Dale Says

October 2, 2009

Tribute to Richie

Filed under: Colorful Characters, Profile — Dale @ 11:19 am

Yesterday was a beautiful day at the phone company ballpark and Rich Auriela made what will probably be his last start as a Giant.  The fans gave him a terrific tribute, with standing ovations each time he came to bat, and again when Bochy removed him after warmups in the 9th inning.  It was an emotional day for us (as Richie fans) and for his fellow players, many of whom gave him a big hug as he ran off the field in the ninth inning. 

Rich was a key member of the Giants during the golden days of 1997-2004, when the Giants averaged 92 victories per season, won three division titles, forced a Wild Card playoff game, and won the Wild Card enroute to the World Series.  Aurilia spent 11 of his 14 seasons with the Giants, including the first seven years of that eight-year stretch. During virtually all of that span, Aurilia was San Francisco’s everyday shortstop, a fixture in the lineup with Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, and J.T. Snow.

His best year was 2001 when he batted .324, hit 37 home runs, and had 97 RBIs.  His production tailed off in 2002, but he was a key member of the Giants team that nearly won the World Series.  After yesterday’s game, broadcaster Jon Miller said Richie had 17 RBIs during the 2002 playoffs.

We have a lot of good Richie memories.  One of the best is his “walk up song” when he came to bat during his best years — the theme to The Soprano’s.Â

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