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A coach is nothing without the respect of his players.
As the tried and true logic says, the best way to earn respect is to give it. Of countless examples, there is one story that stands out as perfect example of Righetti's class and faith in his players.
In 2006, rookie infielder Kevin Frandsen opened his locker to find a jersey with the No. 19 under his name. The number belonged to Dave Righetti, who wore it when pitched a no-hitter for the Yankees, and subsequently for the six years he had been employed with Giants.
As Henry Shulman writes, the No. 19 held significance outside of the diamond: "Dave's father, Leo, a fine ballplayer in his own right, died on the 19th of the month. His 14-year-old triplets, Nicolette, Natalee and Wesley, were born on the 19th."
But Frandsen's late brother DJ had also found special meaning in 19. DJ was a big Righetti fan, and subsequently gravitated to the pitcher's jersey number. DJ succumbed to cancer after battling it for most of his life—specifically, 19 years.
Jersey numbers are no small thing. Oftentimes players buy or earn their way to specific digits, like when Carlos Beltran offered manager Bruce Bochy a Rolex to take 15 off his hands (via SF Gate). For Righetti to want to honor Frandsen by giving him the number he wore as a pitcher is the ultimate show of respect.
His players have responded in-kind. For as long as Dave Righetti stalks the Giants' dugout, he will stand as the best pitching coach in the game.