The 24th round pick of the Texas Rangers in the 1992 amateur draft, Aurilia worked in the Rangers minor league system before being traded with first baseman Desi Wilson to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher John Burkett in 1994.
High School and College
Before being drafted by Texas, Aurilia was a standout at St. John's University, where he represented the Red Storm as an All-Big East selection in 1992.
Aurilia is also a graduate of Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, New York and University of Texas. He was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame, and his number 22 was retired by local baseball league, Our Lady of Grace.
Major League Career
Aurilia made his major league debut on September 6, 1995 as a defensive replacement in a game against the Montréal Expos. This would begin his long, solid run as the Giants shortstop. 2001 would prove to be a banner year for Aurilia as he collected an National League best 206 hits, all leading to a .324 batting average with 37 home runs, 97 RBIs, an NL All-Star nod, and a Silver Slugger Award.
Production trailed off in 2002, but Aurilia shined once again in San Francisco's failed 2002 run for a World Championship. In 14 postseason games that season, he batted .296, with 5 homers and 14 RBIs (an NL record for a shortstop in the postseason).
After more offensive stagnation in 2003, the Giants severed their nine-year relation with the shortstop, granting him free agency on October 27. Soon after, Aurilia signed on with the Seattle Mariners to patrol the M's infield. The lifetime National Leaguer could not get a grip on American League pitching, and was dealt to the San Diego Padres. He continued to struggle in spacious PETCO Park, and was not tendered a contract for 2005.
Needing a veteran infielder, the Reds signed Aurilia to a minor league contract, on January 22, 2005. The versatile infielder played well for the Reds collecting 14 home runs and 68 RBIs as Cincinnati's shortstop, second baseman, and third baseman. The Reds then re-signed him on January 8, 2006.
Aurilia served as an everyday player spending time rotating between shortstop, second base, first base and third base for the Reds in 2006.
In the 2006 offseason, Aurilia signed a two-year, $8 million contract with his old team, the Giants. During the 2007 season, he has played mostly at first base, partially in a platoon with Ryan Klesko, but has filled in the other infield positions (mostly third base) in several games as well. He has also been frequently called upon to pinch hit.
On June 19, the Giants placed Aurilia on the 15-day disabled list due a neck injury that has been slow to heal, limiting his range of movement and causing headaches. At the time, he was batting only .236 with two home runs. Aurilia returned to the Giants' lineup on July 4, hitting a home run in a 9-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
- On June 14, 1997, during his first stint with the Giants, Aurilia hit the first-ever grand slam in interleague play at the expense of the Anaheim Angels' Allen Watson, a former teammate. The Giants went on to win the game 10-3.
- Aurilia appeared on the ABC soap opera General Hospital in 2003. For his non-speaking role as Juror No. 9 in a court room scene, he was accompanied by his wife, Raquel (Juror No. 10).
- The Aurilias are very active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Roberto Clemente Award nominee (S.F. Giants -- 2002)
- National League All-Star (2001)
- Silver Slugger Award (2001)
- Led NL in hits (2001, 206)
- Led NL SS in home runs and RBI (1999-2001)
- List of NL Silver Slugger Winners at Shortstop
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time