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ALUMNI ROLL CALL EAST BASEBALL STANDOUT ALBERT SANDOVAL NOW WORKING WITH MAJOR LEAGUERS
Although Albert Sandoval didn’t make it to the Big League as a player, he did realize his dream of working in the prestigious world of professional baseball.
A 2004 graduate of East who excelled in both high school and collegiate baseball, Albert is a Major League Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach, assisting and creating prehab, lifting, conditioning, and nutrition programs for athletes within the Texas Rangers program.
It’s a coveted role that allows Albert to express his love and passion for the game while helping to ensure that when the Rangers take the field, they do so in top-notch condition.
“I always wanted to work in professional baseball, and I couldn’t do it as a player, so I wanted to find another avenue,” he said.
While an Eagle, Albert lettered in baseball for four years, twice in basketball, and even played football for a year.
He cited East educators Mr. Adamich, Mrs. Shoemaker, Mrs. Wagner, Mr. Latino, and Mr. Clementi for playing a critical role in his development as a scholar and young man.
“All helped teach me very valuable life lessons and were influential in helping me in some of my most trying times,” he said. “And my fondest memories at East were the extracurricular activities with my friends and maturing into adulthood.”
After leaving East in 2004, Albert enrolled at Baton Rouge Community College, where he played baseball for one year. After transferring to Colorado State University Pueblo, he finished his baseball and academic career as a ThurderWolf.
“Out of high school, I thought being an Athletic Trainer would be my best option, as I always liked the human body and how it works,” he said. “I wanted to mix my other passions outside of baseball and see how I could use those passions to stay in baseball.
"So in college, I decided I liked Exercise Science/Physiology more than Athletic Training and pursued that instead.”
His degree in hand, Albert set out to make his mark in the sport he loved since childhood.
“I got extremely lucky with an opportunity with the Colorado Rockies right out of college and finished my last college course while in Spring Training,” he said. “Our head college baseball coach, Stan Sanchez, asked what I wanted to pursue after my senior year. I had been assisting with the Strength and Conditioning program after doing internships and told him I wanted to get into the field, which was starting to grow significantly in Major League Baseball. I told him I had applied to a few organizations but had no response.”
It just so happened that Coach Sanchez’s best friend, Rich Dauer, was Minor League Infield Coordinator for the Rockies. He invited Albert to submit a resume.
“That connection got me an interview at Coors Field. I went through the interview process, got the job and worked my way up the ladder to where I am at today.”
In the Minor Leagues, Albert spent five years working with the Rockies and Los Angeles Angels and four with the Texas Rangers. He is currently in his third year in the Big Show, working with the Rangers at home and on the road, throughout the season and in the off-season.
“Working with pro athletes is no different than any other work environment,” he said. “You must establish a genuine relationship with the human being first. With this relationship, a trust is developed, allowing you to make recommendations to training and overall health and fitness.
“They don’t care what you know unless they know that you care.”
Growing up in Pueblo and playing his heart out at the Runyon Complex, Albert always envisioned something bigger beyond the city limits: namely, baseball diamonds in the most prestigious facilities in the world.
“I had dreamed about this, not knowing if it would happen but never saying it would not happen,” he said. “My mom and dad never allowed me to not dream and always told me I could achieve whatever I wanted in this world if I worked for it. I always believed with a little luck and relentless work ethic, things work themselves out.”
Now, Albert offers that same advice for young people similarly shooting for the stars.
“Never let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve a goal,” he said. “Second, know the world owes you nothing. Good things will happen and bad things will happen. It’s how you respond to the bad which will define you.
“Don’t get bitter, get better, and work relentlessly to not be the student but the teacher: learning every day to get better.”