If there’s anything we (or I) learned from speaking with Hunter Pence, it’s there’s a positive spin in almost any situation. Sunday is the last game at Globe Life Park with the opening of Globe Life Field next March. Sure, we all look forward to the A/C at the new stadium, but the memories of Rangers’ home for the past 26 seasons will stay forever. For Hunter Pence, Globe Life Park meant more than just a temporary home in 2019; Globe Life was a dream to play in for a young Pence. However, in typical Pence fashion, Sunday isn’t about his past, it’s about the organization’s future.
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) September 29, 2019
Hunter went to school at Arlington High and later went to the University of Texas at Arlington. He talked earlier in the season how in high school, he’d drive by Globe Life Park and pondered the idea of playing in that exact stadium. During his college years, Hunter Pence worked as an employee of Globe Life Park parking cars on game day. Before 2019, Pence played in fifteen games at Globe Life Park, but in February, his thoughts became a reality.
While Pence was unable to play in the final homestand due to a back issue he suffered in late August, Hunter didn’t look at it as a negative. Instead, Pence looked on the side of the future of the Rangers organization and watching this team grow. Hunter admitted that he might have done a little too much to try to get back onto the field, but that’s what being a competitor is. He remembers the memories throughout history, but Hunter’s focus is on this offseason and the 2020 season.
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) September 29, 2019
Despite the injuries, 2019 was an incredible season for Hunter Pence. After he went to the Dominican Republic for Winter Ball, the Rangers offered him a minor league contract. A terrific Spring Training turned into a DH nod in the Opening Day lineup. The success throughout the year earned Pence an everyday spot in the lineup whether it was in the outfield or as the designated hitter. Let’s not forget Hunter Pence’s last at-bat at Globe Life Park. How about a walk-off single on August 21st?
In his fifty-four games played at Globe Life Park, Hunter Pence hit .296, with eleven home runs and twenty-seven runs driven in. Hunter had an OPS of .850 in a place he called “home.” With Pence’s back injury, there’s a lot of questions on if Pence will retire after this season. Ultimately, there are other factors involved like his family, but in talking to Hunter Pence a few times this past month, the back may be the deciding factor.
Whether Pence decides to call it quits after 2019 or not, there’s always one consensus, he loves playing the game. While that may sound cliche, even the negatives around baseball do not phase Pence at all. While we all feel some sadness in the closing of Globe Life Park, Hunter Pence says it best: “It’s pretty exciting times, the saying goodbye to Globe Life Park. All of the old players coming back and hanging around and there’s a lot of stories. It’s a very fond time and a memory-filled time.”
In Hunter Pence’s style, let’s not say goodbye to Globe Life Park on Sunday in tears, let’s say goodbye with more exciting things to come, and new memories to share.
Also, check out “Cool Schools” as Hunter Pence and his wife, Alexis Pence team up with the Texas Trees Foundation to build a Green Learning Environment, a hands-on outdoor learning area, at a local elementary school in the DFW area.
— Alexis Pence (@LetsGetLexi) September 27, 2019
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