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Ham from 'The Sandlot' Talks Baseball, Giving Back and Starting His Own Brand

Hambino Athletics offers actor Patrick Renna a chance to reprise his most recognizable role, Hamilton "Ham" Porter in 1993's The Sandlot.

patrick renna

"You're killing me, Smalls!" turned The Sandlot actor Patrick Renna into a household name. His character, Hamilton "Ham" Porter, or the Great Hambino, if you will, was a titular character in the coming-of-age era, when movies made for kids would define an entire generation. Success came essentially overnight for him, even though it was his first movie — and he's remained attached to the role to this day.

"This character has transcended generations," he says. "It never ceases to amaze me the impact that it's had. For me it was a few months over a summer when I was 13 and it's carried on for 30 years. It's a bit mind blowing and very humbling."

Although not the same, these striped tees look a lot like the ones Renna wore in the movie.

Ham Porter's story ends with The Sandlot — there is, however, a follow-up TV show in the works with the original cast, and Renna occasionally acts like "Ham" on TikTok — but Renna feels like Gen Z is yearning for more Ham (the character, not the food). As such, he's launching a clothing line that riffs on his character's costume and favorite sport.

"If this line helps it continue even a little more," he says, "that would be special to me. Let's be honest, if there's one thing Gen Z and beyond needs, it's a little more Hambino!"

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Any fan of The Sandlot will get the appeal of Hambino Athletics, but how are the actual clothes? We tested them to find out. #hambino #hambinoathletics #thesandlot #patrickrenna #thegreathambino

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The line, Hambino Athletics, is meant for adults and kids. It will give back to a foundation of the same name, the Hambino Foundation, which helps provides monetary support for organized sports in underserved communities.

"Our plan is to hold events and fundraisers around the U.S. that myself and the Hambino team will host and support," Renna explains. "The funds raised from these events will go toward youth groups to provide sports equipment, uniforms create opportunities for kids that otherwise wouldn't have organized sports in their lives."

Renna hopes the Hambino Foundation can provide access to those who would otherwise forgo participating in organized sports.

He knows The Sandlot served as a catalyst for a lot of young sports-lovers in the Nineties, and he hopes he can effect change in a new way with his brand, beyond just slapping famous catch phrases onto screen-printed T-shirts. Instead, his brand is a collaboration with Jessie Willner, founder of L.A.-based The Mighty Company. Together, they scaled a collection they could have made by hand in small batches in ethically-run Los Angeles factories.

"We really didn't want to make a merch line," Renna says. He's been on mugs and sweaters since he was 14. Now, he says, it's about the legacy — and furthering his connection to the sport that's given him so much. Sure, there are tees with his titular character on them, but there's more, too. "I've grown up watching sports and have met so many athletes at every level that have been inspired by this character so it only makes sense to make this line athleisure- and sports-infused."


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