Former Manatee High football and baseball standout Cord Sandberg returned to Bradenton on Thursday afternoon in front of about 40 fans at Pirate City as a member of the Gulf Coast League Phillies.
Sandberg, who played center field and batted second, struck out in his first plate appearance against GCL Pirates pitcher Mervin Del Rosario. But leading off the fourth inning, Sandberg bunted down the first-base line and beat out a hit, igniting a six-run rally. He later came around to score on a Matt Tolbert triple. The Phillies batted around, and Sandberg walked later in the inning. In the top of the seventh inning, Sandberg was called out on strikes. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 6-3.
Sandberg was the 89th overall pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 7. He received a $775.000 signing bonus and joined the rookie league GCL Phillies. After his fifth game, Sandberg is hitting .300 with a home run and two stolen bases.
Read more about Sandberg's return to Bradenton in Friday's editions of the Bradenton Herald.