Arlington's Hunter Pence Announces Retirement After 14 Years

Pence played college baseball at the University of Texas at Arlington and spent the 2019 season with the Texas Rangers

Hunter Pence #24 of the Texas Rangers waits tot take batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on July 23, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won 7-2.
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Four-time All-Star outfielder and Arlington High School graduate Hunter Pence announced his retirement Saturday following 14 major league seasons.

The 37-year-old Pence wrote on his Twitter page: "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."

Most recently he was a fan favorite for the San Francisco Giants, helping the club to a pair of World Series championships after being acquired from the Phillies at the 2012 trade deadline.

A career .279 hitter, Pence had 244 home runs and 942 RBIs playing for Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Texas.

The Giants released him last month from a second stint with the club after Pence batted just .096 with two homers and six RBIs in 17 games.

"I was pretty confident in this when we parted ways earlier that he would be spending some time contemplating a decision like this," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. "I'm sure he spent a lot of time talking to his family and his friends and his teammates to come up with what was the best decision for Hunter. He had a tremendous career, did a ton for the community in San Francisco and obviously for the San Francisco Giants. I'm just happy for him and would send congratulations on a fantastic career."

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Pence always believed he would be back with the Giants -- it just took a season-long detour with the Rangers last year for his reunion to come together. Pence reinvented his swing during 2018 with San Francisco, played winter ball in the Dominican Republic to further perfect it, then batted .297 with 18 homers, 17 doubles and 59 RBIs over 83 games for Texas in 2019.

He was part of the Giants' 2012 and '14 World Series champion teams.

Pence transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington and played the 2003 and 2004 season with Mavericks, earning Southland Conference Player of the Year honors in the latter season.

In two years with the school, he hit .371 and was selected in the second round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros.

He wound up at UTA after a year at Texarkana Junior College and finishing high school at Arlington High.

Pence signed a $3 million, one-year contract in February to return to San Francisco.

His retirement was hardly a surprise. Pence had accepted his far lesser role that meant he worked more as a veteran leadership presence helping the young Giants prepare and know how to make it in the big leagues.

"I love sharing but I also love learning," Pence said during spring training. "A lot of times the young guys have a lot to teach us because they have new perspectives and the new coaches that they've learned from are so much different than what I grew up with. There's so much more information out there. To me it's about growing together and having that growth mindset and that culture of playing with passion and playing smart and getting a little better every day. Those are the things I look forward to doing."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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