Chauncey Leopardi, who played Michael “Squints” Palledorous in "The Sandlot" was amazed when he learned that two kids saved their father's life with CPR they learned from the 1993 movie.
"That’s just incredible," Leopardi told TODAY contributor Donna Farizan in an interview for a PopStart Plus special on nostalgic summer movies on TODAY All Day. "You know, like, here we are, 30 years later, and something that someone saw that we did 30 years ago saved their father’s life."
"I mean, it just, it makes you want to tear up because it’s such a beautiful thing," he continued, "and wherever we get the information from, it’s great. So to be the force that helped them do that for their father, you know, I’ll never forget it."
On June 14, Brad Hassig, of Mountain Brook, Alabama, almost died when he was doing relaxing breathing exercises in his pool with his 10-year-old twins, Christian and Bridon, and their friend, Sam, 11, around.
“I went from just complete peace, saying the Lord’s Prayer and then everything was just white,” Hassig recalled on TODAY.
Once they saw him go underwater, the boys leaped into action. Bridon and Sam immediately swam down to pull him out and once he was on dry land, Bridon performed CPR he’d seen in movies like “The Sandlot" and "Hook."
“There’s no way, physically, they should have been able to pull a 185-pound man out of out of the water like that and to know and do what all of them did, perfectly as quickly (as they did),” Hassig said. “No lack of action, to run as fast as they did. It’s God’s hands all over it.”
When Hassig regained consciousness, he was coughing up blood, foam and water, and noticed that there were first responders everywhere.
Hassig was later admitted to the cardiac intensive-care unit and once his vitals stabilized after 24 hours, he was released from the hospital and vowed to never do breathing exercises underwater or swim alone again.
“I’m so proud of my boys. I tell them, ‘Remember you guys are heroes’ and I will be grateful to them forever,” he told TODAY Parents in June. “And Sam is such a kind and gentle kid. It’s a bond now.”