Thursday October 28, 2010 | 06:35 AM

Freddy Sanchez, who had four hits (three doubles) for the Giants in the first game of the 2010 World Series, once starred for the Boston Red Sox Double-A team.

Nowadays, that would mean that Sanchez had played at Hadlock Field. But Sanchez played Double-A ball in 2002, also known as 1 BP (Before Portland). Sanchez played for the Trenton Thunder and manager Ron Johnson. I remember visiting Trenton, because of all the rumors of the Red Sox moving their Double-A team from New Jersey to Portland, and Johnson singing Sanchez' praises.

Back then, the big question was where would Sanchez play, since he was a shortstop, and Boston already had a player at that position, by the name of Nomar.

Sanchez made a couple brief appearances in Fenway, in 2003 and 2003. But in 2003, the Red Sox were a contender and figured they could use another arm. Sanchez was traded to Pittsburgh In a deal that involved right-hander Jeff Suppan.

I remember Epstein being interviewed on the radio after the trade. He was asked how he was able to steal Suppan away. "Well," Epstein said, "Freddy Sanchez is a pretty good player."

Sanchez became a fulltime major leaguer by 2005 and hit .291, and then .344 in 2006. The Pirates did what they usually do when they get good players. They traded him, to the Giants in 2009.

In nine seasons, Sanchez has played short, third base and, currently second. His career batting average is .298.

Suppan, by the way, went 3-4 with a 5.57 ERA for the Red Sox in 2003, and was left off the playoff roster.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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