Former SF Giants outfielder Hunter Pence knows a lot about the intensity and torture of the championship era as he played key roles during the 2012 and 2014 World Series runs. In an interview with the MLB Network Radio, Pence revealed one teammate who was a surprisingly intense competitor.
SF Giants: Hunter Pence says this teammate was "crazy, psycho competitor"
Tim Lincecum was the name Pence mentioned for his surprisingly competitive nature. The longtime Giants outfielder elaborated on Lincecum's personality:
""For how kind and kind of soft-spoken he was off the field, he turned into this like crazy, psycho, competitor on the field. And, like he just absolutely hated to lose and never ever pointed the finger at anyone else. It was always on him. No matter what happened..."- Hunter Pence
Pence became teammates with Lincecum in 2012 following a midseason trade from the Philadelphia Phillies that sent Tommy Joseph, Seth Rosin, and Nate Schierholtz to the east coast. They remained teammates until 2015 when Lincecum departed via free agency after ending the season on the injured list due to a hip injury.
Of course, Giants fans know all about Lincecum's accomplishments. He was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Giants out of the University of Washington. That was a lean period for the major league roster but a key phase for the organization as Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, and Brandon Crawford were all drafted between 2006-2008.
By 2008, Lincecum established himself as one of the dominant arms in baseball as he registered a 2.62 ERA, 2.62 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, and a 3.15 SO/W ratio in 227 innings while earning a NL All-Star nod as well as taking home the NL Cy Young award. He followed up this impressive campaign with another Cy Young season, posting a 2.48 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 1.04 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, and a 3.84 SO/W ratio across 225.1 frames in 2009.
The right-handed hurler anchored the rotation in 2010 as the Giants would go on to win the first of three titles in five seasons. In 10 seasons, Lincecum produced a 110-89 ERA with a 3.74 ERA and four All-Star selections, three World Series rings, two no-hitters, and a partridge in a pear tree.
He always appeared cool as a cucumber even when on the field, but Hunter Pence believes that there was an intense competitor under that cool demeanor. Nonetheless, it is a fun fact to learn about a fan-favorite in Lincecum, and hopefully, cool nuggets like this come to the surface as time goes on.