If you are one of my good buddies reading this you will know where I am coming from with that title. If you are not, I will briefly explain.
The year was 2006 and my family and I were on a trip to Washington, D.C. On this one specific day we visited the U.S. Mint. Now I can’t say I remember too much about our tour of the mint but one moment will surely stick out for many years, and it has.
But to Julio Martinez, the Mint security guard, it was.
“Sanchez!?! Who is Sanchez?” he excalims to me.
After I explain who the Pittsburgh second baseman was he showed a slight grin and hinted that he hopes to hear more about the solid player. Some four years later I hope he has had his fill of Freddy.
Now that wasn;t the best story in world but shoot it is in my circle of family and friends, we always get a laugh out of it.
While Sanchez’s career in Pittsburgh is over, he has began to make his mark in San Francisco. After battling through injuries at the end of last season after being traded to beginning this season on the disabled list Sanchez has started to turn things around.
After going 3-for-4 against the Pirates Friday night he continued to have a big series and drove in the winning run on Sunday, a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning.
Sanchez is now batting .371 although he has appeared in just 17 games. He was said to have started to wind down in his carrer but still has that knack at the plate. I feel he will be swinging strongly for quite sometime.
There may not be a classier ballplayer than Freddy Sanchez. In interviews after the trade that send him to San Francisco in exchange for minor league pitcher Tim Alderson, Sanchez has been nothing but respectful of his former city and club.
. The way the fans treated me was just awesome,” Sanchez told Post Gazette reporter Dejan Kovacevic, “I can’t wait to be back there and play in that stadium again.”
He recieved loud ovation this weekend and rightfully so, he earned it. While it may have been dissapointing, yet fitting, that he drove in the winning run to break open a 5-5 tie on Sunday what he did the day before is entirely admirable.
After donating much more $50,000 dollars to Western Pennsylvania Charities and other outlets to build baseball fields for special needs children, Sanchez and his family showed up at one of those fields to play ball with those kids. The Post-Gazette and USA Today have picked up on this story and I am sure we will be hearing more of it. Sanchez the humanitarian is a fitting nickname that will stick because of his strong willed attributes.
How many players, scratch that, how many visiting team players would do that the afternoon before a game, let alone the day after playing a game that did not start until ten o’clock and probably did not finsih until almost 1 a.m.
Sanchez enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh. He was a loser only because of his team’s win-loss
record but still through all of it remianed a good sport and wanted to be in the Steel City. He has taken the high road by only talking about the good of Pittsburgh and wanting to come back. Players such as Nate McLouth, Adam LaRoche, Eric Hinske, Sean Burnett and other who have recently been traded have come right out and said they were happy to move on. To quote Frank Sinatra, Sanchez’s vagabond shoes were longing to stray, just not in New York City, but in Pittsburgh, Pa. He now reps the number 21. A shoutout to Clemente and Pittsburgh? Maybe.
photo credits: fansedge.com, postgazette.com, bayareasportsguy.com