Sandman comes from a Native American tribe in the Arizona desert. Despite being ostracized, he hopes that winning the Steel Ball Run race will earn him the money to buy back his ancestor's land and becomes one of the fiercest competitors in the race thanks to his running technique. He eventually sides with Funny Valentine and battles Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli near the Mississippi to take their Saint's Corpse parts.
Sandman is a man of average to above-average height and athletic build. He wears his mostly light hair in two long braids crossing his face. He is sparsely clothed, with a few tattoos around his body. On both side of his biceps is a tattoo of a slithering snake inside a circle, lined with triangles pointing inward, while on his right chest are three lines that resemble check marks.
Sandman is a Native American with a singular and cynical outlook on the world but who is also loyal to his tribe.
Sandman is introduced as an open-minded member of his tribe, for instance shown in the possession of books expressively forbidden by the tribe due to originating from white settlers and having developed his unique and admittedly extraordinary running style while ignoring his tribe's own techniques. Sandman is critical of his fellow tribesmen, highlighting to his sister their outdated views and their misconceptions. For instance he claims that the idea of a claim to an ancestral land is out-of-date when the majority of the population now thinks on a financial level. Nonetheless, he is ready to take the risk to participate in a continent-spanning horse race to give back his tribe's stolen lands to them, showing a great degree of loyalty for his tribe.
Despite his open-mindedness, Sandman still treats the "white man" fundamentally as an enemy and sustains the idea that their society is governed by money. He ultimately sides with Funny Valentine, working to take the Corpse Parts to negotiate the necessary money to buy back his ancestors' lands. Disinterested in the corpse and the stakes at play, Sandman only considers it as a potential bargaining piece. When he confronts Johnny, Sandman also ultimately blames the white man's obsession for money as the reason of their current feud.
Sandman shows a great deal of determination and confidence. During his first appearance, he notably jumps under a running horse to purposefully be kicked high in the air and escape pursuit. Learning about the Steel Ball Run race, Sandman also decides without hesitation to leave his tribe and home to cross the United States on foot alone, expressing great confidence in his skill. However, his sister also points out that he is also solitary and stubborn to a fault since childhood, making it difficult for others to understand him. Sandman also doesn't shy away from committing questionable actions and readily fight Johnny and Gyro with the intent of killing them.
Sandman also shows a slightly honorable side. During the first stage, he gives some of his time to tip Pocoloco and help him climb a cliff and, after he wins the first place in the first stage due to a technicality, makes the effort to "repay" Gyro and warn him about an incoming storm. Finally, although he was ready to kill Johnny and Gyro, he is the only enemy to have taken the time to ask them for their Corpse Parts, even though he threatened them.
Sandman is very close to his sister. She is the only person with whom he shares his personal opinions and his final thoughts are to her, hoping for her happiness.
- Main article: In a Silent Way
Sandman's Stand, In a Silent Way, allows him to create three-dimensional constructs out of sounds.
Steven Steel explains that through sheer training, Sandman can make his heels only briefly touch the ground when he's running, meaning he can "recycle" the energy of his feet's impact on the ground into running, and at the same time preserving his legs from fatigue. When going down a slope or a cliff, Sandman can only hop on the relief several times in order to reduce the impact. This running style allows him to take shortcuts through natural obstacles horses can't cross.
Sandman was born in an Indian tribe in the Arizona desert. According to Sandman, the name Sandman is what white people started calling him by mistake. The proper translation of his name would be Soundman. In his tribe's language, he is known as "he who creates sound" (「音」をかなでる者 "Oto" o kanaderu Mono). Sandman never got along well with his tribe because of his unique outlook on life and stubbornness. Over the years, Sandman developed a special running technique that allows him to run long distances without having to rest, neither his tribe or the white men recognizing it.
One day, Sandman sees a white man training on his tribe's land but leaves him be. After this man leave, he picks up the newspapers and books to read and understand his enemies' mindset further. When the tribe discovers the books in his teepee, they hunt him down to scalp him. He purposefully slips inside a horse and is kicked in the air to climb a rock formation and escape his fellow tribesmen on horseback. When the Indians aim their arrows at him, he uses his Stand to disappear somehow.
Sandman is found by his sister, who beats him and scolds him. However, Sandman refuses to go back to the tribe and apologize for what he sees as the best actions for the sake of the tribe. Showing his sister a newspaper, he explains that he ambitions to participate in the Steel Ball Run, a race organized by white men, and seize the prize to buy back his ancestors' land. His sister supports him and gives him an emerald, a keepsake from his parents.
Roughly three hours before the start of the race, Sandman arrives at San Diego Beach and is given the direction of the registration office by Gyro Zeppeli. The clerk dismisses him at first but Sandman shows his emerald to the clerk who greedily takes it and asks where he can find more. Sandman covers his eyes with sand as a petty revenge and obtains his registration in the Steel Ball Run.
The First Stage
In the First Stage, Sandman takes an unusual route thanks to his superior agility. After jumping across a crevice that could act as a shortcut for any horseman who would dare to cross it, Sandman sees a racer, Pocoloco, attempt to jump across it. Sandman advises Pocoloco to use his rope, helping the horseman survive his jump by catching a rock formation and use it to pull himself up. Sandman continues his run through the rocky zones of the first stage to take a shortcut and eventually catches up to the lead racers, Pocoloco and Gyro Zeppeli. Gyro Zeppeli inadvertently throws a Steel Ball on Sandman's path, destroy the rock beneath his feet. This barely inconveniences Sandman who resumes his run across the rocks while the horseracer must go around them. In the final stretch, Sandman is the first. However, this stretch is where the horses are made to gallop at full speed while Sandman's stamina begins to give up. Despite his tremendous running speed, the top horsemen catch up on him and he finishes second place, behind Gyro Zeppeli. Sandman heads to the resting area to grab a jug of water and a whole piece of roasted meat to eat. However, the judges of the race shockingly demote Gyro at the 21st place for interfering with Sandman's run. Sandman ends up the winner of the First Stage.
The Rest of the Race
For the rest of the race, Sandman doesn't interact much with Johnny and Gyro, remaining among the top racers. At one point, he negotiates with the government and accepts to work for them to buy out his ancestors' land instead of winning the race. During the fourth Stage, he crosses path with Johnny and Gyro. To repay the unfair win in the first stage, Sandman tells them that a storm will happen soon and tells them he saw Diego Brando head North. In Kansas City after the fourth stage, he meets with Diego Brando and shows off his ability to the jockey.
Sandman works alongside Diego Brando. In the Fifth Stage near the Mississippi, Sandman and Diego attack Johnny, remaining hidden in the corn, combining their abilities to create dinosaurs that carry sound-effects. Sandman traps a barn with a cutting sound and does the same with Dot Han. Gyro loses his Steel Balls trying to attack Dot Han and in saving Johnny. Diego and Sandman send in a horde of dinosaur with flaming and cutting sounds to harass them, forcing them to fall into the river banks. Gyro repels the dinosaurs with the Spin and the duo take refuge in the water, but Sandman creates several other constructs that send their cutting sound in the water. Gyro is dismembered. When Johnny sees him and calls him for help, Sandman leaps to stab the unrelated Norisuke Higashikata I and get rid of a witness before he reveals his true colors.
However, Johnny understands Gyro's lesson and unlocks Tusk ACT2 with the power of the Golden Rectangle. Johnny's empowered nails leave holes whenever they shoot that automatically track the enemy and destroy his constructs. Shielding himself from the nails with a whooshing sound, Sandman still has to avoid them. He climbs a tree which the holes go up to but Sandman evades them and they fade. Sandman changes strategy and decides to close in on Johnny. Using his shield, Sandman deflects Johnny's nails and even stays on it to levitate above the ground, out of reach of the holes. He leaps to attack and Johnny seemingly misses. However, Johnny's nail hits a butterfly that lands on Sandman's shoulder. The hole converges on his heart and Sandman covers it with his hand, sacrificing his hand to save his life. It seems that Johnny is out of ammunition but the horseman reveals he's carved a bullet out of Gyro's belt buckle. Sandman attacks anyway and is shot in the throat. Sandman expires from this wound, his last thought aimed at his sister and praying for her happiness.
- “The white man is the enemy. But, protecting yourself by understanding the enemy's culture is another way. Our tribe's way of thinking won't work in these times. Everybody thinks we're being hounded from our ancestors' lands. But the white man's basic concept is money. There is no such thing as the ancestors' land anymore. This place belongs to the person that holds the money.”
- “I will cross the continent with my feet alone.”
- “Winning the race and getting money is desirable… but taking your Corpse Parts would be faster. The Spine, the left arm, the right eye… I heard that you two have those three segments…? That’s a way more desirable bargaining chip. When I need to negotiate with this country…”
- “I need to buy back my ancestors’ land. For our tribe to survive the changing times, we need money. I feel sorry for you two, but I do not feel guilt. That is what your people have established for yourselves. Money above all.”
- “My Stand… In a Silent Way! The sound that it creates will tear your body to pieces with one blow…”
- “I feel no morsel of remorse, or even equivalent to the smallest grain of sand in the desert. Not an inch… The only worry I have is for my sister, who I have left in my homeland. I want her to be happy… My only prayer is for her…”
In the light novel JORGE JOESTAR, an incarnation of Sandman appears in the 37th universe named Goyathlay Soundman (ゴヤスリー・サウンドマン Goyasurī Saundoman). His name is based on Geronimo, a prominent leader in the Native American Apache tribe, whose name can alternatively be spelled as Goyathlay in the Apache language. Instead of a Stand, Goyathlay Soundman wields a Bound named Dune. It possesses the ability to absorb sand from any environment and manipulate the sand into different shapes, allowing him to be invulnerable to most attacks.
Soundman's tribe is native to the desert. One day when he was a child, his body suddenly 'understood' sand, and the sand understood him. He and his environment's sand then absorbed each other. Soundman eventually becomes a scientist and then an astronaut on the H. G. Wells spaceship.
When Narancia Ghirga tries attacking the other astronauts with his Stand U-Boat, Soundman summons Dune. Narancia punches Jorge Joestar causing Jorge's tooth to fly out toward Soundman but Dune knocks the tooth away. However, drops of blood from the tooth lands on Soundman's face. Narancia had a submarine from U-Boat hiding on the tooth and was able to transfer it onto the blood splatter on Soundman's face. U-Boat fires missiles at Soundman but Dune wraps them all in sand to contain the explosions. Narancia then tries firing missiles from within Soundman's body causing the back of Soundman's NASA suit to explode. Despite the explosion, Soundman's back is fine afterwards since his body is composed of sand.
Soundman sends his sand out of the spaceship to investigate Mars but it gets caught by a giant Eyed Balloon, causing the sand to swirl and morph on its own without Soundman's control. The Eyed Balloon then grabs their spaceship with its tentacles. Soundman decides he should exit the spaceship to listen to the sands of Mars and see if he can understand them. Funnier Valentine says he's sure Soundman can befriend Mars and then Enrico Pucci decides to go with Soundman as well. Funnier says they have three minutes and if they don't get back in time, he'll leave without them. They travel out of the spaceship using Narancia's U-Boat submarine. Soundman eventually succeeds in communicating with the sands of Mars and they become one with his body, developing Dune into a massive pillar of sand.
Meanwhile, Funnier had just murdered Pocoloco Tripleseven and attempts to assassinate Soundman as well. Funnier fires several gunshots with his Stand Rear Window but Soundman had encased his entire body with Dune's pillar of sand. Soundman enters the H. G. Wells spaceship again in less than two minutes, smashing down the ship's door. Funnier fires a barrage of gunshots again but the bullets all get absorbed by Dune's sand, while Soundman then tackles Funnier. Unable to see as his head is covered in Dune's sand, Soundman goes berserk, swinging and kicking wildly. Jorge then informs Soundman that Funnier is trying to escape in a pod.
As soon as Soundman attempts to look by moving away the sand covering his face, Funnier's Stand shoots a bullet through Soundman's forehead. Soundman's sand suit crumbles and he dies.
- Sandman's ability for running may be inspired by the Tarahumara Native American tribe, known for continuous long distance running of ~200 miles (320 km).