Behind-The-Scenes: Off The Field with Tyler Northrup

Behind-The-Scenes: Off The Field with Tyler Northrup

We caught up with Tyler Northrup–photographer, father, "baseball player," and an organizer of the Carolina Sandlot Collective.

Q: For those Flyers who don't already know you, please introduce yourself!

A: I'm Tyler Northrup!

Q: For our Flyers who haven't ever heard of the Carolina Sandlot Collective and the greater Sandlot Revolution, can you break it down and share more about this movement?

A: Every team and every player will have a different answer to that question, so it's kind of hard to answer it in a broad sense, but for me, specifically, our Collective and the Sandlot Revolution is about creating an environment where everyone can enjoy this game, regardless of who they are and how they come to it, in a way that fosters community and camaraderie. As Americans, pretty much all of us have some connection to the game of baseball, even if we never played it in any organized fashion, and sandlot gives us the chance to deepen that connection in a way that resonates with each of us. That's all a really intellectual way of putting it, a more down-to-earth way of putting it would be to say that these movements are about having lots of fun outside with really good people. And, it has to be said that sandlot is an outlet for art and expression-some of the greatest art and design work I've ever seen has been created for and by sandlot teams from around the country.

P.F. Flyers Tyler Northrup

Q: What does sandlot baseball mean to you? How long have you been involved and what position do you play?

A: Sandlot, for me, is simultaneously an outlet for fun and community and an opportunity to be outside, moving my body while striving to improve at something–all of which I think are key components of health and happiness. I started playing in 2018 and have settled in at 2nd base, though I end up pitching far more often than anyone should have to endure.

Q: If our Flyers are interested in learning more about how they can get involved with sandlot baseball in their city, where should they go or what should they do?

A: If you're in North Carolina, reach out to us at or on Instagram @carolinasandlotcollective. If you're elsewhere, the broader sandlot community is most active on Instagram. Look for sandlot teams in your area, and if there aren't any, start one! Reach out to any sandlot team on Instagram, and I'd be willing to bet they'd be happy to share some insight on how they started and got to where they are.

Q: Who's your favorite character in 'The Sandlot' and why?

A: It's kind of the low-hanging fruit, but I've gotta go with "Smalls" because I am a "Smalls." I never really played baseball before coming out to play sandlot, but lucky for me, I was joined by a handful of other "Smalls"-like individuals, so at least I wasn't alone.

Q: What's one thing people know about you?

A: In my day job, I'm a commercial advertising photographer.

Q: What's one thing people don't know about you?

A: I guess some people don't know that most of the time, I really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to organizing for a sandlot community or event and that I'm just wading into it blindly because I love sandlot and want our community to thrive.

Q: Our personal mantra is: "Run Faster. Jump Higher. Fly Free." What does it mean to you to Fly Free (as it relates to your personal life, professional life, or future dreams)?

A: Taken with the preceding bits of the mantra I read it as a call to push against the limits of your capabilities and to seek to excel. I'm a father of two, a husband, a photographer, a "baseball player" and often I'm attempting the impossible task of excelling at all of those things at once. Putting those together, I guess I'd say "Fly Free" to me is continuing that pursuit, and at times and in some ways, accomplishing it. Or maybe, it's a call to express oneself freely and authentically, which is also great!

P.F. Flyers Tyler Northrup

Q: How would you define your personal style?

A: *Looks blankly down at his clothes, wondering if anyone would call that a style.* Uhh, I kind of just wear a variation on the same thing every day–a t-shirt, often black and sandlot related, jeans, rolled up once at the bottom because I'm short, and a hat with a sandlot team logo on it.

Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your personal style (brands/artists/places you admire)?

A: I was once told a story, perhaps true, perhaps a fable, about one of the greatest photographers of all time–Albert Watson. Watson has shot many of the most famous fashion covers and stories of all time, but when it comes to his own wardrobe, it's all black and always the same. The reason is that he can save that bandwidth for art by eliminating the decision of what to wear every day. No, who knows if that's strictly true, and I am by no means an Albert Watson, but this is the excuse I give for pretty much wearing the same thing every day. HOWEVER, I genuinely feel like I look cooler in these P.F. Flyers…

Q: Tell us (and the world) about YOU, who you are, and how you're changing the game in your niche/world/domain–or how you want to in the future.

A: Professionally, I make images (and sometimes direct motion) of people on location in the niches of sports, fitness, adventure, outdoor tourism, industry, and agriculture. I want to create beautiful, compelling work for brands that enable people to do cool things. I want to guide my son and daughter into becoming thriving adults who care about the world and empathize with everyone in it. I want to see our sandlot community continue to grow bigger but also grow closer. I want us all to do big things. These are the things I work toward, but at heart, I'm generally a humble person who tries to avoid all pretense, so it feels a bit grand and pompous to say I'm changing the game in any way.

P.F. Flyers Tyler Northrup

Q: When or how did you first hear about P.F. Flyers?

A: Why THE SANDLOT, of course!

Q: What is your favorite P.F. Flyers sneaker (style/color)?

A: That's a tough call! It's hard not to say the OG pair that Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez wore when he pickled The Beast, but on the other hand, I am a sucker for white or white-adjacent sneaks, and these Game Day Collection Antique Whites are pretty sharp.

Q: Is there anything we didn't ask that you'd like us to know or share with our Flyers?

A: It should definitely be said that I'm the one getting this feature because some years ago, I was available and interested in putting the time in to grow sandlot in North Carolina, and that made me somewhat visible, but our community is made up of amazing people who are just as responsible for how we've grown and how far we've come since the early days.

Q: Where can we follow you on social and stay connected?

A: you can follow me on Instagram @tylernorthrup, you can follow my team @raleighreapers, and you can follow our Carolina Sandlot Collective @carolinasandlotcollective. Or go check out my website at, or the Collective's website at

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