Israel Sanchez was born in Falcon Lasvias, Cuba in 1962. He came to the United States when he was six and attended Von Steuben High School.
He played sixteen-inch softball for
the Thrashers, Red Dog, the 45s,
Windy City, and Sage at parks throughout the Chicago area. He
was selected MVP at Forest Park
twice and was the MVP at the 2001
ASA Nationals. Teams he played on
have won five state titles, seven ASA National titles and five Forest Park No-Glove Nationals championships.
He was the captain of the great 45s teams.
Israel was an ASA All-American twelve times, a USSSA All-American once, and was selected as a USSSA All- Defender player. In 2013, the ASA named him as one of
the top twenty-two players of the past fifty years.
Many softball experts consider Israel to be one of the best first basemen in sixteen-inch softball history. Some have compared his talents at first base to a master chef who can cook a meal with everything in complete synchronization.
Israel was drafted as a pitcher by the Kansas City Royals in the 1982 amateur draft. He pitched at the major league level for the Royals in 1988 and 1990.
He and his wife, Angela, live in Skokie, Illinois. They have three children: Natalie, Brittany, and Anthony.