Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Al "Sandy" Sandillo


Date and Place of Birth: August 7, 1926 West Springfield, Massachusetts

Died: October 15, 2005 West Springfield, Massachusetts

Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Gunner’s Mate, Second Class
Military Unit: US Navy

Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations


Albert D “Sandy" Sandillo was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts on August 7, 1926. He played high school and baseball and with local teams before enlisting with the US Navy in 1943.


Sandillo served as a Gunner’s Mate, Second Class, remaining in service until 1947. During that time he served aboard the USS Dent and the USS McComb. He was very active in baseball while with the Navy and played on the Navy Bombers all-star team.


After leaving military service, Sandillo briefly pursued a professional baseball career before focusing his attention to his wife and family.


In 1949, Sandillo was back in the military, enlisting in the Air Force. He graduated as a weather observer at Chanute Field, Illinois, with the rank of staff sergeant and was assigned to Okinawa, Japan, and Guam. He was later assigned to the Director of Intelligence Office in Tokyo, Japan, where he played baseball for the Far East Air Force team at Stateside Park in Tokyo.


After leaving the Air Force in 1952, Sandillo worked for the Canteen Corporation in West Springfield for 31 years and retired in 1984. He was a coach and manager of the American Legion Post 207 West Springfield baseball team, where he taught both his sons to play the game.


His son, Bill, went on to play baseball at the American International College in Springfield, and signed with the Cincinnati Reds. Although Bill’s playing career was hampered by injuries he remained in professional baseball for 15 years and was with the 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks as one of the original coaches to start the Diamondbacks’ training center. Bill is the founder and CEO for Predator Performance Sports Management and Predator Training Camps, a company geared toward instructing and developing young baseball players.



Albert Sandillo passed away on October 15, 2005, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, aged 79. He is buried at the Massachusetts Veteran Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, Massachusetts.


Thanks to Al Sandillo's son, Bill Sandillo of Predator Training Camps USA, for photos and help with this biography.


Created May 26, 2007.



Copyright © 2007 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.