Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Player to be Named Later

When I was young, I always thought trades that included A Player to be Named Later were always a little odd.  I thought how could a team agree to a trade without knowing who they would get back in return.  I wasn't knowledgeable enough to understand salary dumps, the length of minor league seasons, prearranged lists of possible players or any other complexities of the business side of baseball.

Back in 1985 the Giants made a trade that involved a different type of Player to be Named Later.  They traded their best player, All-Star Jack Clark, the the Cardinals in exchange for Dave LaPoint, David Green, Gary Rajsich and Jose Gonzalez.  I wasn't happy about the trade at the time, Clark was a fan favorite.  The trade took an interesting turn when Gonzalez, almost immediately after the trade, changed his name to Jose Uribe.

He told the press that there were too many Gonzalez's in baseball. Gonzalez was his father's family name so he changed his name to his mother's family name of Uribe.  I guess it worked out okay, I recall many a day at Candlestick Park where half the crowd would shout "U (oooh)" while the other half would follow with "Ribe (ree bay)".  It was fun but you had to be there I guess.

He was the starting SS for the Giants for about 8 years sandwiched between short stints with the Cardinals and Astros.  Sadly Jose died in a car crash back in 2006.

I recently finished off my 1988 Topps Big team set with this nice Jose Uribe card:

When checking out the back, his full named reminded me of what Coach Rocky Bridges called "The Ultimately Player to be Named Later".


  1. I had never heard about this anecdote - that makes for a fascinating bit of trivia! I can't help but be reminded of good ol' David Arias...

  2. I remember attending games at Candlestick Park and the "oooh" "ree bay" chant.

  3. Lots of good memories going to Candlestick. My favorite infield was the Clark, Thompson, Uribe, and Brown. Although... Mitchell was pretty exciting to watch too.

  4. I seem to remember that he wanted to be known as "Uribe Gonzalez" at one point too, but ultimately settled on Jose Uribe. Picked up an autographed 89 Fleer of his for my WS team auto set...thought it would take a long time to find it since he passed on a few years ago. Wasn't David Green supposed to be the gem in that trade????