Dodgers mourn cherished employee

Dodgers mourn cherished employee

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers caravan stop at City of Hope Hospital Tuesday was a moving one for Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, after the death Monday of Desiree Sanchez to breast cancer.

"This is a sad day for all of us," McCourt said before visiting cancer patients. "All I can say, on behalf of the organization, is our hearts are broken. But this is real life. That's what ThinkCure is all about. That's why our efforts in cancer research mean a lot to me and to the people in this hospital."

Sanchez was the Dodgers' manager of ticket operations and an employee since 2001.

"She was a tireless worker and was loved and respected by everybody in the organization," said vice president of ticket operations Billy Hunter. "She loved working for the Dodgers.

"When we changed from our own system to Ticketmaster, she took it upon herself to learn it and be the main programmer. She learned the ins and outs of the ticketing system."

Sanchez, who shared her battle with the disease publicly, had been chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Mother's Day the last two seasons at Dodger Stadium.

She is survived by her parents, Manuel and Helen, and three children: Jason, Serena and Paulina.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to ThinkCure in Desiree Sanchez's memory.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.