San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval set off a mild frenzy at St. Peter’s Parish School on Florida Street this afternoon when he showed up to talk to students about staying healthy.
“The kids went wild,” said school principal Victoria Butler. “I am sure he is going to be in every dinner conversation tonight.”
Sandoval, recuperating from a broken hamate bone, took everyone’s request for photos and autographs, according to parents at the school. Switching between Spanish and English, Sandoval told students to stay in school, eat vegetables and exercise. The 240-pound, 24-year-old Sandoval lost about 40 pounds during the off-season.
The 380 students are going to see the San Francisco Giants play the Florida Marlins this Thursday. Parents and alumni bought the nosebleed tickets, and the Giants organization will give seven dollars from each ticket back to the school, Butler said.
Sandoval met with the students at the playground area, which was set up with exercise stations. The idea was that Sandoval would show the kids a few exercise routines, but that didn’t happen. “He didn’t exercise because he was busy taking photos,” Butler said.
It wasn’t just the kids who were excited — many parents showed up covered in Giants apparel.
Milton Lemus, who was wearing a Giants shirt and cap, said he was excited to see Sandoval, but his fourth-grade son was disappointed that Lou Seal did not show up.
Carlos Guerrero, a parent and a Dodgers fan, said he respects Sandoval because he’s very down-to-earth. “It was good he came, because kids look up to him,” Guerrero said. “He was a very patient guy and took a photo with my daughter.”
Even as Sandoval exited the school, he happily posed for photos with school staff, parents and reporters.
“I just want kids to stay on the right path,” Sandoval said. Then three police officers escorted him to his white Camaro, and he was gone.