Skip to main content

Jose Uribe, RIP

I was sad to hear that former Giants shortstop Jose Uribe died on Friday and that went beyond the sadness that comes with the hearing that someone died too young.

During my time in college, I was very involved with the campus radio station as its sports director and play-by-play announcer. During one of our weekly board of director meetings, it was announced that one of our board members would have the name of his title changed slightly. As we went around the table, each director congratulated the board member on the title change in a humorous manner.

When it got to my turn, I knew I had to trump those who previously came before me. So I said something to the effect of "There was once a major league baseball player in the 80s named Jose Gonzalez who got frustrated because it seemed that there were many baseball players with that name. So he changed his name to Jose Uribe (Uribe being his mom's maiden name). I hope you have better luck with your name change than he did with his."

Well, that drew a lot of laughs, and for the next two years, it was something frequently brought up. At the end of one year, I was given a certificate as winner of "The Jose Uribe Award" for my knowledge of silly sports trivia. I have a sheet signed by my radio colleagues and one of the inscriptions reads "We'll always remember Jose Uribe."

Since then, Uribe has become a symbol, for me and my college friends, representing my love of baseball trivia. Within hours of his death, I got e-mails from two of my radio colleagues, both making sure that I knew of his passing. When I heard the news on the radio this afternoon, it definitely had an impact, though not as great as it had in the Dominican Republic, where Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero led a parade of mourners through the streets.

I was at least glad to read that Jose Uribe was more successful than I gave him credit for. He ran for mayor, owned a hardware store, and had 14 children. "Uribe was a very loved person in Juan Baron. He was like the lord of the town," Glovis Reyes, a former member of the Dominican Congress told the Associated Press.

I'm in the midst of reading an excellent book, Braniac, by Jeopardy uberchampion Ken Jennings, which features stories of "Adventures in the Curious, Comeptitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs" along with anecdotes from Jennings' jeopardy appearances and a thorough background on the history of trivia. It is a fun, easy, educational read, and I strongly encourage those interested to read it. I mention this because it has made me think about what trivia means to me.

I think that one of the best things about baseball is that every piece of trivia (such as the changing of a player's name) has relevance, not just within the context of the game itself, and no matter how silly or irrelevant it seems. I have enjoyed sharing the discovery of that kind of information with others That was something I enjoyed doing in college a dozen years ago and it's something I still enjoy doing today, particularly in some of the essays I write on this site. Thank you for indulging me with your readership.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls

The 'Duca of Earl (and walk-offs)

If I told you that the Mets had just obtained a guy who is a career .316 hitter with runners in scoring position? How about if I told you that the Mets just traded for a hitter who has consistently ranked among the toughest in baseball to strike out? Or if I mentioned that the Mets just dealt for a player who was selected to the NL All-Star team the last three seasons, with the last honor coming via a vote by his peers? So, although he's on the down side age wise, his throwing arm isn't as good as it used to be, and he doesn't provide much power, there are a lot of good things that Paul Lo Duca brings to the New York Mets. For example: He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team The Dodgers and Braves squared off on August 23, 2002 and Lo Duca made an impact both on the start and finish of this game. Three pitches after being dusted by Greg Maddux, Lo Duca made him pay with a first-inning home run. The Braves rallied to tie the game, 3-3 in the ninth, but thei

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for