Series title tops triumphs

Some locals had their share of success, and some suffered through injuries during 2009-10 campaign.

November 22, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,
(File photo )

GLENDALE — The following are recaps on area athletes who played Major League Baseball during the recently concluded 2010 season.



When the 2010 baseball season began, Freddy Sanchez was making a slow recovery from a shoulder injury — he didn't play his first game until May 19 — and his San Francisco Giants were languishing out of the gate.

What a difference four months made, as by the beginning of October, the Giants had rallied to clinch the National League West on the final day of the regular season, with Sanchez rounding back into top form at the plate.

And, over the next several weeks, San Francisco further transformed into a postseason juggernaut. The team rode a perfect storm of clutch hitting and unhittable pitching to capture its first pennant since 2002, and capture the World Series for the first time since 1954, when the team was still in New York.


"This is unbelievable. It's indescribable," Sanchez told ESPN after going one for four in the Giants' title-clinching 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the World Series on Nov. 1. "Every night we had a different hero. …Our pitching, they did it all year and they did it this whole postseason."

Sanchez, a Glendale Community College alum, finished his first full regular season in San Francisco batting .292 with seven home runs, 47 runs batted in and 55 runs scored. He carried the momentum into his first-ever foray into the postseason, where he batted .270 with four RBIs, five runs and four extra-base hits, while hitting in the No. 2 hole and manning second base.

Not a popular preseason, or even midseason, pick to make the playoffs, the Giants still carried the underdog tag even after surging into the postseason.

The prevailing perception nationally was that, while possessing perhaps the deepest and most talented pitching rotation, led by the like of two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, the Giants' hitting lineup, largely devoid of any big-name sluggers, wouldn't measure up against other playoff squads.

But, behind unlikely heroes Aubrey Huff, Edgar Renteria, Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Juan Uribe and, of course, Sanchez — a former batting titlist with the Pittsburgh Pirates — the upstart offense became the story of the postseason, hammering out 59 runs in 15 games.

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