end the show. First of all, Ron DeSantis came up with a great idea this week. And sadly, Ron DeSantis campaign won't get this out. But I'm hoping every frankly, every Republican congressional candidate does an ad on this. What Ron DeSantis is proposing is that college student loan debt be dischargeable during bankruptcy because right now you can't declare bankruptcy on student loans. But here's the twist. He would put the universities on the hook for it. His quote is, I think the universities should be responsible for the student debt. You produce somebody that can be successful. They pay off the loans. Great. If you don't, then you're going to be on the hook, he said on the campaign trail. I really like this a lot. Oh, I love it. And DeSantis DeSantis is very I mean, look, people may not like his personality. The campaign may.

Sam Stone: Seem the campaign has been.

Chuck Warren: Rough, seem.

Sam Stone: Rough. It's been rough.

Chuck Warren: But he is the smartest policy guy. I think him and Vivek are the guys that really are thinking outside the box. And and, you know, we need that's how you win. That's how you build your that's how you broaden the tent.

Sam Stone: I mean, first, I think going forward and I've said this for a couple of years, you should absolutely make these universities guarantee their own loans. And so I love this idea. I mean, at the end of the day, if a university is having to guarantee their loans, they're not going to allow a student to rack up $200,000 for a career that pays 45 grand.

Chuck Warren: Or they may or they may say, if you want to get a degree in modern art, you also have to have a minor in business. Right? Right. You can do this, but you also have to have a skill.

Sam Stone: Well, return on investment.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. And they need to start looking at more. And so like, you know, it's unfair to make somebody who's repairing air conditioning or working at a grocery store or driving a taxi pay because some kid defaulted on it. So make the university responsible. So they put a little more time and effort into this as well.

Sam Stone: Well, and bankruptcy is not a nothing thing. No, no.

Chuck Warren: I mean, it's a major thing. It's on your record for seven years. It can affect a lot of things.

Sam Stone: So people aren't just going to rush to give themselves a BC to get rid of their their student loan debt. So it becomes a very thoughtful decision at that point. I love having universities on the line. You're right about DeSantis having real policy chops as he's shown in Florida. Yes, he's he's very much in front of the game when it comes to the policy end of this. For all the criticism, his campaign, I have not been impressed. Apparently, nobody in the country has been particularly impressed. But his governance has been beyond impressive. And I wish we would be recognizing that more and stop, stop this idea that that a primary fight means we have to tear down.

Chuck Warren: Right?

Sam Stone: I mean, stop.

Chuck Warren: I wish all of the Republicans this includes President Trump, which is focused more on Joe Biden. Joe Biden is corrupt. Yeah, Joe Biden is not honest. Joe Biden is not. I'm not even sure he's there. And that brings a point. You and I, we because we're on an hour a week plus a podcast, we really try to focus on issues, right? And sometimes we have like the cast of Sandlot because it's our mic. We're going to have some people we.

Sam Stone: Want to have some fun from time to time. Yeah, but.

Chuck Warren: This Hunter Biden thing stinks to high heaven. And watching Democrats change the narrative every time is incredible. For example, The New York Times literally came out the other day and said it has been long. It has long been known that the elder Mr. Biden at times interacted with his son's business partners. That is a bald faced lie. Put in print by the New York Times because they have denied it. Matter of fact, when Hunter Biden this is not New York Times, but when Hunter Biden's story came out, the NPR said they announced that they weren't covering the laptop news because, quote, We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories. Right. But they keep getting these facts right. So you had trust fund, Dan, who was a Levi Strauss heir in New York, who seems to be he decided that AOC was enough to have an idiot on the Democrat side. He's got Levi Strauss.

Sam Stone: And Goldman Sachs.

Chuck Warren: He's going to do it as a white trust fund guy. Right. And so he's been covering for these folks. But every time the facts come out, it gets more and more and more now, again. Does Joe Biden love his son? 100%. And we all know dads will do certain things for sons, but people aren't being honest about this. And even if Joe Biden took no money, okay, Even if he took no money. We'll give them. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Sam Stone: He didn't want to, but okay.

Chuck Warren: He still went and intervened to play a role, to give an illusion so his son could take money from foreign countries.

Sam Stone: One of the things one of the things forget the illusion. One of the things that is totally damning in this thing to me is the Viktor Shokin incident, the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden bragged on the world stage that he got fired. And what was Shokin doing? Investigating Burisma, Burisma, which was the company in Ukraine that was paying the Biden family through Hunter. I don't think you know, you're already hearing all the left say, well, he didn't do anything. It was the illusion you hit on it. It's the illusion of access.

Chuck Warren: But before he didn't know. But as of a month ago, he didn't know anything. He had no part in his business deals. He's just a loving father. That's just not true.

Sam Stone: Oh, no. Look, these newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, when it comes to politics, they do some good work outside of those areas. And it's sad. I don't want to tar the entire newsroom with the same brush, but when it comes to politics, all they're doing is is mirroring the Democrat Party line, whatever that happens to be. And Covid taught them a terrible and unfortunate truth is that if they just lie long and strong enough that more and 51% of people will buy.

Chuck Warren: It, and The New York Times and The Washington Post will cover for them. Right. And then The New York Times did like like they did with the laptop. They came out later and said, oh, yes, we you know, we had somebody look at it this this laptop.

Sam Stone: Did with the.

Chuck Warren: Dossier. And now they're pretending like, well, people have known that he knew the business associates. I mean, it just keeps it's a staggering thing. One last item before we take off. I came across this this morning on a on a newsletter I get. And so I Googled it and there's articles on it. And so California is threatening to sue professors who want to testify as experts in the learning loss case against the state of California. Technically, these professors signed away their right to engage in litigation when they got access to non-public state K-12 datasets for their own research, and now they can't testify to the extent of damage and learning loss suffered by the state's poorest students. The only time rules are enforced in California is when it's very important not to question California's obligation to children in poor families. Yeah, that's I mean, I am, by the way, I am really excited for the DeSantis Newsom debate. And I really help, you know, as as Newsom likes to throw the term around Nazi all the time. I hope this and the myriad of examples that California does all the time that Governor DeSantis just pounds it on him.

Sam Stone: He absolutely needs to do that. I mean, absolutely needs to run over him with this, because when you look at it, Florida is in a upward trajectory. The state has improved dramatically in in DeSantis term. It has Republican policies are working across the board. It's Florida has one of the best educational systems in the country now, K-12. They have one of the best college systems in the country. What state doesn't have those things anymore?

Chuck Warren: California. That's right. And California has. Do they have the worst homeless population in the the.

Sam Stone: Worst homeless problem? They have the worst housing problem. They have the next to Boston now the worst traffic and transit problems. There is nothing that California is doing well other than generating huge wealth at the very top. And so one of the things there's a piece I think it was the I forget which paper put it out, The Chronicle or LA Times, I think. But saying, oh, California is still doing a wonderful job attracting the ultra wealthy. Okay, So what they're creating is a Latin American country.

Chuck Warren: Absolutely.

Sam Stone: It's a Latin American country where the top.

Chuck Warren: Well, it's a Russian economy. Yeah.

Sam Stone: Yeah, that's a perfect example.

Chuck Warren: It's a Russian.

Sam Stone: Economy. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: All the oligarchs who are Putin's friends. So these are all Newsom's friends, right? Same concept.

Sam Stone: And then underneath them are this giant mass of struggling poor people.

Chuck Warren: Well, one other note, and we'll leave here. So remember the old days when we had people like Elizabeth Warren claimed to be Native Americans or some other ethnic groups so they can get into college. Pocahontas. Yeah. Well, now New York's the state of New York is having the amount of people who claim a disability apply for college. And it is almost it's almost doubled. I mean, you know, look, whenever there's a loophole, kids are going to find a way to get that loophole. Right.

Sam Stone: Kids and parents. I mean, look, at the end of the day, I remember. So when I go, I have certain issues learning in classrooms, in certain classroom settings because I don't hear super well. It's hard for me to differentiate certain vowels. So language learning in particular is very difficult in a classroom setting for me. Right. So I went through all this testing. They had me go through all this testing when I got to college, and then they offered me an out around the language. And I realized this is what a lot of them are doing right, is they're making their experience easier. It's not just the access to get in, but it's the experience you deal with there easier. I didn't want that. I actually, you know, if I had to do it over again, I would take a summer and go do an immersion course and really learn it, because I do regret not doing that. Taking that that grant for that, it was a mistake. Well, like.

Chuck Warren: In New York in 20 1516, you had about 11,000 applications saying they have mental health problems. So as disability. Right. In 21, it's 15,000. Right.

Sam Stone: Well, okay. But we've seen what's happening to the mental health of young liberals. So that actually sounds maybe legit.

Chuck Warren: Unbelievable.

Sam Stone: They're lost their mind.

Chuck Warren: Well, folks, this is breaking battlegrounds. This is Chuck and Sam. Thank you for joining us and for our new friends in Tulsa and Cincinnati and Nashville and San Diego, thank you for joining us. Please share our show with your friends. If they don't have time to listen to it when they're driving or going to kids games, you can find us at breaking Battlegrounds, dot Vote or wherever you download. Your podcasts. Have a fantastic week.


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Join us this week as we delve into crucial conversations and heartwarming nostalgia. In this episode, our first guest, Congressman Darrell Issa, opens up about his dedicated efforts in supporting the 13 Gold Star families who have been profoundly impacted by the unfortunate fallout of the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Through insightful dialogue, we uncover the dedication and resilience required to address these critical issues.

Shifting gears, we invite you to a captivating trip down memory lane. We're thrilled to be joined by the charismatic cast of 'The Sandlot,' coming together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this beloved classic. Chauncey Leopardi (Squints), Marty York (Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan) and Victor DiMattia (Timmy Timmons) join us as they share their treasured experiences, behind-the-scenes stories, and the enduring magic that has made 'The Sandlot' a timeless masterpiece.

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Congressman Darrell Issa represents the people of California's 48th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.

The 48th District encompasses the central and eastern parts of San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County, including the communities of Fallbrook, Bonsall, Valley Center, Ramona, Escondido, Santee, Poway, Lakeside, Alpine, Temecula, Murrieta and the mountain and desert areas of the San Diego-Imperial County line.

Originally from Ohio, Issa enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was a senior in high school. Through his military service, he received an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in business from Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Upon graduation, Issa was commissioned as an Army officer, and ultimately obtained the rank of captain. He completed his active-duty military service in 1980 and turned his interests to the private sector.

At the height of his career in business, Issa served as CEO of a California-based electronics company that he founded and built in the mid-1990s, which became the nation’s largest manufacturer of vehicle anti-theft and auto security devices. In 1994, Issa was named Entrepreneur of the Year. Issa also served as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association, an organization of 2000 companies within the consumer technology industry.

Issa is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. From 2011-2015, he was the Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and previously served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee.

As a congressman and leader at California’s grassroots level, Issa has championed smart, limited government and advanced legislation to balance the federal budget and promote transparency to hold government accountable to the people.

A holder of 37 patents, Issa has been vigilant about protecting intellectual property rights. His successful efforts to fight human trafficking along the U.S. border have resulted in tougher laws, stiffer penalties, and more consistent enforcement. His watchful concern to guarantee that U.S. taxpayers receive the royalties they are owed from mineral interests on federal lands exposed fraud and mismanagement at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) in 2006. In 2008, when Congress was asked to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the wake of that year’s financial crisis, Issa stood by his experience starting and growing successful businesses, opposed giving a blank-check bailout to Wall Street, and voted against all government bailouts.

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The Sandlot Cast:

Chauncey Leopardi is an American actor known for playing Michael "Squints" Palledorous in the 1993 film The Sandlot and Alan White in the 1999 series Freaks and Geeks.

Marty York is an actor, known for playing Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan in The Sandlot (1993). He is also known for Boy Meets World (1993) and Due Justice.

Victor DiMattia is an actor and director, known for The Sandlot (1993), Cool as Ice (1991) and Dennis the Menace (1987).

About The Sandlot: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids who play baseball at the sandlot. Together they go on a series of funny and touching adventures. The boys run into trouble when Smalls borrows a ball from his stepdad that gets hit over a fence.

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Transcription

Chuck Warren: Welcome to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren with my co-host, Sam Stone. On this segment, we have Congressman Darrell Issa. He represents California's 48th Congressional District, which encompasses central and eastern parts of San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County. He is also a senior member on the House Judiciary Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee. And Congressman Issa, thank you for joining us.

Darrell Issa: Well, Chuck, thanks for having me on and and congratulations on your ever expanding listeners.

Chuck Warren: Well, thank you. And it's because of folks like you who are willing to come on and talk about important issues. And you have one coming up this Monday. You're holding a congressional forum for folks who want to attend it. It's at 10 a.m. Pacific Escondido City Hall. And tell us what you're going to be doing there during this congressional forum.

Darrell Issa: Well, this Chuck, this is the kind of official event that these district work periods are made for, you know, in 2021, with the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and 13 of our service members killed. Uh, we sort of, you know, said, okay, now turn the page. The administration likes to say the problem is for these the Gold Star families, the spouses, the parents, the children of these servicemen and women. You can't just turn a page. And they've never really been never been heard. They when they went to to Dover to claim the bodies, even that they managed to the administration managed to sort of screw up and make it happen and so on. So one of the things that we wanted to do in addition to we've had some of the Gold Star families in Washington, many of these individuals, they deployed from what's called the 21 here at Camp Pendleton. And so we've arranged to bring them back to the district, flown their families in, put them up and given them an opportunity, not just on Monday to tell their stories, but on Tuesday, thanks to the Marine Corps station, they will be transported to the top of this mountain where a marine. Includes their loved ones. They'll be taken up by Humvees. Walk that last few feet and and really have an opportunity to bring at least a little closure to it. And by the way, have thousands of people that support what their loved ones did and how that sacrifice may have been unnecessary mistake, but it was still their sacrifice. And so they're going to get a thank you from the people of San Diego and the Marines of Camp Pendleton.

Chuck Warren: I imagine. Have you have you met and talked with most of these these 13 families?

Darrell Issa: I have. We hosted nine groups of families in San Diego and Washington, D.C., but I've spoken to two at least one member of each family. So in some cases it's too soon for them to to really want to open up, to communicate. But there's usually, in this case, always at least one member who was willing to speak on behalf of the family. You know, years ago, Brian Terry, the Border Patrol agent that was killed based on the Fast and Furious mistake of the Obama administration, we saw one family member who the family felt comfortable saying, let him speak for all of us. And the same often happens here, but many of them will attend and, you know, have that quiet remembrance that see them, their loved ones honored by their fellow Marines at the memorial and at the ceremony on Tuesday. Now, that's a private ceremony because, again, they're coming on Monday. They'll tell their story and people will have an opportunity to meet with them if they want to. Tuesday, though, is really for the families to understand that the Marine Corps is a close knit family and their loved ones will be remembered for their sacrifice.

Chuck Warren: Let me ask you this. This may be a bit of a personal question. How has this affected you? I mean, I imagine this is emotionally draining. It probably gets the blood pressure increasing, talking to each one of these families and knowing that they they sort of died a little bit in vain because of poor execution. How has this affected you?

Darrell Issa: Well as a Vietnam era, serving with, you know, my colleagues who served in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, um, you know, all of us who have served, you know, ask, you know, what was it worth it? The ones we lost in training, the ones we lost later in in their service. And it is tough because you're constantly reminded that our men and women in uniform have won every war we've been sent to. Only to have the peace somehow screwed up by those who have PhDs and are supposed to know so much. You know, we won the Iraq conflict. We won the Afghanistan effort. No question at all. By the way. We won it with our NATO. It's like we never had before. Uh, just as we we fought North Korea and could have done more. There was a cease fire and no end to it. We won Vietnam and left a government with capability and then allowed it to be taken. So that's what I think the reminder is, is and I think it's important for your listeners, many of whom are in San Diego. Look, we we need to continue to thank those who serve, who go in harm's way. And then we need to hold those accountable who squander their efforts in Iraq today. We have an inherently chaotic country because not because we didn't drive Saddam out, but because while we held that country the same in Afghanistan, the experts couldn't figure out how to help them form a stable government that could go on. And you notice I didn't say a democracy, right. Not every not every place in the world is ready for democracy, but every every place we go into.

Darrell Issa: We have an obligation as the late George Herbert Bush once said and was told, you, look, if you break it, you own it and you have to leave it with the pieces back together. Uh, we we didn't do that in Afghanistan, and we withdrew at a time when we had the ability to keep it stable. We had the ability to give more time to to efforts to make that country able to sustain. Instead, we gave it back to the Taliban, who are the only reason we went in there was their control of the government. We we didn't have to take over Afghanistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden. We made the decision to drive them out. And 20 years later, we invited them in. That's not what we're talking about on Monday. Monday, we're talking about the sacrifice of these individuals, who they were and how much they they loved service in the Marines or the Army, which person is talking. And that's important. But we're not going to be talking about the mistakes that were made, how 160 other people died in that explosion and fire because they were crammed into an area. We're not going to be talking about how they should have been in Bagram, which would have been safer. Those are for other times. Those are for the times in Washington where we hold the hearings and try to hold those accountable, many of whom are still in power, made these mistakes.

Sam Stone: Congressman, I think and I would agree with you, it is really critical to hold those people in power accountable for what happened, in part because the mistakes they made, it wasn't the service members or their mistake. It was the mistake of the Biden administration, the people pulling out. But the repercussions of that, as seen in the actions of Russia, as seen in the actions of China, what they did in that period has made the world less safe for everybody.

Darrell Issa: You're exactly right, Chuck. That is that is the challenge that that we deal with every day, and particularly those of us who are veterans is how do we get there? And I serve on foreign affairs on top of it. We've got to get to where famously, you know, our allies count on us and believe in us, and our enemies fear us. Neither one is the case right now. I was I've been in Munich, I was in Kiev, in Ukraine, and so on. These people, many of them, you know, they're being encouraged to hedge their bets. Even some of our former allies in the Middle East are hedging their bets. That's not good. Even Israel, when I talk to the leaders there, they're they're very concerned that we don't have their back, which we've had since the founding of the state of Israel. And I will tell you, the when the speaker made the decision to bring the president of Israel to speak before Congress, he did so as part of what we could do. To assure them that we still are strong allies. Because if that if those allies don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us, we will be back in a major conflict, the type that too many men and women have given to to not have again.

Chuck Warren: I'm old enough to remember, and you are too, that when Republicans were wholeheartedly against Russian communists and I and I feel there's a segment right now who are opposed to Ukraine because of some affiliation or something to Russia. It's important Ukraine for the United States and for national security and world security.

Darrell Issa: Chuck, this is one of the things that's frustrating. I call them compromised, and I don't say they're compromised by money. I don't say they're compromised by something that somebody knows about them. And I don't even know if they're compromised by some sort of false information they've been given. But there are a number of people who I respect otherwise who clearly, on the issue of Russia, a few were on China, but some on China, they somehow hold out this hope that evil isn't what we're looking at, that these that you can somehow switch it. You can't. And that's what we knew for, by the way, Republicans and Democrats stood united. Kennedy was just as staunchly an anti-communist as Nixon. We need to get back to that resolution that there's good and evil. And once you determine that somebody is evil, don't be debating whether the other side's good enough. Deal with evil. Ukraine isn't perfect, but it's not Russia and it's not the aggressor.

Sam Stone: Yeah, nobody in the world is perfect, but there are absolutes in the real world. It is absolutely a fact that Russia and China are great power, opposites to us. They are our competitors on the world stage and if they take over, that leads to a much more dangerous world and a much, much less stable world for everybody. And I think there are far too many members who continue to discount that fact, Chuck, that that we just have to start looking once again. At the moment, we are in a great power conflict and there is good and evil.

Chuck Warren: Congressman Sam and I have told other guests we've had you can say Ukraine has corruption problems, but also we can't allow Russia just to go take a country. They're not mutually exclusive. And oh, you're absolutely.

Darrell Issa: You know, you're absolutely right. And I would tell everyone, Taiwan had corruption problems. South Korea had corruption problems. But they we worked them through that. And today they are sustainable democracies. So the transition can take a long time. But if Russia invades and takes them over, just like the 60 years before, there won't be a transition to an effective democracy.

Chuck Warren: With Congressman Darrell Issa. He'll be right back with us for our next break. This is breaking battlegrounds with Chuck Warren and Sam Stone. We'll be right back.

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Chuck Warren: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds. I'm your host, Chuck Warren and Sam Stone. Today we have with us Darrell Issa. But folks, Sam's going to make a little point here for you.

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Chuck Warren: So the Supreme Court did the United States a really huge civics lesson favor in that they rejected Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness program for one simple reason. That is something Congress has to vote on. What do you see needs to happen so Congress start taking their appropriate role again on budgeting, on foreign policy, on things of this nature. It seems like we truly are, to use the catch phrase, swamp running. Dc It's just a bunch of bureaucrats. You guys pass a bill, they put the details in, they run it, they rule on it. What can we do to give that power back to Congress as it was intended to?

Darrell Issa: Well, that's a great question, and it's one that the speaker began when he literally clawed back $29 billion of funds that were already spent that were basically being used as walking around money for immigration. And he used the debt ceiling as a basis for it. But that's just a very small down payment, you know, living in Washington and having the honor of being able to lead people up to the top of the dome of the Capitol. When you look out on the dome from the dome, what you see is you see you're from the Capitol. You see six buildings total that belong to the House of Representatives and Senate for their their offices. And there were two more annexes. That's all the buildings of our entire branch. But you don't see is you don't see another building for miles. It is in part of the executive branch cabinet position after cabinet position. And of course, you know, what you see at the EPA pales in comparison to the field offices or all these other large bureaucracies. Congress has the ability to determine who hit it hires to do determination of its rights and responsibilities. And the reality is Congress needs to be more responsible and it needs to cede less in each law. And many of our laws require reauthorization. One of them actually is called FISA. It's just spying on people, presumably outside the US. But as we found, they used it to spy on President Trump and others.

Darrell Issa: We have the ability to take back a lot of that authority. We have the ability to give some of it to courts, but we certainly need to do that on foreign policy, Believe it or not, people have forgotten this. Every trade agreement is the absolute right of the House of Representatives. We pass a law every so many years, you know, that gives a right to the administration to negotiate and then come back to us with an up or down. And of course, sometimes, like Obama, they negotiate something they know that Congress will never pass and then they act like they were they were pro trade and we weren't. That's ridiculous. We can and should, for example, have members of the House of Representatives or people that we hire. Those trade negotiations with a seat at the table. Constitution says we can do it if we simply hold the constitution and return to original principles, including how we allocate money to the executive branch, we can absolutely take it back. But it's going to take every member of Congress understanding that ceding power to the other branch is lazy. And unfortunately, it's led to the kind of control that Democrats seem to like. And Republicans to a person go home and tell their constituents is wrong. So that's a long winded way to say the way we take it back is we begin taking it back every day with every bill we've had.

Sam Stone: Congressman, this is Sam. One of the things my background was in part working with the city of Phoenix and in talking to friends that I have who work in federal bureaucracies, federal agencies primarily outside of DC, one of the issues that I think is across the board in government now is they are just massively overstaffed. On the bureaucratic side, 20 to 30% of the people do 80 to 90% of the work. The others are frankly a drag on their morale. But the the overarch, the. Coming out of it is that when you have that many bureaucrats, they can really only justify their jobs by continuing to pass more and more regulation, more and more, expand the reach of their departments and their government agencies. And so much of the problems in this country, I think, now stems from the fact that our government, we can spend huge amounts of money to $2.2 trillion on infrastructure, and the signature outcome of it is a handful of pedestrian bridges to nowhere that we're not getting the bang for our buck because of that over bureaucracy, bureaucratization.

Darrell Issa: Well, you're exactly right. And, you know, one of the best examples is, you know, if you try to get a visa or a passport right now, you can't get a passport renewed. And unless you go to your congressman, you're going to wait months. Now, you sort of look and say, well, why is that? Is it because they can't get enough people or they they don't have enough money? Not at all. It's because they got used to basically they call it teleworking. I call it working. Congress has the ability to hold them accountable. And we need to right now, one of the things that Foreign Affairs is looking at is literally privatizing to a contractor. Most of that work with a recognition that we're going to pay X amount. It has to be delivered in a certain amount of time or they don't get anything. You can't do that very effectively with the in-house bureaucracy. You can do it when you force them to have a lesser amount of government worker and a greater amount of people who you can hold accountable. And by the way, you can fire them if they don't meet the target objective. So a lot of that has to be done that way. The headcount I'll give you an example. The Pentagon today has more employees for basically 1 million soldiers, sailors and Marines than they had when we had 11 million spread all throughout the world. And remember, back then, we were doing everything by paper with typewriters and carbon copy. The fact is that our overhead has become so bloated that, for example, in the Pentagon, holding someone accountable is almost impossible because there are so many people with so many titles needs to change again. When Congress authorizes money, we have the ability to authorize how many generals and how many colonels and by the way, how many DOD civilians. And I've challenged the Armed Services Committee to do just that, to reduce. And Ken Calvert, who's a California congressman, has actually begun the process of reducing the total number of DOD civilians and telling them that we know they can live with less and we expect them to do so.

Chuck Warren: Well, please, please keep pushing that. Congressman, we have about 30s left here with our time with you. We appreciate you coming on today with Congressman Darrell Issa, California 48th District. You're on the foreign House Foreign affairs Committee. What is the 1 or 2 things that keep you up at night with 30s left on that?

Darrell Issa: What keeps me up at night are three things the the cozy relationship this administration seems to want to have with Iran, the unwillingness to actually call China and Russia for what they are on an everyday basis. President Biden called Xi a dictator and then he backpedaled from it. He should never have backpedaled from it. Ronald Reagan called Russia Soviet Union an evil empire and it stuck and it made a difference. We need to get back to those three above all other countries, those three countries being called for what they are.

Chuck Warren: Thank you. Congressman Darrell Issa, thank you for joining us. We hope to have you on again soon. Folks, this is breaking battlegrounds. We'll be back.

Sam Stone: Welcome back to Breaking battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Moran. I'm Sam Stone. Well, as baseball geeks, as family movie fanatics, we were really excited for this next interview. I remember this film from a long time ago. Chuck and I really enjoyed it, rewatched it last night and I thought it aged better than I could have ever imagined. We are incredibly honored to have the cast of The Sandlot here to celebrate their 30th anniversary today. We have Chauncey Leopardi, squints known as Squints Marty York, who played Alan Yaya McLennan. And guys, thank you so much for joining us today. We really love having you on the program. It's it's you know what I thought about the film last night rewatching it. It was an homage to a lost era in American childhood in many ways. You know, the last free kids in America.

Chuck Warren: We used to play baseball every day. Yeah, wake.

Sam Stone: Up all day, every day.

Chuck Warren: So you're both we're young child actors. Did you play baseball like this? Did you have a bunch of friends you gather with and played baseball every day in the park?

Chauncey Leopardi: Um, I think you guys nailed it with the homage to, like, a Lost childhood, because I definitely feel like today's generation and even, you know, the generation before kind of lost that out all day until the, you know, the streetlights came on type of vibe. But yeah, we both were athletic, I would say, and we didn't play organized sports. We were sandlot kids ourselves.

Marty York: So yeah, I mean, we, uh, we learned a lot before we went to the field. So we, we actually became very good at playing in Los Angeles before we came to Utah. And our, our coach, our baseball coach was actually squints his grandpa. Oh, wow. Uh, during the, the squint scene where he talks about in the tree house.

Chauncey Leopardi: Police chief Squiggman Pallidus.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yes.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. He's a Kappa. He's a Giants fan. But we won't hold that against him. But he actually was our baseball.

Sam Stone: Here in Arizona. We do hold that against him also.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, we do too. Silently in Los Angeles. But, you know, he's. He's fond of heart.

Chuck Warren: Do you do you get tired? I know you're doing it 30th anniversary. And, you know, this film's become very special for a lot of people. Um, do you do you do you look back on it with fond memories or just something like this is just in the past. And I'm a new chapters in life now.

Chauncey Leopardi: No mean you see the joy that it brings people and that it's it's continued over, you know, three, four generations now of like, you know, parents passing it down to their children. And you see the moments that they've shared and the the genuine happiness that the film brings and the fact that kids will still watch it to this day, which is, you know, super odd and doesn't happen very often anymore. So we enjoy it, we embrace it and take on the roles that we've been given. And I guess we're here to carry the torch for, you know, for the sandlot kids everywhere now.

Marty York: Yeah. I mean, it's still surprises us when we, you know, we go to these sporting events and these like professional athletes are like, we love your movie or you guys are the reason we play baseball or, you know, it's it's still, you know, it's like year after year it just gets bigger and bigger, which is really cool.

Sam Stone: I asked a bunch of parents if they had shown it to their kids. You know, with young kids right now and universally they had.

Chuck Warren: Like, well, it's a movie. It's a movie you can actually watch with your kids to generational film. So, um, Chauncey and Marty, do you both do you both have kids? Do you have nephews and nieces?

Chauncey Leopardi: I have. I have a bunch of kids. Marty doesn't have any kids. Not that I know of.

Chuck Warren: So have you made. Have you? But. So, Marty, we'll leave that for another episode one day. John, we.

Chauncey Leopardi: Got 50.

Sam Stone: Minutes coming up in the second segment here.

Chuck Warren: Chuck, Chauncey, have your kids all watched the show?

Chauncey Leopardi: So, you.

Chauncey Leopardi: Know, my oldest is 21, so she's seen it previously. But I have a five and a seven year old that I just started showing it to them. And like I caught my son, who's five, watching it the other day, just like it might be the first like live action movie that he's actually sat through. So it still holds strong. You know, he's still like, they're excited. They're with us. They they came here to Utah with us and they're going to be at the sandlot. So they're so excited to be in The Sandlot movie because that's what they think's going on.

Chauncey Leopardi: Oh, that's fantastic. And.

Chuck Warren: Chauncey, I want I want to make a correction, though I split time between Arizona. Utah when you said a bunch of kids in Utah were thinking, that's five, six, seven kids. So just realize three kids in Utah is not a lot of kids.

Chauncey Leopardi: I have four, but yeah, I'm working on it. I'll get.

Chuck Warren: There. You get there. You got to get there and be part of it. Are you both baseball fans?

Chauncey Leopardi: It pours a.

Chauncey Leopardi: Lot in l.a.

Chauncey Leopardi: Are you both? Yeah, we're baseball fans. Are you baseball.

Chuck Warren: Fans? So.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. Did.

Chuck Warren: Were you baseball fans before the movie?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. I mean, I was in a basketball phase when we did Sandlot. It was the Michael Jordan era. So, you know, basketball was king at the moment. But I think over time, the game has grown on us because we've become such a part of it. Um, and, you know, it's a great thing.

Victor Dimattia: Yeah. Oh, and this is Victor Dimattia, by the way. I played Timmy Timmons. Y'all didn't introduce me, but I'm hearing you. Hi, Victor. How are you talking? So I'm good, man. Good.

Chuck Warren: Victor. Hey, Victor, We want to hear you. We're going to take a quick break. This is breaking battlegrounds.

Victor Dimattia: You know, I'm leaving. Never mind. We're going to.

Chuck Warren: Come back with a very bitter victor. We'll be right back. This is breaking battlegrounds. We're with the cast of Sandlots with Marty, Victor and Chauncey. We'll be right back.

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Sam Stone: Welcome back to Breaking battlegrounds with your host, Chuck Warren. I'm Sam Stone. Folks, are you looking for an opportunity to earn a tremendous rate of return that's not tied to the stock market. The stock market can go up. The stock market can go down. You can still earn up to a 10.25% fixed rate of return. That's right, 10.25% fixed. Just give our friends at invest refi a call. You can call them at 888 y refy 24. Or just go online, invest the letter Y, then refy.com and let them know Chuck and Sam sent you. Okay. Continuing on with the cast of the Sandlot, we are very excited to have them in studio. I was really stunned, Chuck, rewatching that movie at how well it has held up over all these years and so the opportunity to talk about it, we have Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York, Victor Dimattia online with us today. Guys. I was stunned at how well, like even the really kind of goofy effects about the beast kind of held up just because they they sort of still seemed like kids. Overblown fears. And the rest of it looks like it could have been made yesterday.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, Yeah. It's really cool.

Chauncey Leopardi: I think it's kind of lost in time because of the way that David shot it. David Mickey Evans is the writer director and he had Tony Richmond, the DP. He handed him like Kodak chromatic film and he said, I want the film to look like this. And if anybody remembers Kodak chromatic film, it has that like. That that weird like, like pop art type of vibe to it. And so it's kind of like this last summer that's just, you know, it's like a time capsule and it doesn't really age and it just is, you know, a piece of Americana.

Chauncey Leopardi: It connects it.

Sam Stone: Beautifully.

Victor Dimattia: That it I think the fact that it's set in the 60s, it came out in the 90s but set in the 60s kind of also sets it apart like that. So it doesn't look aged like kind of like a Christmas story, how it takes place like in the past, correct. So it just like, it just never like looks like it's dated.

Chuck Warren: Um, Victor, Marty, Chauncey, you all seem like you have a good relationship. I'm sure a lot of movies, a lot of movie casts. Can't say that. Have you all stayed close over the years?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, we got a great group chat. It's been cracking lately. Actually, I've been. I've been putting some really good memes in there.

Victor Dimattia: Yeah, it's mostly just Chauncey and Marty making fun of each other, but. But it's entertaining, pretty much.

Chuck Warren: I tell our audience. What was it like filming? Okay, so your young men, how long did it take? How long were you out there? You know, I know filming at times, too, can be quite boring at times because it's a hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. What was it like being young men, boys, teenagers, filming something like this? Victor, we'll start with you.

Victor Dimattia: Oh, it was a long it was a long shoot. I mean, it was like almost three months, which like these days you don't do that anymore. Really. Things move a lot faster. But they really took their time. And we had a lot of days in Lake City filming this movie.

Sam Stone: Yeah. One of the things I mean, in watching it, it looked like you guys were having a ton of fun throughout it. I mean, it's hard, I think, for kids sometimes to to hide their their personal experience on film other than the pool scene, which I guess apparently was was freezing cold that day. But you guys look like you were having a ton of fun throughout that movie.

Chauncey Leopardi: It was a blast. I mean, we got to play ball all day. You know, you got nine kids running around, you know, with their their their set parents or, you know, we had our parents come to set. It was it was a really cool experience. And it was a.

Chauncey Leopardi: It was a lot.

Chauncey Leopardi: Of it felt like the last of like a real film production where, like, all those sets were really built. They were all hard sets. You had real props. Nothing was CGI. Everything was like, really done. So you really had like that awe of like, you know, this is a cool period sports movie with kids and a dog. And it was a lot going on. It was a really good time.

Marty York: We all did our own stuff too, which was really cool. Well.

Chuck Warren: The big stunt.

Marty York: This is Marty, the scene where I'm actually going over the fence in the harness. I actually really did that. Oh, did you really? Yeah, It was about 25, 30ft in the air and just literally held on by a fiberglass harness. And the crew was pulling me with these, like, metal wires. So it was I mean, it was dangerous. You know.

Chauncey Leopardi: It was definitely an OSHA violation.

Chuck Warren: How long? Oh, definitely. How long did how long did it take to film that scene? How how long were you in that harness?

Marty York: I think we did. It took about two hours. Three hours of filming.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, Marty had to perfect his.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah.

Marty York: You know, that was, uh. That was all improvised, too. We improvised a lot of the stuff on set, too.

Chauncey Leopardi: Also, if you watch it when. When they. When we pull him up, Marty pushes off of the the railing of the treehouse because he would have cracked his head open. So you definitely can't do that kind of stuff anymore with child labor law.

Chuck Warren: No, you can't. Not at all. I have a question I want to ask all three of you individually, and I'll start with Victor, then Marty, then Chauncey. How did you get the role? Did you have to go through a bunch of auditions? Victor, I want to start with you. Then we'll go to Marty and Chauncey. How did you get the role?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, it was a really long casting process. I mean, I had done a bunch of stuff before and it was like, you know, you go out and maybe have a callback or two, but this was like they kept bringing us back over and over, and then they would like pair us up with different kids and like kind of see how we interacted together. And they brought us out onto a field and had us play baseball and stuff. So it was like definitely a much longer process than than other stuff that I had done.

Sam Stone: I have to ask because I had totally forgotten when I got to the end of the movie last night that James Earl Jones was in it.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah.

Sam Stone: Did you all get that? I mean, because obviously that's post Star Wars Post Darth Vader. Were you guys a Star Wars fans and be like, what was that like? Did you get to interact with him and what was he like?

Marty York: Yeah, this is Marty. Actually, I did get a chance to interact with him. My mom said I'm actually going to take you to meet Darth Vader. He took me to his trailer, and she said. She said, Yeah, that's. He was like eating breakfast or something. And she's like, That's Darth Vader. And I asked him that and he goes, I said, Are you Darth Vader? And he goes, I am your father. And yeah, and the James Earl Jones, you know, Darth Vader voice. And it was amazing.

Chuck Warren: Jones I want to go back to these auditions. Chauncey, How did you get your role?

Chauncey Leopardi: Um, originally I was reading for another part, actually, I think I was reading for. Yeah. When I went in and like Vic said, it was a pretty rigorous, I think I went back on like 4 or 5 callbacks and then we did like a lot of like, I guess it's kind of like screen testing. But we went to this place in LA called the Sportsmen's Lodge. It's where a lot of the kids from out of town were staying and we would like run lines on film or tape. Like for 2 or 3 hours in the morning as they pulled in kids and mixed and matched and did their thing. And then we would go play baseball in the afternoon with our baseball coach and see if the kids could actually look like they could play. So it was probably the the, you know, the most strenuous casting process I had ever done. I mean, sometimes you go in, you don't hear anything, and then you book a job or sometimes you read a couple times and maybe screen test. But this was like a month and a half long process probably of like, you know, continuous. Um, you know, rigorous auditioning and and baseball training. You know, and I think obviously they did what they had to do and the film held up. So I guess it was a good process for them.

Sam Stone: The baseball training worked. It looked good.

Chuck Warren: Yeah, it looked it looked legitimate because they obviously can play. So how many of the kids that you saw during.

Chauncey Leopardi: Some of these guys were rough? Yeah, Well.

Chuck Warren: That's my question. During auditions, how what percentage of people during auditions really cannot play baseball at all?

Chauncey Leopardi: Like like 90% of them probably.

Marty York: Really horrible.

Sam Stone: The theater kid crowd does not cross over entirely with the baseball kid crowd.

Chauncey Leopardi: You know, the thing is, actors, they had clips of audiences when you would go to like a casting call and of course your mom or whatever be like.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, yeah, you can do all of it. Just if they ask, just tell them you can do that to ride a horse. Sure, we'll figure it out later.

Chuck Warren: I think that's what all parents advice is. When you have a job opportunity, just say you can do everything. We'll figure it out later, right?

Marty York: Exactly.

Chuck Warren: Hope is not a battle plan, but sometimes it is in the world. Yeah. When you got done with the film, were you just of the mindset like, All right, I'm ready for the next job? Or did you realize what a wonderful experience this was? And I mean, how how and we'll start with you, Chauncey, then Marty, then Victor. How did when it got done, what were your feelings with it? Just it's done. I'm worn out. It was three months in Salt Lake. I'm ready to get back to other things in life. Try new things. I mean, what went through your mind?

Chauncey Leopardi: I was late to start junior high.

Chuck Warren: Oh.

Chauncey Leopardi: I went right back into school.

Chuck Warren: Did everybody know you were an actor in junior high?

Chauncey Leopardi: I mean, it was starting a new school because I was just going into sixth grade, so I think it was a little funny. I met one of my best friends. We're still friends to this day because we were the only two kids in the back of gym class with no gym clothes on and we were just sitting there next to each other because we were both he was moving from somewhere else from San Diego up to L.A. And I was just had come back from doing this film, so we were both late to school and had no gym clothes. And that kind of set the tone for our friendship kind of, you know, which is pretty cool. Um, yeah, it was cool. And when the film came out, it's interesting. It was a different time. So, you know, nowadays I think that like there's a lot more social media presence, especially for young actor kids, and they have, you know, a more demanding promotional schedule. We did go on a promo tour, but outside of that, you kind of lived a normal life even if you were, you know, a quote unquote, celebrity at the time. I mean, they had like teenybopper magazines, but there wasn't nobody chasing you around or paparazzi or that type of deal. So, you know, you came in and you did movies and then you went home and you had a normal, you know, teenage life.

Chuck Warren: Marty, how about you?

Marty York: Yeah, I mean, it was, you know, after the, after the movie I. Yes, auditioning for stuff. I think like a lot of Boy Meets World and it was, you know, going to my school experience was like very strange because I was like the only actor there. And, and the, the jocks didn't like that for some reason. So it was an interesting experience for me. But I mean, you know, life and I kept acting and doing stuff and. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: And Victor, how about you?

Victor Dimattia: Um, yeah. I mean, you know, um. Lake Chauncey was saying, you know, right after that, I went back to school and was a little bit late getting back in there. But I went to school in San Fernando Valley in California. So like, there was other kids in my class that were actors, and I think all of them were trying to be actors and going out on auditions and stuff. So, I mean, it wasn't really all that all that weird, but we stayed in touch, you know, after the movie and we went and hung out. We actually I remember Brandon, who played Nunez, was in the Mighty Ducks that had filmed just before The Sandlot. So right after the movie Wrapped Ducks came out shortly after that. And I remember, um, a few of us that lived in LA all went to the theater to go watch that together and go see Brandon and the Mighty Ducks. So that was pretty cool.

Sam Stone: That's awesome. Is there is there one scene that you guys had the most fun filming that that was like just a blast that day?

Chauncey Leopardi: I really like the playing. The baseball against the other team was fun. We played a lot that day. It was pretty cool.

Chauncey Leopardi: I saw you said the pool scene.

Chauncey Leopardi: I mean, not that everybody. I mean, I guess not everybody has the same experience. I think for us as a group, like I like the stuff when we were actually getting to play ball. I know that as we were shooting the film, we were shooting a movie, but we were always trying to just like hit dingers and like hang out together and have that kind of thing, you know? So.

Sam Stone: Yeah, what I loved about that scene, it sort of as a baseball fan, it portended in many ways the future of baseball, where it moved from the sandlots of the country to the organized teams. And personally, Chuck, I don't think that's helped the game. I think they built stronger players when it's that opening of it, when they talk about they just never stop playing.

Chuck Warren: No, no. Well, we see the.

Chauncey Leopardi: Kids in with the with the the milk, the milk box gloves just coming in and crushing the league. So I guess you're right, right? Yeah.

Sam Stone: Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Guys, we're going to go. We're ending this segment wherever you can. Stay with us just for ten minutes more. Go into our podcast portion, which talk a little bit more with you. Can you all three do that? Do you have time for ten more minutes?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, we're good.

Chuck Warren: Okay, good. By the.

Chauncey Leopardi: Way, the green room.

Chuck Warren: Here, by the way. Yeah, I saw that there at the hockey stadium. Marty, I understand you were born in Auburn. I graduated high school in Auburn in 83. And you were born in 80.

Marty York: Oh, get out of here. Auburn, California.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. Plaster High School. Go, Go! Mighty Hillman.

Marty York: Oh, awesome, man. Yeah, it's. I haven't been down there since I was, like, ten, but it's changed. It's grass Valley has grown. Grass Valley is actually. That's where I lived. Are born in Auburn, but lived in Grass Valley.

Chuck Warren: Fantastic. This is breaking battlegrounds with the cast of Sandlot. Please join us for our podcast portion with Marty, Chauncey and Victor, and we'll talk a little bit more about the 30th anniversary and how this films influenced baseball and kids and families. This is breaking battlegrounds. You can find us at Breaking Battlegrounds, Dot Vote or wherever you find your podcasts. This is Chuck and Sam. We'll be right back.

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Sam Stone: Welcome back to the podcast. Only portion of breaking battlegrounds with your host Chuck Warren and Sam Stone continuing on the line with us. And thank you guys so much for doing so. We have key members from the cast of The Sandlot, Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York, Victor Dimattia, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate having you on the program. Kind of reliving a little slice of of my childhood, if you will. And guys, I just got to thank you rewatching that. I really enjoyed it again last night. It was That's a blast. It's such a fun film, Chuck.

Chuck Warren: It really is. So what do you tell us a little about what's going to go on this weekend for the 30th anniversary?

Chauncey Leopardi: So tonight we're going to be at the Salt Lake Bees game. Um, hanging out there with the fans and the team. And then tomorrow, um, on the lot. Uh. Think we'll be doing a VIP session early and then we're going to do a public signing for all the ticket holders, and then they're going to show the film after we do a big Q&A for everybody. Um. And yeah, that's kind of the gist of things, you know? But on the lot celebrating 30 years.

Sam Stone: And the bees are a ton of bees.

Chauncey Leopardi: Be there.

Chauncey Leopardi: Oh, the.

Chauncey Leopardi: Bees. Yeah, the bees are great. Yeah, that's a good time. We haven't been back for about five years.

Victor Dimattia: Yeah, we've been there. Yeah, we were there for the 20th anniversary of the 25th. And now the 30th.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. They always take good care of us There.

Chuck Warren: That's fantastic. So being child actors, which I think would be very difficult, is it something you would recommend for kids to pursue if they really want to pursue it now that you have 30 years to reflect on these things?

Chauncey Leopardi: If they really want to pursue it. Yes. It's not something that I would necessarily. Um, throw my kids into unwillingly.

Marty York: But it's kind of a different ballgame now as far as like social media and everything and like YouTube and yeah, the way that auditions are done nowadays is they're like self tapes. Whereas like, when we were kids, our parents would take us to auditions and, you know, they'd be shuttling us around all over Los Angeles. And nowadays it's like a bunch of thumbnails on a computer screen. And you know, these casting directors have to choose like that. So I mean, I definitely think nowadays it might be like, you know, a little tougher, but it's easier on the parents nowadays than it was back in our day.

Chauncey Leopardi: Do you feel like it can be a lot of pressure? Yeah, I have kids, so I feel like I would say that, you know, there was times that I wanted to be a kid and I had a job, you know? And it's.

Chauncey Leopardi: Hard to.

Chauncey Leopardi: Tell a ten year old that wants to go hang out with his friends that he's got to go hold down the family. So, you know, I feel like if it's something you're passionate about, you know, we. But thought wasn't necessarily. You know, I don't want my kids auditions necessarily, and force them into that life either. I guess to each their own.

Sam Stone: Yeah. The social media element has to be really, really tough because it's tough enough to be a kid in a social media world, much less a famous kid in a social media world. As parents, that's, I think, a tricky.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, a lot of it is like. That's kind of the focal point of this field now to I mean, the whole business is kind of ran off of social. So if you don't have a social presence, especially for younger, younger people, then they don't really have a place, you know what I mean? So it's more driven around that. Do you have a following? Not like, are you an. Get it. Are like, you handle the social game and can you go viral on TikTok and and can you more or less you know.

Chuck Warren: Yeah right, right. So let me ask you this question. We'll start with you. Chauncey, who played skits on Sandlot. Who has been your favorite athlete?

Chauncey Leopardi: You've met my favorite athlete. We've met. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: You've actually met Wade Boggs?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. Wade Boggs. Yeah, man, Wade is a he's a I've met a lot of athletes and they're all great. But Wade is we played we played a softball game with him at the Field of Dreams. Oh, wow. And Wade Wade took us out drinking afterwards and did karaoke with us. Me and Wade did a duet. And at the end he he grabbed me and he whispered in my ear. He sang back up for me. We were singing Leonard Skynyrd. And. And at the end of the song. He he whispered in my ear and he said, That was f*****g beautiful, brother.

Chuck Warren: And you can say and you can quote that on podcasts. That's amazing. And see and see and see. Chauncey That should be on social media right there.

Sam Stone: Okay. As a as a Boston kid born and raised now I'm super jealous. I'm super jealous.

Chuck Warren: Marty, how about you?

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah. No, he's.

Chuck Warren: Go ahead.

Marty York: I'll have to go away, too, man. Wade Wade's just. I think we'd all probably go with Wade because he's made an.

Chauncey Leopardi: Impression on us.

Marty York: He's the funniest guy to be around. And it's funny because we just saw him at the Baseball Hall of Fame. And the moment we walked in, he goes.

Chauncey Leopardi: The Little Leaguers.

Marty York: He goes, the Little Leaguers are here, tells us a little leaguer. It's not the same.

Chuck Warren: As your old men in your 40s Now, that's fantastic, man.

Chauncey Leopardi: I'm sorry I missed that.

Marty York: He had his he had his cooler of beer right there, too. He always has his cooler of beer.

Chuck Warren: Oh, that's amazing.

Chauncey Leopardi: I. Yeah, we saw him in Cooperstown two weeks ago and then I saw him again last weekend in Chicago. And he just as soon as he saw me, he goes, How did I get so lucky? I got two weeks in a row seeing you guys. And. And Wade's a kisser. He's a kisser. Is he? Yeah. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: Well, I guess when you're.

Chauncey Leopardi: Affectionate with this loved.

Chuck Warren: One. Yes. When you're carrying around a cooler of beer, you're going to be affectionate all the time. Is there. Is there some homage or recognition of Sandlot at the Hall of Fame?

Chauncey Leopardi: There is. So they have I think they have the original screenplay signed by everybody. And there's a couple big posters and then a I think the Babe Ruth Ball is there as well.

Chauncey Leopardi: Yeah, they got a few things in there. Yeah.

Chauncey Leopardi: So it's there and the baseball section. So that was really cool to see that as well.

Chuck Warren: How was it playing at Field of Dreams? How was that?

Chauncey Leopardi: That was incredible, bro. A really great experience. We got two minutes left, guys. We got to go on air. No worries. But the field of Dreams was incredible. It was an experience that I hope that we get to have again. Yeah, we played softball with Reggie Jackson and Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith and Wade Boggs, and we came out of the cornfield and and, you know, it was it was a it definitely bring a tear to your eye because the field is still the same. And it's pretty inspiring if you're into baseball and films.

Sam Stone: And someone who's deeply into baseball and films, we're going to let that be the final word. Thank you so much to the cast and crew from The Sandlot, guys. That's an amazing experience. And I think every baseball fan, every fan of the movie would love to have been able to to see and participate in that like you did. Unbelievable. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

Chauncey Leopardi: Thanks, guys.

Marty York: Thanks, guys. Have a good.

Chuck Warren: Weekend. Take care. Thanks, guys. You too. Well, Sam, that was fantastic.

Sam Stone: That was brilliant. That was brilliant.

Chuck Warren: And I'm glad. I'm glad the Hall of Fame has that recognition in there for them.

Sam Stone: You know, I do like that. It's interesting. I think baseball generates better movies than any other sport. Yes. I mean, it just for some reason, it lends itself to the moviemaking business, right? Like the pacing of it, maybe. I don't know exactly what it is, but it does. And yeah, the hall I was probably there before that display went up, but I remember the one from a League of their Own, which had just, just gone in there when I went.

Chuck Warren: Um, we definitely need to go scalped some tickets and go hit the Field of Dreams game Major League Baseball does during the summer next summer. So yeah.

Sam Stone: Absolutely. I mean, look, the the field at Cooperstown is one of the most beautiful little stadium fields you've ever seen in your life. They do just a brilliant job, folks. If you haven't been to Cooperstown, if you're if you're baseball fans, if you've got a kid who's a baseball player, take the time to go to Cooperstown. That is it. It's so different than the basketball or Football Hall of Fame. It's really a living experience when you're in that town.

Chuck Warren: Well, we've had a great show this week with the cast of Sandlot, and we appreciate them coming on. And Congressman Issa from California introducing us. He's our first guest for the San Diego market. That's very exciting. I want to talk a couple a couple political issues here to end the show. First of all, Ron DeSantis came up with a great idea this week. And sadly, Ron DeSantis campaign won't get this out. But I'm hoping every frankly, every Republican congressional candidate does an ad on this. What Ron DeSantis is proposing is that college student loan debt be dischargeable during bankruptcy because right now you can't declare bankruptcy on student loans. But here's the twist. He would put the universities on the hook for it. His quote is, I think the universities should be responsible for the student debt. You produce somebody that can be successful. They pay off the loans. Great. If you don't, then you're going to be on the hook, he said on the campaign trail. I really like this a lot. Oh, I love it. And DeSantis DeSantis is very I mean, look, people may not like his personality. The campaign may.

Sam Stone: Seem the campaign has been.

Chuck Warren: Rough, seem.

Sam Stone: Rough. It's been rough.

Chuck Warren: But he is the smartest policy guy. I think him and Vivek are the guys that really are thinking outside the box. And and, you know, we need that's how you win. That's how you build your that's how you broaden the tent.

Sam Stone: I mean, first, I think going forward and I've said this for a couple of years, you should absolutely make these universities guarantee their own loans. And so I love this idea. I mean, at the end of the day, if a university is having to guarantee their loans, they're not going to allow a student to rack up $200,000 for a career that pays 45 grand.

Chuck Warren: Or they may or they may say, if you want to get a degree in modern art, you also have to have a minor in business. Right? Right. You can do this, but you also have to have a skill.

Sam Stone: Well, return on investment.

Chuck Warren: Yeah. And they need to start looking at more. And so like, you know, it's unfair to make somebody who's repairing air conditioning or working at a grocery store or driving a taxi pay because some kid defaulted on it. So make the university responsible. So they put a little more time and effort into this as well.

Sam Stone: Well, and bankruptcy is not a nothing thing. No, no.

Chuck Warren: I mean, it's a major thing. It's on your record for seven years. It can affect a lot of things.

Sam Stone: So people aren't just going to rush to give themselves a BC to get rid of their their student loan debt. So it becomes a very thoughtful decision at that point. I love having universities on the line. You're right about DeSantis having real policy chops as he's shown in Florida. Yes, he's he's very much in front of the game when it comes to the policy end of this. For all the criticism, his campaign, I have not been impressed. Apparently, nobody in the country has been particularly impressed. But his governance has been beyond impressive. And I wish we would be recognizing that more and stop, stop this idea that that a primary fight means we have to tear down.

Chuck Warren: Right?

Sam Stone: I mean, stop.

Chuck Warren: I wish all of the Republicans this includes President Trump, which is focused more on Joe Biden. Joe Biden is corrupt. Yeah, Joe Biden is not honest. Joe Biden is not. I'm not even sure he's there. And that brings a point. You and I, we because we're on an hour a week plus a podcast, we really try to focus on issues, right? And sometimes we have like the cast of Sandlot because it's our mic. We're going to have some people we.

Sam Stone: Want to have some fun from time to time. Yeah, but.

Chuck Warren: This Hunter Biden thing stinks to high heaven. And watching Democrats change the narrative every time is incredible. For example, The New York Times literally came out the other day and said it has been long. It has long been known that the elder Mr. Biden at times interacted with his son's business partners. That is a bald faced lie. Put in print by the New York Times because they have denied it. Matter of fact, when Hunter Biden this is not New York Times, but when Hunter Biden's story came out, the NPR said they announced that they weren't covering the laptop news because, quote, We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories. Right. But they keep getting these facts right. So you had trust fund, Dan, who was a Levi Strauss heir in New York, who seems to be he decided that AOC was enough to have an idiot on the Democrat side. He's got Levi Strauss.

Sam Stone: And Goldman Sachs.

Chuck Warren: He's going to do it as a white trust fund guy. Right. And so he's been covering for these folks. But every time the facts come out, it gets more and more and more now, again. Does Joe Biden love his son? 100%. And we all know dads will do certain things for sons, but people aren't being honest about this. And even if Joe Biden took no money, okay, Even if he took no money. We'll give them. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Sam Stone: He didn't want to, but okay.

Chuck Warren: He still went and intervened to play a role, to give an illusion so his son could take money from foreign countries.

Sam Stone: One of the things one of the things forget the illusion. One of the things that is totally damning in this thing to me is the Viktor Shokin incident, the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden bragged on the world stage that he got fired. And what was Shokin doing? Investigating Burisma, Burisma, which was the company in Ukraine that was paying the Biden family through Hunter. I don't think you know, you're already hearing all the left say, well, he didn't do anything. It was the illusion you hit on it. It's the illusion of access.

Chuck Warren: But before he didn't know. But as of a month ago, he didn't know anything. He had no part in his business deals. He's just a loving father. That's just not true.

Sam Stone: Oh, no. Look, these newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, when it comes to politics, they do some good work outside of those areas. And it's sad. I don't want to tar the entire newsroom with the same brush, but when it comes to politics, all they're doing is is mirroring the Democrat Party line, whatever that happens to be. And Covid taught them a terrible and unfortunate truth is that if they just lie long and strong enough that more and 51% of people will buy.

Chuck Warren: It, and The New York Times and The Washington Post will cover for them. Right. And then The New York Times did like like they did with the laptop. They came out later and said, oh, yes, we you know, we had somebody look at it this this laptop.

Sam Stone: Did with the.

Chuck Warren: Dossier. And now they're pretending like, well, people have known that he knew the business associates. I mean, it just keeps it's a staggering thing. One last item before we take off. I came across this this morning on a on a newsletter I get. And so I Googled it and there's articles on it. And so California is threatening to sue professors who want to testify as experts in the learning loss case against the state of California. Technically, these professors signed away their right to engage in litigation when they got access to non-public state K-12 datasets for their own research, and now they can't testify to the extent of damage and learning loss suffered by the state's poorest students. The only time rules are enforced in California is when it's very important not to question California's obligation to children in poor families. Yeah, that's I mean, I am, by the way, I am really excited for the DeSantis Newsom debate. And I really help, you know, as as Newsom likes to throw the term around Nazi all the time. I hope this and the myriad of examples that California does all the time that Governor DeSantis just pounds it on him.

Sam Stone: He absolutely needs to do that. I mean, absolutely needs to run over him with this, because when you look at it, Florida is in a upward trajectory. The state has improved dramatically in in DeSantis term. It has Republican policies are working across the board. It's Florida has one of the best educational systems in the country now, K-12. They have one of the best college systems in the country. What state doesn't have those things anymore?

Chuck Warren: California. That's right. And California has. Do they have the worst homeless population in the the.

Sam Stone: Worst homeless problem? They have the worst housing problem. They have the next to Boston now the worst traffic and transit problems. There is nothing that California is doing well other than generating huge wealth at the very top. And so one of the things there's a piece I think it was the I forget which paper put it out, The Chronicle or LA Times, I think. But saying, oh, California is still doing a wonderful job attracting the ultra wealthy. Okay, So what they're creating is a Latin American country.

Chuck Warren: Absolutely.

Sam Stone: It's a Latin American country where the top.

Chuck Warren: Well, it's a Russian economy. Yeah.

Sam Stone: Yeah, that's a perfect example.

Chuck Warren: It's a Russian.

Sam Stone: Economy. Yeah.

Chuck Warren: All the oligarchs who are Putin's friends. So these are all Newsom's friends, right? Same concept.

Sam Stone: And then underneath them are this giant mass of struggling poor people.

Chuck Warren: Well, one other note, and we'll leave here. So remember the old days when we had people like Elizabeth Warren claimed to be Native Americans or some other ethnic groups so they can get into college. Pocahontas. Yeah. Well, now New York's the state of New York is having the amount of people who claim a disability apply for college. And it is almost it's almost doubled. I mean, you know, look, whenever there's a loophole, kids are going to find a way to get that loophole. Right.

Sam Stone: Kids and parents. I mean, look, at the end of the day, I remember. So when I go, I have certain issues learning in classrooms, in certain classroom settings because I don't hear super well. It's hard for me to differentiate certain vowels. So language learning in particular is very difficult in a classroom setting for me. Right. So I went through all this testing. They had me go through all this testing when I got to college, and then they offered me an out around the language. And I realized this is what a lot of them are doing right, is they're making their experience easier. It's not just the access to get in, but it's the experience you deal with there easier. I didn't want that. I actually, you know, if I had to do it over again, I would take a summer and go do an immersion course and really learn it, because I do regret not doing that. Taking that that grant for that, it was a mistake. Well, like.

Chuck Warren: In New York in 20 1516, you had about 11,000 applications saying they have mental health problems. So as disability. Right. In 21, it's 15,000. Right.

Sam Stone: Well, okay. But we've seen what's happening to the mental health of young liberals. So that actually sounds maybe legit.

Chuck Warren: Unbelievable.

Sam Stone: They're lost their mind.

Chuck Warren: Well, folks, this is breaking battlegrounds. This is Chuck and Sam. Thank you for joining us and for our new friends in Tulsa and Cincinnati and Nashville and San Diego, thank you for joining us. Please share our show with your friends. If they don't have time to listen to it when they're driving or going to kids games, you can find us at breaking Battlegrounds, dot Vote or wherever you download. Your podcasts. Have a fantastic week.


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