Aurilia began his career in the Rangers organization but was traded to San Francisco for John Burkett in December 1994. Although he expected to inherit the Giants’ shortstop job when Royce Clayton was dealt after the 1995 season, Aurilia was forced to share the position with fellow Brooklyn native Shawon Dunston in 1996 and with Jose Vizcaino in 1997.
Aurilia was tabbed to split playing time again in 1998 — this time with veteran Rey Sanchez — but by the end of the season he had convinced the Giants he could handle the full-time job. In 1999, he appeared in 152 games and set career highs in homers (22) as well as errors (28). His home run tally was the most ever by a San Francisco shortstop, eclipsing Daryl Spencer’s 17 in 1958, but was one short of Alvin Dark‘s franchise record, set in 1953.