MLB All-Star Hunter Pence retiring after championship career
Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career when you have to say: I am retiring from baseball.
Forever thankful and Gr8ful. pic.twitter.com/XoYTsLkOlu
— Hunter Pence (@hunterpence) September 26, 2020
Pence, a four-time All-Star with four different teams, turned 37 this year and had only played 17 games for the scrappy San Francisco Giants. Pence was only amassed five hits through 56 plate appearances in 2020—though two of those hits were home runs.
During his storied career, Pence won two World Series rings with the Giants in 2012 and 2014. Pence’s performance in the 2014 World Series will likely be remembered as the zenith of his career, as the 31-year-old hit .444 with five RBI and three doubles on the way to a thrilling Game 7 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Royals All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon, meanwhile, announced his own retirement last week.
Pence burst onto the scene at age 24 in 2007 with the Houston Astros, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting. Throughout his career, Pence amassed 244 home runs, 942 RBI and 1,791 hits with a rock-solid .279 batting average.
This is rather surprising timing for Pence, as the Giants are still in the running for a wild card position in the National League thanks to the MLB’s plans to expand the playoff field to eight teams. While six NL teams have already clinched playoff berths, the Giants are in a tight race for the final two spots with a bevy of teams including the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers.
Though Pence opted not to stick out for the Giants this season, they would not have collected two World Series rings in a three-year period without him—and all of the fanbases he played for will likely remember him fondly.