Freddy Sandoval has lived an extraordinary life. Sandoval’s story of making it to the big leagues is one of sacrifice, an optimistic and positive attitude, and accomplishments that started long before his Major League Debut.
Freddy was born the youngest of five siblings in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico. From the age of five, Sandoval knew he wanted to play professional baseball. His father’s belief coupled with daily practice, would make his dream a reality. Professional baseball would prove to be the stepping stone for Sandoval to achieve other lifetime dreams, as well.
Recognition of Sandoval’s talent started early in life. At only 12 years old, he received the Welcoming Keys of the city of Tijuana, by former President of Tijuana, Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan. By then, Sandoval had been practicing diligently for years. He idolized the famous switch-hitter Mickey Mantle. Studying films of Mickey Mantle (and a broken collar bone at age 13) influenced Sandoval to master the art of being an ambidextrous player. This unique skill would make Sandoval an even more valuable asset to his teams.
The keys to the city were just the beginning for the 12 year old, who would go on the same year to win second place as the National Athlete of the Year in Mexico, and Athlete of the Year in his hometown of Tijuana. A title he held for not one, but three straight years. As team captain of the Mexican Junior National Team, he led his team to an all-time best third place ranking in the 1995 Pan-American games in Cartagena, Columbia. He would also lead his country to another all-time best, with a sixth place ranking in the World Championship Games in Chinese, Taipei.
When, by the age of 13, Sandoval had accumulated 12 National Championships for the state of Baja California, Mexico, 7 World Championships representing Mexico, 7 Pan-American Games representing Mexico, 5 National Championship Batting Titles in Mexico, and 10 State Championship Batting Titles in Mexico, it was clearly evident that a professional baseball career was in his future.
Before Sandoval could even drive a car, he had the honor of playing on the First Team All World in the 1996 and 1997 World Baseball Championships. In 1998, Sandoval embarked on one of the many sacrifices he would make, to bring life to his dream of playing professional baseball. Everyday Sandoval began to make the 2-3 hour commute across the border to attend his first U.S. school, Marian Catholic High School. He made this journey each day by bus, trolley, or a friend’s car. Speaking no English at the time and without a car until his senior year, Sandoval bravely set out on his ambitious journey, simply to get to school and play baseball. Even early on in his life, Sandoval’s believed that long-term rewards would outweigh short-term sacrifices. It would all be worth it when he was able to play baseball professionally.
During his sophomore year of high school, his father hired an English professor to tutor Freddy and his older sister. During the Christmas break, Sandoval worked on his English three hours a day, five days a week for a month. Sandoval returned to school with more conversational English, but would have to master the language in order to go to college, another stepping stone in the pursuit of his dreams.
While in high school, Sandoval served as baseball team captain, a role becoming increasingly familiar to him. Each year he was on his high school’s All-Harbor League First Team. For the first time ever for his school, he led his team to three consecutive California Interscholastic Federation Championships. In both 1999 and 2000, Sandoval won California Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year. At the turn of the century, Freddy ended his high school career with the honors of Harbor League Player of the Year and Marian Catholic School Athlete of the Year. Over a decade later, Sandoval would be honored with an induction into the Marian Catholic High School Hall of Fame (Now Mater Dei).
Fourteen years of exemplary baseball accomplishments, his promising baseball talent, and his academic aptitude landed him a full ride scholarship to the University of San Diego. His scholarship offer came just days after he serendipitously missed a flight on his way to sign a contract to play professional ball in Mexico. The next chapter of Sandoval’s life unfolded with him as Team Captain for the University of San Diego, with NCAA Championship appearances in both 2002 and 2003. His college career ended with Sandoval leading his All-West Coast Conference First Team to their first ever consecutive West Coast Conference Championships.
2004 was a monumental year for Sandoval; signing with the Angels organization as the professional baseball player he had worked so hard to become. The Angels organization had a limited number of allocations for player visas that year, so a disappointed Sandoval had to sit out for all of 2004. By 2005, Sandoval’s leadership, positivity, and ambition led him to Iowa. He became Team Captain for the Cedar Rapids Kernels Team. He played in the Mid-Season All-Star Game, and was not only noticed, by rated by Baseball America Magazine as Best Defensive Third Baseman in the Midwest League. The rating must have fit Sandoval well, because he earned it again the following year, when Baseball Magazine rated him Best Defensive Third Baseman in the California league.
Sandoval, a bilingual athlete with a noticeably positive and humble presence, had reaped the fruits of his labor, and realized that he had something valuable to offer to others. In 2006, he began motivational speaking. For three years, Sandoval spoke to the Venados de Mazatlan Winter Baseball team, positively impacting the players that heard him. He continued using his ability to connect with people as a positive influential force; with speaking engagements for children at youth hospitals, foster homes, juvenile delinquency jail, treatment programs, and intensive work with kids in community programs and baseball camps.
Sandoval’s career in professional baseball would continue to move him throughout North America. In 2007, Sandoval earned Player of the Week and Player of the Month. He was selected to play in both the mid and post season All Star Games; and was once again rated by Baseball Magazine as the Best Defensive Third Baseman in the Texas League. After this standout year in Texas, Sandoval was selected to play in the Future’s Game in San Francisco. At age 26, Sandoval achieved his destiny and made it to The Show, as a Major League Baseball third baseman with more than 20 years of leadership in the game. This would provide more opportunities than he had ever had before. Following Sandoval’s stellar performance in the Future’s Game, he made his Major League Debut on September 8, 2008 for the Anaheim Angels. He had achieved his lifelong career goal to become a Major League player. Given his many past accolades and achievements, it is of little surprise that in the very same year he made his Major League debut, he was awarded the Anaheim Angels Organizational Player of the Year.
Sandoval continued to play nonstop baseball, with a spot on the Pacific Coast League Post-Season All-Star Team and with the Venados of Mazatlan Winter Baseball team, where he earned a championship ring in 2008.
In 2009, Sandoval played as a member of Mexico’s team in the 2nd World Baseball Classic, with Mexico again in The Caribbean Series in Mexicali, and was once again a winner of a championship ring in the Venados of Mazatlan Winter Baseball Team. Sandoval’s ability to provide intensive translation between the Anaheim Angels Organization in the Major and Minor Leagues and players from diverse backgrounds, made him a valuable asset to the organization.
Sandoval, an acclaimed baseball player all of his life, began to prepare for a life after baseball. Education was at the forefront of his plan. Freddy focused his studies toward something he could use to positively impact the lives of others. In 2010, Sandoval graduated with honors and a nearly perfect GPA from the University of Phoenix, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. For several years, Sandoval was enlisted by the University of Phoenix to speak to Minor League Baseball teams about back-to-school programs; using his exceptional interpersonal skills as a way to promote education to fellow athletes.
Only a year after completing his undergraduate work, Freddy was awarded the Roland Hemond Scholarship, a full ride scholarship to complete his Graduate degree. In 2012, Sandoval graduated with Honors, as a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honors Society, with a Masters of Management in Human Resources.
Sandoval played baseball professionally for the Anaheim Angels Organization from 2004-2011. Following that, he continued on his path of education and self-improvement by attending conferences with Unlimited Potential Inc. throughout 2011. In 2012, Sandoval found a new home with the Somerset Patriots Independent Team. Following his time with the Patriots, Sandoval’s educational endeavors continued; earning him his MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) Certification, attendance at the Growing Leaders Leadership Conference, and a seminar with Dr. John Curtis. Sandoval also holds a MMTIC (Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children) Certification, as well as certifications in Hypnotherapy, Professional Coaching, Executive Leadership Coaching, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Sandoval set out to create a position and career for himself by combining the vast knowledge he had obtained throughout his baseball career, his extensive education and certificates, and the vision he had for a program. After more than 150 hours of research, Freddy Sandoval would create an amazing, research driven program, from the ground up. Sandoval’s powerful program and his innate approach to working with people was yielding phenomenal results.
Sandoval was hired as the Mental Skills Coach for the Kansas City Royals Organization, a groundbreaking position that only a handful of other Major League Baseball teams have at this time. Sandoval travels around the country to work with players, coaches, and staff. He provides some mandatory meetings, but players, coaches, and staff are also provided invaluable one-on-one time with Sandoval. Education and training are combined with firsthand experience and insight that only a former major league player like Sandoval could provide.