Emotion, class distinguish ’89 reunion
SAN FRANCISCO — Saturday was one of those fabulously clear days in the Bay Area that made it possible to see the East Bay from AT&T Park in great detail.
A few Giants fans might have had their vision blurred by tears.
The Giants’ on-field tribute to the 1989 National League Championship team unfolded in predictable fashion, with players, coaches and manager Roger Craig ringing the infield and Will Clark receiving the most applause.
A couple of features, however, made this event stand out.
One spot where the players stood, just to the shortstop side of second base, remained conspicuously empty after all the players were introduced. Those who were paying attention could figure out what would happen next: A tribute to shortstop Jose Uribe, who died in December 2006. Indeed, out came Giants infielder Juan Uribe, Jose’s cousin, who escorted Uribe’s widow, Wendy, and daughter, Dasha.
Uribe’s double-play partner, the classy Robby Thompson, honored his teammate and friend in a brief address. “Jose Uribe will always be remembered and never be forgotten,” Thompson said.
After the Giants’ 5-2 victory, Juan Uribe said he felt emotional upon representing Jose, who he called a big help when he was learning baseball as a youth. Juan Uribe, who contributed an RBI single to the Giants’ seventh-inning rally, called Jose one of his heroes.
Moments later, Dave Dravecky, who needs no introduction, was at the microphone. His story is so compelling that he commands attention whenever he speaks. Paraphrasing Lou Gehrig’s famed “luckiest man” speech, Dravecky said, “Dave Dravecky feels like the most blessed man in the world to be able to play for this organization and for you, the Giants fans.”
Only a Dodger fan would fail to be at least somewhat moved by Dravecky.
Afterward, current Giants Randy Winn, Rich Aurilia, Aaron Rowand and Barry Zito distributed gifts from the club to the ’89 alumni. Then came Clark and Kevin Mitchell to throw ceremonial first pitches.
Too bad they couldn’t have taken a few swings.
– Chris Haft