Home Sweet Home: Marlins’ Sanchez living out a dream
Gaby Sanchez might be a bit occupied this weekend at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.
And it will have little to do with figuring out the Dodgers’ pitching staff.
Born and raised in Miami, Sanchez, who made his professional debut earlier this week, will be back at first base and in the eighth spot Friday night when the Florida Marlins open a three-game series against the Dodgers.
Sanchez will be fulfilling a childhood dream and handing a number of ticket request as well.
“It’s definitely special,” said Sanchez, who played at the University of Miami and attended World Series games in 1997 and 2003 before being drafted by the fourth-round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Marlins. “I have a lot of great memories as a kid in that stadium.”
Sanchez was a diehard Marlins’ fan growing up. He was an attendance when the Rockies’ Andres Galarraga hit a mammoth 529-foot homer in 1997 and saw Anibel Sanchez – now a teammate –pitch a no-hitter in 2006.
But little can compare to what Sanchez will experience over the next several days.
“To be able to do (start) for a team I grew up watching is just incredible,” says Sanchez, who beat out top-prospect Logan Morrison to win the first base job after a poor spring in 2009. “It’s a blessing.”
Sanchez enters the Dodgers series with a team-leading .364 batting average and three doubles. He drove in a key run with an RBI single late in the Marlins 3-1 victory over the Mets Thursday night.
And Sanchez is contributing from the eighth spot in the batting order – a spot he had never hit from in his professional career.
“It’s tougher because when you get guys in scoring position you want to expand the (strike) zone,” said Sanchez. “I’m still learning those little things and starting to get comfortable.”
While aware that nothing is forever – especially in the big leagues – Sanchez feels relaxed and confident after a fast start with the bat after beating out Morrison in the spring – even with a two-error inning in the season-opener against the Mets to his name.
“I’m just having fun and trying to stay relaxed,” said Sanchez. “Hopefully I can keep it going.”
Fernando Ruano Jr.
> View all of the 2009 MLB team previews from Pro Baseball Fans