Sande Sez- Opening Day, We Made It

Happy MLB Opening Day, everyone! We made it.

 

 

Baseball has such a special place in my heart. Growing up with five brothers, they all played baseball, and my dad was their coach. My dad’s love for baseball is where I inherited my love for the game. He is a die-hard Yankees fan. My earliest memories of baseball were always about the Yankees and him teaching me about their history. Every hat, t-shirt, and hoodie was New York Yankees branded. Even the team, my dad, coached was named the Yankees. So, needless to say, baseball was in my blood from before I was even born. 

Being at the park while my brothers played is one of my most favorite memories. The sound of the ball hitting the glove, the sound of the ball hitting the bat, the smell of the grass, the dirt, and of course, the popcorn. It is all nostalgic. 

Last year, on March 12th, 2020, the baseball world stopped. I was working at the Cubs that day for MLB Network. A weird day, actually scary too. Not knowing what was going on and hearing rumors of the shutdown. MLBN acted fast and got the whole New York crew on flights to be home with their families. It was the day my world stopped. It was a hard year without baseball for me. I know it was hard on everyone in certain aspects… mine was losing my in-person interactions with my coworkers at the ball field and just genuinely loving what I do and being on the field. 

It’s crazy to think of young Sande sitting in the stands at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. 5 rows up from Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees. Sitting with my dad as we saw the Diamondbacks win it all. I stood in the tunnel down by my seat because I was too nervous to sit down. I got a first-hand look at the media lining up to storm the field for post-game interviews.

It was at that moment I knew what I would do. I will do that, I will work in baseball, I will storm the field at the end of the World Series.. and now I do. I have been a part of 6 World Series with MLB Network.

My most cherished moment came in the 2017 World Series, and I was on the warning track during the seventh-inning stretch of the Dodgers and Astros Fall Classic. I was kneeled down by the Dodgers dugout as everyone in the crowd stood on their feet to Stand Up To Cancer while Rachel Platten’s Fight Song played over the stadium. The lyrics, “This is my fight song, take back my life song,” echoed as people represented those that were battling cancer or who had passed due to it. The stadium was calm, felt peaceful, yet strong, and as I kneeled, I looked up and saw all of the beauty in this massive stadium. The moon and stars over the stadium. It was so magical. I kept repeating to myself, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus”. 

 

 

2020 took that away, but here we are, poised for a season. It might look a little different, but we are here. I made it through producing for MLB Network Spring Training and now ready for whatever the 2021 season has to offer. 

 

 

LET’S PLAY BALL!!!