02/21/2007 12:18 PM ET
Aurilia's wife seeks hits, too
By George Castle / MLBPLAYERS.com
Usually a baseball player's wife is her husband's best publicist, but roles aren't that hard and fast in the household of Rich Aurilia.
Rich Aurilia is expected to see a lot of time at first base for the Giants. (George Nikitin/AP)
He doesn't mind being the front man for wife Raquel. In fact, he'd probably like to be her roadie one day.
Raquel Aurilia is an aspiring pop singer, but she's not in the music business for pure profit. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast, the Aurilias donated $1,700 in proceeds of Great American Ball Park sales of her CD "The Need" to relief efforts.
"We thought that would help people who were hurt by the hurricane," Aurilia said. "There was such a need for help. I'm glad we were able to do something."
Raquel Aurilia's passion is music, so her husband supports her in her career as she has done in his.
"We started this (music business) out on our own, so all the finances came from us personally," Rich Aurilia said. "Right now, [we're working on] several distribution deals in the United Kingdom and the Philippines. She's trying to pursue this, so when I'm done she can go out and tour. I wouldn't mind going to the UK and seeing some concerts."
But there will be no duets.
"I'm lucky I know how to whistle, let alone sing," Aurilia said.
However, Raquel has teamed up with others. Last June, she and Rich's Reds teammate, Bronson Arroyo, held a benefit concert for the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund.
Rich first had to establish himself in baseball before he and his wife could help others. An underrated power-hitting shortstop with the Giants, Aurilia was described by his former manager, Dusty Baker, as "my clutch guy." Aurilia had 42 homers total in 1999 and 2000.
But while Barry Bonds attracted all the attention with his 73-homer season in 2001, Aurilia quietly belted 37 homers while driving in 97 runs. For good measure, he had 206 hits, batted .324 and scored 114 runs.
All the while, the Aurilias were active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which tries to bring brightness to the lives of desperately ill children. Raquel raised almost $30,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation by finishing the 1999 New York and 2002 Honolulu marathons.
Her initial efforts in music also helped. Meanwhile, Rich Aurilia's work for the foundation earned him the Giants' 2002 Roberto Clemente Award.
"When we played in San Francisco for nine years, we were big with the Make-A-Wish Foundation," Aurilia said. "Then, when she started in music a few years ago, she decided she might as well do it for a good cause. She wasn't out to make a ton of money. She was going to have fun with it. Some proceeds of her CD went to Make-A-Wish."
The Aurilias kept their Bay Area philanthropic connections solid even after Rich left as a free agent for the Seattle Mariners to start the 2004 season, then moved to San Diego in a mid-season trade, and finally ended up with the Reds to start the 2005 campaign. Now, he's back in the Bay Area for a return engagement with the Giants.
"We're both big believers in Make-A-Wish," he said. "We still do stuff up in the Bay Area. It's more than just a charity. They're friends. They set up visits by kids to the ballpark and a charity dinner. They invited us They invited us back to San Francisco when they granted the 4,000th wish in the Bay Area. It's nice to see a bunch of fans I hadn't seen in a while. They appreciated us going back."
-- Red Line Editorial