Giants show support at service for Torres' wife

Former outfielder lost his spouse, Soannie, to cancer last week

Giants show support at service for Torres' wife

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- The Giants' family gathered Tuesday to embrace Andres Torres, literally and figuratively, at a memorial service for the former outfielder's wife.

Soannie Torres died of a rare form of cancer last Wednesday at 37. Standing at the pulpit at St. Matthew Catholic Church, the site of the memorial, Torres, 38, told the audience that he and Soannie met in Puerto Rico when he was 15 and she was 14.

"I was her first love and she was my first love," Torres said. "My only love."

During his tribute to Soannie, Torres switched to Spanish, but little translation was needed. He poured out his love for her, which he promised would remain eternal. Indeed, shortly before Soannie died, she and Torres renewed their wedding vows.

"It was beautiful," he said, relating that he placed a flower in Soannie's hands after that event.

Following the memorial, Torres exchanged hugs with and received condolences from everyone who approached him.

Numerous members from various branches of the Giants organization attended the service, including Larry Baer, club president and chief executive officer; Brian Sabean, executive vice president of baseball operations; right-hander Matt Cain, the team's longest-tenured player; Ron Wotus, bench coach; Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper, broadcasters; Dave Groeschner and Anthony Reyes, athletic trainers; Mike Murphy, longtime clubhhouse manager; and Taira Uematsu, bullpen catcher.

Manager Bruce Bochy was participating in a charitable endeavor out of town. General manager Bobby Evans was absent due to a personal obligation, but his wife, Gwen, was in attendance. Also present was Alissa Sanchez, wife of former second baseman Freddy Sanchez.

Torres endeared people to him during his Giants tenure (2009-11, 2013) with his earnest attitude and sincere friendliness. His last season in the big leagues was 2013.

He contributed to San Francisco's 2010 World Series triumph, compiling a .268/.343/.479 slash line with a 5.3 WAR, 16 homers, 63 RBIs and team highs in doubles (43), triples (eight) and stolen bases (26). The switch-hitter also batted .350 in the National League Championship Series against Philadelphia and .318 in the World Series against Texas.

That year, Torres won the "Willie Mac" Award as the team's most inspirational player.

The Torreses have two children: son Diego, 12, and daughter Mia, 4.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.