NAIA's Hall welcomes Sanchez

Freddy Sanchez has made an impact wherever he's donned a baseball uniform, from Burbank High, to Glendale Community College, to Oklahoma City University and currently with the San Francisco Giants.

The National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics will recognize Sanchez's contributions at Oklahoma City University when he will be one of 18 athletes inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Assn. Rawlings-NAIA Hall of Fame. He is already a member of Oklahoma City University's Hall of Fame.

"The accomplishments he has are a testimony to the adage that you get what you put into it," OCU assistant Coach Keith Lytle stated in a press release. "He's one of the hardest workers I've known, and that's why he's achieved what he has in this great game."

The NAIA announced its 18-person 2011-12 Hall of Fame class Wednesday. Sanchez's personal NAIA Hall of Fame and Awards Luncheon will be held in Anaheim on Jan. 5.

"This is a great day for the Oklahoma City University baseball program," stated OCU Coach Denney Crabaugh, who's also a NAIA Hall of Famer, in a press release. "I'm very proud and excited. What Freddy has done here and in the majors and what he's done for people, he's very deserving of this honor. I couldn't be happier for him."

Sanchez was named a first-team All-American shortstop when he played for the Stars in 2000. He hit .434 with 13 home runs and 54 runs batted in, as his team went 50-13. Sanchez was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th round that year and made his Major League Baseball debut in 2002.

In his decade-long professional career, Sanchez is batting .297 (1,012 for 3,402) with 48 home runs, 215 doubles and 371 RBI in with Boston, the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco. He won a batting crown as a member of the Pirates in 2006, a World Series championship with the Giants last year and is the first OSU player to be named an MLB All-Star. He's accomplished that feat three times in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

"Most of what I learned about baseball came from OCU, like what to do in certain counts," Sanchez stated in a press release. "The mental aspect of the game I learned at OCU. That's where I have all my pride in."

The Giants' second baseman suffered a season-ending shoulder injury June 10. He underwent surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder Aug. 2 and is expected to be ready for spring training in 2012.

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