Dan Mahoney doesn’t know Freddy Sanchez personally.
Mahoney didn’t go to school with the former Burbank High and
Boston Red Sox standout infielder, and lives 2,979 miles away from
where Sanchez grew up.
However, although he lives in Rhode Island, Mahoney became a big
Sanchez fan and has even started and maintained a Web site devoted to
Sanchez -- www.freddysanchez.com.
“It all started as a school project,” said Mahoney, who attends
small Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I. “I had a humanities class
and one of our projects was to create and maintain a Web site on a
subject that interested us.”
Mahoney, a self-professed “huge baseball fan,” said he spent time
thinking about what subject would make an interesting site, when he
got an idea.
“Some of my friends and I have been fans of Freddy Sanchez since
he started to come up through the Red Sox’s minor league teams,”
Mahoney said. “So I just got the idea that he would be a great person
to devote a Web site to, and that’s when I started it.”
For the record, Mahoney got a B-plus on the project.
Mahoney began the site in Feb. 2002, when Sanchez -- who was also
a star at Glendale Community College -- was still in the minor
leagues playing for the double-A Trenton Thunder. He has watched
Sanchez rocket through the Boston organization and has documented all
of the player’s moves and accomplishments.
“Freddy is just an awesome player,” Mahoney said. “My friends and
I knew when we first saw him play that he was going to make it to the
“What we like about him is that he seems to have a real love for
the game and he plays every game with everything he has. It’s been
great to see his success. He deserves it.”
Although Mahoney admits he has only met Sanchez briefly --
obtaining autographs from the player at minor league games -- he has
put in a great deal of time and effort into getting information about
the up-and-coming star.
With the site up and running the first few months, interested
Sanchez fans got a steady dose of information. However, one person
had no idea the site existed -- Sanchez.
“I had no idea there was a Web site about me,” Sanchez said. “It
is kind of weird to think someone would go to all that work to do
something like that.
“I guess it’s kind of cool, but I didn’t know anything about it.”
On the Internet site, Sanchez supporters can get up-to-date
information about the rookie’s second stint with the Boston Red Sox.
One of Sanchez’s biggest accomplishments was given a lot of play
on the site.
On June 14, Sanchez came close to setting a major league record.
In a game against the Houston Astros, Sanchez got the start at third
base and had 10 assists, one away from tying the all-time mark of 11.
Sanchez, a natural shortstop who didn’t even play third base in high
school, made some amazing plays, robbing Astros batters of base hits.
For his efforts, Sanchez was awarded with a chorus of “Freddy.
Freddy. Freddy.” from the hometown fans.
Along with Sanchez’s current statistics and accomplishments,
Mahoney’s site also has highlights and information about his minor
league career, his college years and other great tidbits.
There is also a Sanchez biography, lots of photos and a section
where fans can buy Sanchez collectibles like baseball cards and
“I think there is something for everyone who is a Freddy Sanchez
fan,” Mahoney said. “And I will keep adding things as they come.”
Since being called up to the Red Sox on May 30, Sanchez has seen
his share of playing time. Appearing in 12 games, he has a .250
batting average, five hits, two doubles and has scored three runs.
He has also shown his versatility as in infielder, playing games
at third base, second base and shortstop.
On Monday, Sanchez started at third base in a series-opening game
against the Detroit Tigers in Fenway Park. In a 3-1 victory against
the Tigers, Sanchez went one for three with a double.
If the Burbank native continues to thrive in the big leagues,
Mahoney is probably going to stay very busy keeping the growing
legion of Freddy Sanchez fans happy.
* JEFF TULLY is the sports editor of the Burbank Leader. He can be
reached at 843-8700, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.