Longtime MLB player and four-time All-Star Hunter Pence is calling it career. Saturday afternoon Pence announced he is retiring as a player. He started the season with the San Francisco Giants and was released Aug. 24.
Pence, now 37, spent most of his career with the Giants and was part of their 2012 and 2014 World Series teams. He began his career with the Astros and went to the Phillies at the 2011 trade deadline before going to San Francisco at the 2012 trade deadline, where he remained through 2018. Pence revived his career with the Rangers in 2019.
Here is Pence's announcement:
If there is a signature moment in Pence's career, it's probably his dugout speech firing up the Giants prior to Game 1 of the 2012 NLCS. Check out:
In parts of 14 MLB seasons Pence authored a .279/.334/.461 batting line and a strong 30.9 WAR. He recorded 1,791 hits and 244 home runs. During his peak from 2011-14, Pence hit .281/.340/.463 and averaged 23 home runs and 3.7 WAR per season while playing 638 of 648 possible games.
As much as the production, Pence stood out for his unconventional playing style. Unconventional swing, unconventional running, unconventional throwing, you name it. He played with energy and was a joy to watch. Few players got after it the way Pence did throughout his career.
Prior to being released, Pence went 5 for 52 (.096) in his second stint with the Giants this year. He was an All-Star with the Astros (2009, 2011), Giants (2014), and Rangers (2019) and he received MVP votes every year from 2011-14.
A Hall of Famer? Of course not, but Pence was a very productive player for a very long time, and a key member of two World Series championship teams. Baseball was much more fun when he was on the field.