Remember the best Backyard Sports player in the history of the video game franchise? If you don't, Pablo "Secret Weapon" Sanchez was that guy in the early 2000s. Sanchez has one thing in common with current MLB player Shohei Ohtani. They can both do damn near everything.
Shohei Ohtani came from Japan to play in the MLB this season and was touted as the "Japanese Babe Ruth." He hit 22 homers and 67 runs batted in in 2016. Those are considered average numbers for players that are considered to be "hitters."
Here's the thing; he's a pitcher. In the same year, he also had a 1.86 earned run average in 20 starts. The guy can do everything.
So can Pablo Sanchez.
In Backyard Baseball 1997, Pablo started his career with four baseballs in all categories except for pitching, which he still had an impressive three baseballs. Not bad for your rookie year. Right off the bat (sorry...) his nickname was "secret weapon" and for good reason. Need some runs? Make sure Pablo gets up this inning. Need to pitch a gem? Make sure he's today's starter.
In Backyard Baseball 2001 and 2003, skill ratings went to a best-out-of-10-baseballs format, and Pablo still dominated the rest of the backyard roster. He had a 10/10 hitting and fielding rating, 9/10 running rating, and a 5/10 pitching rating. The pitching dropped a little bit but to be that dominating at hitting and still being able to be a solid four or five inning starter or possible reliever/closer, it's impressive.
Then, everything changed. Pablo became the prototype he strived for since his rookie season. In Backyard Baseball 2005, with an added contact rating, he proved that he can stand the test of time and came out as once again the number one pick in every pickup game backyard roster draft. A 10/10 in running, 9/10 in power and contact, and a 7/10 in pitching and defense proved that Pablo trained in his 2004 year off to better his stuff on the mound, while also putting up numbers at the plate. He's even been considered "quite possibly the greatest Backyard athlete of all time" in Backyard Hockey 2002, after receiving a perfect 10/10 in every skill rating in that video game.
Which brings me back to Shohei Ohtani and his striking resemblance to Mr. Sanchez.
Ohtani is the first MLB player we have seen of his kind. His combo of great pitching and hitting in a game where literally every other player in the league picks one of those to constantly work shows his completeness as an athlete. He is revolutionizing baseball.
And Sanchez? He is the epitome of many things athletes have merely tried to replicate in their careers, including "dual-sport athlete," "all-around player," and "G.O.A.T."
I'm not saying that they are the same person, but they very well could be, and that's enough reason for me to believe that, despite their minor differences, Shohei Ohtani is Pablo Sanchez, and Pablo Sanchez is Shohei Ohtani.
- Ohatni, Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG
- Pablo Sanchez, Twitter.com/yaboypablo and Backyard Baseball™ 2005
Pablo's stats (Bottom Left/Right)
- Left - Backyard Sports Wiki, Pablo Sanchez, and Backyard Baseball™ 1997
- Right - Backyard Sports Wiki, Pablo Sanchez, and Backyard Baseball™ 2001/2003