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Coach Jose Sandoval enters a plea in a Burbank court

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Photo courtesy Jose Sandoval — some of the players and coaching staff

Burbank Volunteer Coach Jose Sandoval probably would have preferred to spend this morning out at a sunny park, teaching some local kids how to swing a bat or throw a baseball. Instead, Coach Sandoval was in Burbank Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. today, to face a charge of misdemeanor battery arising from an altercation during a game at McCambridge Park on May 18, 2009.

After a heated exchange over a disputed call, Sandoval says he headed for the dugout followed close on his heels by an umpire. When Sandoval turned around to face the ump, apparently the two men brushed up against each other. In most places, and with most folks, that would have been ignored. Not in this case. Sandoval got thrown out of the game and suspended from coaching for a year. Also, the Burbank City Attorney’s Office hit Sandoval with a criminal case.

I dropped by the Burbank Superior Court this morning and was surprised to find more than 50 other citizens along with Coach Sandoval, his wife Nancy and their two girls. Also, George Garcia and his two kids were there to show support for Sandoval. Folks with traffic violations got their cases heard first. As the clock ticked away, more and more defendants arrived in the courtroom to present their cases before Commissioner Dennis L. Shanklin. I was not able to stay for Coach Sandoval’s case, but he updated me this afternoon.

With a public defender representing him, Sandoval pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor battery charge and was ordered back to court on August 18, 2009 for a preliminary hearing. Sandoval is now collecting evidence and the names of witnesses to build his case and prepare for that hearing.

To say that Sandoval loves baseball is an understatement. For the past 16 years, he has been a volunteer coach for the Burbank Parks & Recreation Department. He speaks with affection about the five teams and 80 kids he coaches, or was coaching, until that controversial incident on a park field this spring. While he probably would rather be thinking about or playing baseball this evening, Sandoval is gearing up to defend himself in a criminal case.

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13 Responses to Coach Jose Sandoval enters a plea in a Burbank court

  1. Katherine Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    What a shame that this city is actually going to go through with this frivolous case. A brush-up seriously! The umpire who I assume is filing charges should be fired! He is waisting our tax dollars on his pettiness. I am sure that this will be dragged out in the hopes that Jose Sandoval throws in the towel. My hope is that he sticks with it. If for nothing else but to clear his name. Sandoval needs support. If there are any witnesses to this event please get it to him.
    Please let the judge see through this and put an end to this madness. Judge…throw this case out!!

  2. Fronnie Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm #


    I have to agree that with all the serious lawsuits and investigations facing Burbank, you’d think city officials would not have time to prosecute a little league coach over what appears to be, at the most, a lightweight infraction.

  3. Daniel G Friday, July 3, 2009 at 1:24 am #

    Nothing about this story surprises or shocks me because Burbank has been run by vindictive people for a very, very long time. Oh they smile nice and pat kids on the head and are great at kissing babies but they are ruthless at getting what they want and getting even with people. It is time for their days of power to come to an end. We have a mayor who acts vindictive toward one guy because of his dui while he himself has a dui. It’s vindictive motives that drive these people and they are evil to the bone.

  4. fan of the coach Friday, July 3, 2009 at 2:07 am #

    I am a fan of the coach and not a fan of the petty occicials that rule Burbank. I hope the coach sues them all when this is over.

  5. Duck Friday, July 3, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    You know it looks more and more like anybody that dares to question anything in this city can expect to get harrassed in some way. It’s like King Henry VIII if you complained you got beheaded. The only problem is who made these people the royal monarchs ?

  6. Gonzalez Friday, July 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    I don’t know the coach but from everything I read and hear about this whole thing it’s just not right. First he gets suspended for a season then he appeals and gets suspended for even more than a season right ? After that he comes to the City Council and he gets charged with a crime. Come on people this smacks of retaliation from the city people. The park people and the city people should all be investigated and whoever is behind this should get fired. Some people in Burbank spend way to much time getting even with people they don’t like instead of doing their jobs and that’s why the streets look like they do. The city attorney should grab a shovel and fix a pothole or something and not harass people like this.

  7. Carma Friday, July 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    I am not surprised at any of this. It is the same draconian tactic that we see over and over by the City Attorney’s office. If you present a leagl threat to the city, they discredit you by filing a trumped up battery charge. Criminal intent? Spirit of the Law?

    Have we forgotten John Brady? Meanwhile, the Burbank Police Chief, Tim Stehr is being investigated by the FBI and sued by everyone else. He still has his job! I wonder if he was a minority if that would make a difference?

    This is just another example of the dirty plays handed down from members of the Burbank City government.

  8. Fronnie Friday, July 3, 2009 at 3:42 pm #


    Good points. I really wonder who decided that prosecuting Coach Sandoval was a good idea?

    By the way, there is still a glitch or two in the comments system on my blog. Meaning your comments are posting slower than usual. Sorry about that. Hopefully, the web tech folks will fix it soon.

  9. Ryan C Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    The highest odds are on some long time and powerfull council member wispering into the city attorney’s ear prosecut ethis guy and make him go away.

  10. smtena Monday, July 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    I certainly wish the coach the best and hope he prevails over the city and the parks department on this one.

  11. Al in SoCal Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Which person in the picture is Coach Sandoval – the right or left one? Just curious.


    Al in SoCal

  12. Fronnie Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Al in SoCal,

    Coach Sandoval is in the back row—far left in the blue T-shirt.

  13. Audra Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

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