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12/08/06 5:07 PM ET

Former big leaguer Uribe dies in crash

Giants' shortstop from 1985-92, including '89 pennant winner

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was in the mid-1980s, and the Giants sported a lot of kids you had to like.

Among them were first baseman Will Clark, second baseman Robby Thompson and shortstop Jose Uribe, all gifted ballplayers who would become fan favorites and would eventually lead San Francisco to the 1987 playoffs and 1989 World Series.

Tragically, the 47-year-old Uribe was killed in a car accident Friday morning about 30 miles west of Santo Domingo in his native Dominican Republic. The Dominican National Police and the Associated Press reported that Uribe's sports utility vehicle crashed around 3 a.m., and that the cause is under investigation.

Clark, now a special assistant with the Arizona Diamondbacks, told MLB.com Friday he was saddened by the news and had great respect for Uribe personally and professionally.

"He was always happy and had a smile on his face -- he found a way to make you laugh," said Clark. "That was a great ballclub and Jose was right in the middle of it. On a baseball team, you're only as good as the middle, and he and Robby were the two rocks out there."

Uribe played for San Francisco from 1985 to 1992, hitting a personal-high .291 in 1987 and playing a solid shortstop. In his 10-season career, Uribe had a .241 average with 19 homers, 219 RBIs and 74 stolen bases.

Giants owner Peter Magowan said Friday he had been eager to talk to Uribe concerning the 20th reunion of the '87 NL West championship club next year.

"I was very saddened to hear the news of Jose's passing this morning," said Magowan in a statement. "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.

"On behalf of the Giants family, I want to pass along our condolences to his wife Wendy and his children," he said. "They are in our thoughts and prayers."

Uribe came to the Giants from the Cardinals along with David Green, Dave LaPoint and Gary Rajsich in return for Jack Clark.

Will Clark said he hadn't spoken with Uribe for years but won't forget those seasons together in San Francisco.

"He had some of the best hands you'll ever see," said Clark. "He'd pick the ball and make hard plays look easy, which at Candlestick Park wasn't easy to do. As a hitter, I think the whole time he was with the Giants, he always improved in some capacity."

The Dominican Today told the AP that Uribe was a recent candidate for mayor in Palenque Township.

There was sadness during Uribe's stint with San Francisco in 1988 when his wife Sara died of a pulmonary hypertension two days after the birth of the couple's third child.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.