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11/19/2007 12:10 PM ET
Raquel Aurilia launches pop career
Wife of Giants first baseman has her first hit -- on album charts
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Raquel Aurilia's debut album features a variety of well-crafted, ethereal pop tunes. (Raquel Aurilia)
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Rich Aurilia is a veteran player for the San Francisco Giants with quite a few good years left in his accomplished career. His wife, Raquel, is an up-and-coming singer who just released her first album.

The Aurilias have been traveling all over the country for years on Rich's baseball schedule, bunking in team hotels, sitting on endless charter flights and living within the confines of a 162-game summer.

And according to the two of them, that might not change when Rich's playing days come to an end.

"We've got it pretty much all figured out already," Raquel says with a laugh. "Richie says that when he retires, he'll drive my tour bus."

All kidding aside, it might not be such a bad gig for her husband.

Raquel's debut album, Finding My Way, attracted veteran producer Tony Papa (Survivor, Weird Al Yankovic, Sylvie Vartan, James Brown) and was released on Shea Records, which has national distribution through Fontana/Universal.

The first single "Feels Like," rocketed to the top of the Adult Contemporary radio charts, cracking the Radio and Records (R&R) Top 30 and Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Top 30 chart. With this accomplishment, Raquel has joined superstars Avril Lavigne, John Mayer, Lifehouse, Santana and LeAnn Rimes.

Also, Raquel appeared on the bill for the Phoenix stop of B.B. King's 80th birthday tour, when the legendary bluesman brought down the sold-out Dodge Theatre. 

"I'm very thankful for what's happening, especially since I'm really in the beginning stages of my career," Raquel says. "Right now, my goal is to get more and more shows and just make more music and see where it takes me."

The 10 songs on Finding My Way take the listener through a soundscape of well-crafted, ethereal pop with an occasional hard edge and a more-than-occasional unique spin on something tried and true.

Raquel, who says she's started working on writing her own songs and says she's going after more of an "R&B feel" for her next project, selected the tracks on her debut album carefully with Papa at her side.

Two are cover songs. One is a faithful yet modern and more tranquil reading of one of Raquel's favorite 1970s radio hits, "Dream Weaver," and the other is a very contemporary take on the ubiquitous 1960s protest song popularized by Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth," that includes a guest rap by rising star Kojo.

"That song is all about what's going on in the world, and it makes a lot of sense in the current climate," Raquel said of "For What It's Worth." "It's basically about peace."

And then there are the originals, including the single "Where Was I," a pop-rock gem that builds and reaches a powerful crescendo, and "The Need," a piano-driven ballad.

"The Need" had such a spritual affect on Raquel that last year the tune was pressed as a limited-edition CD single to help benefit Hurricane Katrina victims via a fundraiser at Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds, which was Rich's team at the time.

It was in that arena that Raquel says she really saw the magic that can happen when the far-reaching powers of music and baseball come together.

"A lot of the events we've done have been charity-related, through the Reds and the Giants," Raquel says. "It's amazing to be in a situation where you can do charity work through baseball and also do the concerts and have people hear your music."

Rich Aurilia couldn't agree more. He says he loves being around the studio when Raquel is recording and can't wait to see where this new career takes her.

"It's great because my dream was always to play professional baseball in the big leagues, and I did it," he says. "And this has been a dream of hers for a long time, and it's not an easy business to get into, but she's doing it.

"For her to pursue this and get to a point where she's at and hopefully go much further, it's fantastic, and I'm really happy to be that support for her the way she's always supported me."

So, Rich, does that "support" include that future tour bus driving job?

"I think she volunteered me for that," Rich says with a laugh.

"I said I would be a roadie and go golfing."

Doug Miller is Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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