Benny From ‘The Sandlot’: Where is He Now?

It’s been nerly 30 years since Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez graced the big screen as the star of “The Sandlot.” But what has become of the beloved character since then?

Benny, played by Mike Vitar, was a lovable yet mischievous character wose passion for baseball and loyalty to his friends made him an instant classic. After the success of the movie, Vitar went on to appear in other films such as “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and “Varsity Blues” before retiring from acting in 1997.

Following his retirement from acting, Vitar chose to serve his community instead. He joined the Los Angeles Fire Department in 2002 where he served for 13 years before retiring in 2015.

In 2017, Vitar was arrested and charged with assault after he and two other men allegedly attacked a neighbor following a dispute over fireworks. After pleading no contest to assault charges, Vitar was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and tree years of probation.

Although it’s been a few years since we last heard about Benny “The Jet,” it is clear that his legacy continues to live on. Mike Vitar brought life to the beloved character and continues to serve his community in meaningful ways – something that crtainly makes him worthy of respect and admiration.

What Happened to Benny from ‘The Sandlot’?

Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez, played by Mike Vitar in the 1993 movie The Sandlot, is now a Los Angeles-based firefighter. After his role in the movie, Vitar went on to appear in a handful of oter roles before transitioning to a career as a firefighter. He has been with the Los Angeles Fire Department since 2002 and is currently based out of Fire Station 89 in Studio City.

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Is Benny From Sandlot Still Alive?

No, Benny from The Sandlot is not still alive. The actor who portrayed him, Mike Vitar, was an active member of the film industry from 1990 to 1997. After his retirement he joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996. Unfortunately, Mike’s brother Pablo, who played the older version of Benny in The Sandlot, passed away due to colon cancer on January 29th 2008. Mike has an older sister Elizabeth but there is no information regarding her or any other family members.

Is Benny The Jet Rodriguez Incarcerated?

No, Mike Vitar, the actor who played Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez in the 1993 coming-of-age film The Sandlot, did not go to jail after being arrested for assault in November 2016. After pleading no contest to two misdemeanor counts of battery and one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment, Vitar was sentenced to three years of probation and 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to complete 26 anger management classes and pay a $460 fine.

The Sandlot Actor Who Went to Jail

Actor Tom Guiry, who played the beloved character “Smalls” in the classic movie The Sandlot, was arrested over the weekend after reportedly headbutting a police officer. According to TMZ, Guiry was taken into custody in Hoboken, New Jersey and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and disorderly conduct. The actor is currently being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility.

Was Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez a Real Person?

No, Benny the Jet Rodriguez was not a real person. He was a character created for the 1993 movie The Sandlot. Benny was portrayed by Mike Vitar and his character was modeled ater the actor’s older brother, David Vitar. Benny is an ambitious and talented young baseball player who leads a group of boys known as “The Sandlot” in their various adventures. He is known for his strong throwing arm and love of the game, inspiring the other kids to play better baseball and helping them work through any obstacles they face. His famous catchphrase is “You’re killin’ me Smalls!” which he says when someone messes up or makes a mistake.

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Did ‘Smalls’ from ‘The Sandlot’ Go to Jail?

No, Smalls from Sandlot did not go to jail. In the 1993 movie The Sandlot, Smalls (played by Tom Guiry) acts out in a moment of anger and headbutts a police officer at an airport. However, he was not arrested for this incident and only charged with felony assault on a police officer. He was later released on $5,000 bail.

Is The Sandlot Character Mr. Mertle Real?

No, Mr. Mertle from The Sandlot is not a real person. He is a fictional character played by the actor James Earl Jones in the 1993 movie. In the film, Mr. Mertle serves as a mentor to the main character, Tom Guiry (Smalls), teaching him about the game of baseball and life lessons. He is depicted as a retired Negro League ballplayer who is blind and has a vast knowledge of baseball history. Towards the end of the movie, Tom looks at a photo of Mertle alogside two real New York Yankee legends, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

What Became of the Black Kid from ‘The Sandlot’?

The black kid from The Sandlot, known as Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, was played by actor Mike Vitar. After the success of The Sandlot, Vitar continued to appear in a few more films including D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks. After that, he decided to pursue a career in firefighting and has been working for the Los Angeles Fire Department since 2002. He currently lives in California with his wife and two children.

The Death of a Sandlot Member

Babe Ruth, the legendary baseball player and featured character in the 1993 movie “The Sandlot,” has unfortunately passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. LaFleur, the actor who portrayed Babe Ruth in the movie, also died following his battle with this illness. He was well-known for his roles as a tough guy or authority figure, often playing a cop or coach. LaFleur’s death marks a sad ending for the beloved movie character and will be remembered by fans everywhere.

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Death of a Sandlot Star

Actor Art LaFleur, best known for his role as Babe Ruth in the classic movie “The Sandlot” and as another baseball player in “Field of Dreams,” passed away on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020. LaFleur had been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past 10 years prior to his death. He was 78 years old at the time of his passing. LaFleur was a prolific actor who starred in numerous films and television shows throughout his career which spanned more than four decades. His larger-than-life performances as Babe Ruth in The Sandlot and oter baseball players in Field of Dreams will be remembered by fans for many years to come.

Vomiting in The Sandlot

No, they did not actually throw up in The Sandlot. The vomit scene was created usig a combination of split pea soup, baked beans, oatmeal, a little water and some movie gel. This mixture was applied to the actors’ faces and clothes to give the effect that they had thrown up. Special effects experts were on hand to make sure the scene looked realistic.

Does Benny Speak Spanish?

Yes, Benny does speak Spanish. He is the only character in the play that is not Hispanic, but he has learned to communicate in Spanish to work at the dispatch of Nina’s father, Kevin. Benny has a basic understanding of Spanish grammar and can converse with othr Spanish speakers.

Filming Location of ‘The Sandlot’ Movie

The 1993 classic movie “The Sandlot” was filmed in the state of Utah. Filming took place around Ogden and Salt Lake City, with most scenes being shot in the Glendale neighborhood of Salt Lake City. Locations included the Ogden LDS Temple, Riverdale Elementary, and a historic baseball diamond in Glendale. The iconic sandlot were the boys play baseball is located near a church in Glendale. Other locations used in the movie include Liberty Park, This Is The Place Heritage Park, and Memory Grove Park in Salt Lake City.

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Height of Benny Rodriguez

Benny Rodriguez is 5 feet 10 inches tall. He weighs 158 pounds and bats and throws right handed. He was 18 years old at the time of the 2020 MLB Draft, having turned 18 years and 6 months earlier in October 2019.


Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez, played by Mike Vitar in The Sandlot, went on to have a varied career after his time in the movie. After a few acting roles, he pursued a career as a music manager. He had two siblings, Victor and Pablo, who both pursued different paths after The Sandlot. Victor directed two short films and appeared in an indie film wile Pablo joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996. Unfortunately, Pablo passed away in 2008 due to colon cancer. Mike Vitar was arrested for assault but avoided prison and passed away in 2014 at age 87. Overall, Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez has had an interesting career journey since The Sandlot and will continue to be remembered for his iconic role in the movie.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.