|Posted March 31, 2008|
Former Pack player lands job with Colorado Rockies
Albert Sandoval relishing an opportunity to stay around the game he loves.
By JEFF LETOFSKY, THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Albert Sandoval may never play for the Colorado Rockies but he's hoping to be an intragal part of the organization.
The former Pueblo East High School and Colorado State University-Pueblo baseball player has landed a gig with the Rockies as a strength and conditioning coach.
"I always wanted to play ball," Sandoval said. "I used baseball to get myself through school. Now, I get to be around the game at an elite level. It's definitely a dream job."
In a whirlwind series of events, Sandoval will be leaving within a week for Tucson, Ariz., where he'll be working with prospects at extended spring training.
In mid-June, Sandoval will travel to Casper, Wyo., as the strength and conditioning coach of the Casper Ghosts, the Rockies' rookie league affiliate.
"I knew I was going to be finishing up school this spring," said Sandoval, who has a degree in exercise science. "During Christmas break, I applied with eight different major league organizations. I was lucky enough to get an interview with the Rockies and went through the process.
"I ended up getting hired on in early January and I was in Denver working with the big-league players for about a month and a half."
Sandoval, 22, said he'll be treated similar to a player. Depending on how well he does his job will determine how far up he'll move in the organization.
"I'll have a chance to move up if I do my job and do it well," he said. "As long as I work hard, I have a chance to move up in the organization."
For now, Sandoval is taking everything one day at a time.
"Coming out of high school I never thought I was a great ballplayer," he said. "I was a kid who worked hard, stayed around the game and used baseball to get through school. The love of the game has given me an education. Now, education is giving me baseball."
Sandoval was a little-used relief pitcher during his career at CSU-Pueblo. He did recall one moment he calls the highlight of his career.
"I got to throw against Chico State in one of the first games of the year last year," he said. "I did well for a couple of innings and the third inning blew up and gave up four runs.
"It's been awesome to put on a CSU-Pueblo uniform. I always try to take positives out of everything. I could have been an impact guy if I got more chances but sometimes things aren't meant to be.
"I'm thankful for Coach (Stan) Sanchez for giving me an opportunity to put on a uniform for another four years."