Friday, December 08, 2006

No way, Jose

I was shocked and saddened to learn today of the passing of former San Francisco Giants shortstop Jose Uribe, a mainstay of the team for nearly a decade. Uribe died early this morning in a motor vehicle accident in his native Dominican Republic. He was only 47.

Anyone who attended a Giants home game in the late '80s and early '90s vividly remembers the chant that would erupt from the Candlestick Park stands every time Uribe made a great play in the infield. One side of the stadium would shout, "OOOOOOOO!" Then the other side would respond, "REEE-BAYYY!" Back and forth the chant would resound, until people got bored again.

When the Giants acquired Jose Altagracia Gonzalez Uribe from St. Louis as part of the Jack Clark trade in 1985, sportwriters referred to the diminutive shortstop as "the player to be named later." The joke alluded to the fact that as a Cardinal in his rookie year, he was known as "Jose Gonzalez." When traded to San Francisco, he decided that "Jose Gonzalez" was too nondescript an identity for a ballplayer of his caliber, and announced that he wanted to be called "Uribe Gonzalez." That lasted a few days, at which point he determined that he liked being called "Jose Uribe" better. And so Jose Uribe he remained.

Never much of a batsman, but a pretty solid defensive shortstop, by the time Uribe reached his final Giants season he had put on weight to the degree that even his fielding was compromised. He played out the string in Houston with a lackluster campaign in 1993.

My condolences to Jose's family — the guy had 14 children, so baseball definitely wasn't his only sport — and his many fans.

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2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Gooch offered these pearls of wisdom...

As one who was at a number of those Giants game at Candlestick during the late 80s/early 90s, I was really saddened to hear this yesterday morning. First time I'd heard Uribe's name mentioned in years, actually. Too bad it had to be about something like this.

14 kids? Wow!

5:28 AM  
Blogger Janet offered these pearls of wisdom...

This is so off topic but what the hell, I dont know anything about baseball.

I had a kid named Jose in my class one year. I desperately wanted to say "No Way Jose!" a number of times, but resisted:)

10:32 AM  

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