Judge Sánchez: From Baseball Diamond to the Bench
As a young man, U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sánchez was passionate about baseball, not the law. But his love of the sport helped the Puerto Rican native assimilate to life in New York City, and eventually find his way to the federal bench.
Sánchez’s story is told in a new “Pathways to the Bench,” a U.S. Courts video series in which federal judges talk about how their life histories helped prepare them to serve justice. The video is being released in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
Appointed in 2004 to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Sánchez recalled how he was inspired by the 1972 death of Puerto Rican baseball legend Roberto Clemente, whose plane crashed as he tried to deliver relief supplies following a massive earthquake in Nicaragua.
“He was a person with a wonderful heart, and that made an impression upon me,” said Sánchez, who played organized baseball in high school and college. He eventually took up the law as a way to help others. Sánchez tells young people that “practice, practice, practice, practice makes perfect. Don’t find shortcuts, because the one thing I can guarantee you is that there are no shortcuts to success.”
Watch other videos in the Pathways to the Bench series. While intended for all audiences, the Pathways videos are especially inspiring to high school students and youth groups to overcome obstacles on the way to achieving dreams.