We also learned Sandoval’s secret pleasure is watching his favorite soccer team, Barcelona. The Panda is so talented that he has no preference over which hand he hits with. His advice was always work hard to make your dreams come true.
Inside the dugout, we snapped pictures like the paparazzi with every opportunity. Behind us on the bench, with an entourage of reporters, sat Bruce Bochy, the Giants’ manager. Bochy played baseball for nine years and then became the manager of the San Diego Padres before joining the Giants team in 2007, and assisting them to win two World Series titles within three years. He believes that the key to their success has been consistently good playing in all of the positions. When asked about some of the challenges that he faces he joked, “trying to win a ballgame.” Then, more seriously, he explained that keeping the players motivated and making sure they all get involved and participate in the games are some of the tasks he tries to accomplish daily. Bochy grew up a Washington Senators fan; the team now known as the Texas Rangers. He attended his first game in 1967.
Brandon Belt, first baseman, talked to us about his childhood and how he started to like playing baseball. He said that his father taught him how to play and remembers when his friends would play little Wiffleball games in the backyard. “My dad was a football coach, but I was always drawn to baseball,” said Belt. Did you know that his nickname is the “small giraffe” because he’s 6 foot 5 inches tall?