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A dream of a journey

October 29, 2010
(File photo )

The journey has been a long one for Freddy Sanchez.

From toiling countless hours as a youth on the baseball fields of Burbank, to competing for three junior colleges — including a year at Glendale Community College — to years of making his way through the minor leagues to nine seasons in the majors, Sanchez has definitely paid his dues.

As a wide-eyed youth with dreams of someday playing in a World Series, Sanchez never gave up on his lofty goal. Even early last season, when he remained stuck in the Siberia of Major League Baseball — Pittsburgh — he never gave up hope.

In a shining example of hard work and persistence paying off, the Burbank High graduate is living out his dream by playing in the 106th World Series as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Entering today's Game 3 against the Texas Rangers, the Giants have a 2-0 series lead.

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"As a player, this is what your dream is; it's what your goal is," said Sanchez, 32. "To get to the World Series, to be a part of it and for it to really happen is something special. It really brings out the kid in you."

Sanchez admits acting out various World Series scenarios and creating his own heroics knocking around ball fields with his friends as a youngster. And when the World Series rolled around every fall, Sanchez would find himself glued to the television set, taking it all in.

"I remember being at home and watching the Kirk Gibson home run (in the 1988 World Series between the Dodgers and the Athletics)," said Sanchez, who grew up a Dodgers fan. "That was such a big memory for me, and now to be a part of that history in the World Series is pretty unbelievable."

His hopes of ever playing in a World Series were dealt a huge blow when he was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Pirates in 2003. The Pirates suffered through their record 18th-straight losing season this year.

When he was sent to a possible contender in San Francisco in 2009, Sanchez wasn't sure if his new team was going to be the right fit for him. However, after falling in love with the city, melding with a group of players he said is "the best group of guys I've ever player with" and overcoming injuries, Sanchez counted his blessings.

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