Someone You Should Know: Willie Sanchez
LAKE POINSETT, S.D.– Willie Sanchez knew a little bit about Major League Baseball player Edgar Martinez. Who was recently inducted into baseballs Hall of Fame. “He had a fair arm, but the son of a gun could hit,” Sanchez said.
It all started with a favor asked by Carmelo Martinez, who was playing at the Major League level at the time.
“My cousin is playing ball, he’s at double-a right now, and, he could use your help” said Sanchez
Willie Sanchez worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 12 years before becoming a sports agent, and starting his own agency. His goal was to help players, like Martinez, be prepared for life when they retired.
Sanchez said, “I was trying to prepare the players for the life after baseball because, in the position I had with the Dodgers I had to release a lot of players or the players got released, and I saw what happened.”
Sanchez said the world of being a sports agent was a nasty one. He told the story of when he tried to get Edgar Martinez 11 million dollars a year instead of 10.75 million dollars a year to stay in Seattle.
“He literally picked up the phone and threw it, I mean, that was before cell phones right and it go whoom and it disconnect. Then the phone rang, and it was Lee, okay, what’s it going to take and this is it right now and I said, well, if you could get to 12. What?! He called me every name in the book” Sanchez recalled.
After years of being a sports agent and being a division one basketball referee, he knew it was time to move on. Some folks might recognize for what he moved on to, being the athletic director at the University of Sioux Falls.
Sanchez said, “It was a lot of fun, I mean it was challenging. But we managed to, you know, build new facilities, we managed to go from NAIA to division two.”
After 10 years of that. He is now retired on the north shore of Lake Poinsett.
Sanchez gave a call to Edgar Martinez to congratulate him on being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He said that Martinez is a man of few words and responded saying, “Yeah. It’s pretty cool.”
Willie Sanchez and his wife Linda will be traveling to Cooperstown in this upcoming June to watch Martinez’s induction into baseballs Hall of Fame.