We just debuted “McDeep Dive”, our new series that will spotlight one Giants player every day for a week. We’ll move backwards and forwards through time, look at on the field stuff, off the field stuff, and see if we can learn something new about them. Here’s part 3 of this week’s subject, Hunter Pence.
There’s not a whole lot I feel like strangers on the internet can agree to, but I think one of them is that Hunter Pence is, and always will be, a Good Giant. His alien-like energy (have we confirmed he’s an actual earthling yet or...?) and spiritual goodness are well-known amongst Giants fans though it seems like it’s been somewhat subdued this season with Pence spending substantial time in the minors to rehab his thumb.
Well, not any freaking more. Sunday’s walk-off may seem like just another victory but the uplift it gave the fans and Hunter’s teammates was pretty darn special. I mean, just look at how happy Johnny Cueto is, bunny-hopping across the field in pure joy:
It reminded me how crazy, unique, and “out there” Hunter Pence is. In other words, he’s what I would describe as over-the-top or “extra”.
And because it’s fun, I wanted to take a look back through some of his most extra moments in San Francisco to remember why our Alien Overlord is so special.
I feel like Hunter is not a guy you just have a regular friendship with - in other words, he’s not just be a guest at your wedding, he’ll also be the best man, officiate the ceremony, and have a signature cocktail named after him. If you know Hunter Pence, you are probably best friends. Just ask Pablo Sandoval, who when writing the Burn Book for San Francisco on his way out to Boston, excluded only Hunter Pence and Bruce Bochy from his wrath. Their friendship is well-documented:
And is it even possible to mention Hunter Pence’s storied bromances without highlighting Michael Morse? Sometimes the thought of how pure a friendship must be that’s based on nothing but acting like a big-kid and probably trading action figures brings a tear to my eye.
And while friendships like the ones between Pablo/Hunter and Morse/Hunter are unique, there’s something very special about a Good Friend as well (see what I did there):
On the field
Sure, it doesn’t exactly look graceful, but Hunter has made some very extra plays in the outfield in his career and to be honest, I don’t care how the sausage is made, I just want him to catch the sausage. Or something. I don’t know. Whatever.
Also, the facial expressions are 10/10, would watch again.
My personal fav is when he saved Tim Lincecum’s first no-no with this incredible display of heart and hustle:
Followed up with this incredibly giddy and proud-of-himself smile:
With the bat
Pence has tinkered with his swing a little bit this season but it still looks like all his limbs are connected loosely with velcro. And sometimes he’s also been known to swing so hard he falls over. It’s a lot, guys.
Thankfully, he can make fun of himself as well:
Hunter isn’t terribly good at keeping his feelings under wraps, especially when the feeling is “OHMYGODIMEXCITED”. His celebrations are always highly GIFable and 100% enjoyable.
Nah, he’s not gonna just do your typical ol’ “Go Get ‘Em Boys” speech. Hunter Pence gonna Hunter Pence and he’s gonna scream into a scrum and throw sunflower seeds everywhere and spray beer in people’s faces:
Hunter just being Hunter
There are certain things Hunter does that just don’t fall within anyone category. Like this. What is this?
or that time Hunter turned into the American flag and it was 50% patriotic, 50% creep-eyes
But overall, the best part of Pence is just how happy he is to play the game and bring his weird-self to ballpark every day. May you live long and prosper on our planet, Hunter Pence.