Freddy Sanchez (Andy Kuno, Glendale News Press / August 8, 2009)

Throughout the past year, the local community experienced its share of important, interesting and exciting sports stories. Some of the stories touched us, some informed us and others just entertained us.

Although many of the stories deserve recognition, a select few stood out among the others.

Chosen by the Leader, here is a list of the top 10 stories of 2010:

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1 Sanchez wins World Series with Giants: From Burbank High graduate to 2010 World Series champion.

Freddy Sanchez' nine-year Major League Baseball career, though it featured a National League batting title and three All-Star appearances, reached the pinnacle when his San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers, 3-1, in a decisive Game Five on Nov. 1 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas to clinch the World Series.

The victory was the first for the Giants franchise since 1954 and the first ever since moving from New York to San Francisco.

Sanchez was the first Burbank area player to win a World Series championship.

He ended the World Series with a .273 average, having gone six for 22 in the series. But it was Sanchez who ignited the Giants in Game One, going four for five with three runs batted in and two runs scored.

He also finished the series with his normal flawless defense, which was a highlight in the fourth game, as the former Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star made a couple of dazzling plays in the field.

But after a two-hit performance in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Sanchez came alive in the National League Championship Series, hitting .360 with nine hits in 25 at-bats.

For the postseason as a whole, Sanchez started all 14 games, batting second and playing second base.

He hit a combined 17 for 63 (.270) with 21 total bases, four doubles, four RBI, one walk and five runs.

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2 Softball team makes it to Little League World Series title game: A group of Burbank 11- and 12-year-olds made history by advancing to the 2010 Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Ore.

The World Series appearance was historic, as the Lady Legends were the first squad from the Burbank Little League to advance to the international tournament in the nine-year history of the organization.

Unfortunately, the Burbank Major All-Stars lost, 8-6, to a team from Warner Robbins, Ga. — the defending champions — in the championship.

With the team down by four runs, and down to its final out, in the bottom of the final inning in the championship game, Burbank refused to call it quits. Instead, the Lady Legends battled back and embarked on a comeback attempt that yielded two runs. However, with the tying run at the plate and a runner on first base, Burbank committed the final out.

Along with making it to the championship, the Lady Legends also enjoyed another first when they captured the Western Region Tournament title. In addition, the team also won Section 2 and District 16 championships.

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