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Dear Hunter Pence: Thank you, for being awesome

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Sep 25, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder

Hunter Pence

(8) runs to home plate on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman

Matt Duffy

(50, not pictured) during the seventh inning of the game against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard for me to remember a player that was so gracious with his time and generous to the fans the way Hunter Pence is. He’s one of a kind and he’s ours for 4 more glorious years and hopefully more. He’s genuinely grateful for the opportunity to play for the San Francisco Giants and he doesn’t take anything for granted.

The first time we saw Hunter Pence play in Spring Training, I couldn’t believe how many autographs he signed. Most players are parking their cars in the player’s lot far away from where the fans are waiting patiently for someone to come over and they typically walk in at the entrance that’s farther away. Hunter Pence has his ride drop him off right in front of the fans and signs autographs for everyone.

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I’m the type of fan who still believes in players who play for the love of the game and not just the money and Hunter Pence gives me a reason to keep the faith and know that those players still do exist. He plays every day, he hustles to every single ball and he runs as fast as he can on a grounder when it’s 1-0 and 17-0.

Hunter Pence also had an amazing streak going of consecutive games started, which came to an end when he wasn’t in the lineup on Saturday the 27th against the San Diego Padres. When I first heard this news, I thought to myself, “No! How could they do this to him?? I can’t believe his streak is over!” but then I read his comments about the streak. In Andrew Baggarly’s story, Pence was asked about how important the streak was to him. Pence said, “Not important at all. Winning a World Series is important to me.”

“It’s not weird if you have to wear your orange hat or your Buster Posey Jersey or if you’ve gotta be in your car driving so Buster can hit a home run or so Affeldt can strike somebody out and not throw a scud. It’s not weird.” – Hunter Pence

Hunter Pence just loves to play baseball and he doesn’t take this opportunity to do so at the professional level lightly. He loves his teammates, he loves his fans and he loves the game. After a very passionate clubhouse speech before the celebration of making the playoffs, Hunter Pence had one more speech for us before they went off to Pittsburgh in hopes of returning home to play at least one more game at AT&T Park.

Thank you Hunter Pence for being an inspiration to everyone around you, for being the best role model in sports, for your passion and your hustle. Thank you for your crazy eyes, the best faces while making plays in baseball and for your heart-warming bromance with Michael Morse. Thank you for proving everyone who doubted your ability to play baseball at a professional level wrong and never giving up on your dream. The city of San Francisco and Giants fans everywhere are forever grateful that you put on the Orange and Black and represent it with just as much goofiness as true class and respect.

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