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Ex-Giant Uribe killed in crash in Dominican Republic

12/8/2006 - MLB

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Former
San Francisco Giants shortstop Jose Uribe was killed early Friday in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic.

The Dominican National Police said the 47-year-old Uribe's sport
utility vehicle crashed about 3 a.m. on a highway about 30 miles
west of the capital, Santo Domingo. Police said the cause of the
crash was under investigation.

Jose Uribe owned a hardware store in his hometown of Juan Baron
in recent years, and ran unsuccessfully for mayor. Police said he
was driving to his hometown, in San Cristobal province, at the time
of the crash.

Uribe played in the major leagues from 1984-93, mostly with the
Giants. He began his career with one season in St. Louis, when he
was known as Jose Gonzalez Uribe, and ended it with one in Houston.

He had a career batting average of .241 and a fielding
percentage of .969.

Uribe's death prompted an outpouring of grief in his hometown,
where Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero led thousands
of mourners through the streets.

Guerrero blasted music out of a van as they marched from the
Uribe family home to the town's baseball field. Among the mourners
was Chicago White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe, a second cousin of Jose
Uribe and from the same town.

"I was very saddened to hear the news of Jose's passing this
morning," Giants owner Peter Magowan said. "He meant so much to
the Giants during his playing days. He was such an important part
of the team's success in the late 1980s.

"When you saw Jose on the field, he exuded happiness and pure
joy for the game and life. Personally, I was really looking forward
to catching up with him this season during the 20th reunion of the
1987 NL West championship team. On behalf of the Giants family, I
want to pass along our condolences," he said.

Sgt. Major Juan Quezada de los Santos of the National Police
said Uribe, who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene of the
crash on a mountainous road along the country's southern coast.
Quezada said a passenger in the SUV was uninjured.

Uribe's death was confirmed by Glovis Reyes, a longtime friend
of the ballplayer and a former member of the Dominican Congress.

"Uribe was a very loved person in Juan Baron. He was like the
lord of the town," Reyes said.

Uribe is survived by his second wife, Wendy Guerrero, with whom
he had four children. He had at least 14 children in all, Reyes
said.

A funeral in Juan Baron was planned for Saturday.