One of baseball's quirkiest and seemingly most clutch players is calling it a career after nearly a decade and a half in the majors.
Outfielder Hunter Pence, a free agent after his release by the Giants last month, revealed on social media that he won't be seeking to play in 2021 or beyond.
"Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career when you have to say: I am retiring from baseball," Pence said. "Forever thankful and Gr8ful."
"I've given it everything I possibly can, and the game has given back to me tenfold," Pence says while narrating the video. "Thank you to all of my teammates, all the coaches and staff, and all the people behind the scenes -- it took everything and everyone to help me be the player I was. .. To the fans, thank you for your unwavering passion and support, no matter where I was. The love that you have shown me every step of the way, has left a lasting mark on me."
The post included a sweet video montage splicing together Pence highlights from his various stops in the Majors, first with the Houston Astros, then the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, before finally returning to the Giants for his last season.
The 37-year-old native of Fort Worth, Texas, debuted with the Houston Astros in 2007, and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. He later won two World Series with the Giants, in 2012 and 2014, the second and third of their most recent titles.
Pence was the starting right fielder on those teams, often coming through with timely hits. His unusual, herky-jerky swing and sometimes awkward-looking plays in the field made him a hit with fans, wherever he played.
What Pence lacks in grace he has made up for in results, retiring with 244 career bombs, 942 RBIs, 120 steals and a solid .279/.334/.461 batting line in just over 7,000 plate appearances. Fangraphs credits the four-time All-Star with about 31 career WAR.
Pence returned to the Giants last offseason after an enjoying a resurgence with the Rangers in 2019, though that season was ended prematurely by injury. He tallied just 52 at-bats in the shortened 2020 season.