It was just another day at the office for San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence. During Thursday's spring game against the Chicago Cubs in Scottsdale Stadium, in Scottsdale, Arizona, Pence stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the sixth inning with his team trailing. This was his second appearance at the plate, having grounded out a few innings prior.
And then it happened. Crack!
But it wasn't the sound of a bat making contact with a baseball; it was the sound of an inside fastball striking his left forearm. Pence fell to the ground instead of trotting to first base. Something was wrong. Pence feared a fractured forearm. His presumption proved correct as X-rays confirmed he suffered a non-displaced ulnar fracture.
Now the Giants star will be sidelined for up to eight weeks.
Having started all 162 games for the past two seasons for San Francisco, this is a big blow to the Iron Man slugger. But Hunter Pence doesn't fault the errant throw by Chicago Cubs minor leaguer Corey Black.
Instead of using social media as a means to pile on the Cubs pitcher, Pence graciously accepted his apology.
@CblackCHC It happens my friend. Thanks for the concern, it's a part of the game we love. No slowing down!
— Hunter Pence (@hunterpence) March 6, 2015
Far too often athletes are hot-tempered and quick to react, but Pence is a different breed of player. In some regards, the San Francisco outfielder is "Mr. Idiosyncratic" when it comes to playing baseball and how he leads his life.
Last fall, the Huffington Post devoted an entire article on why "Hunter Pence Is The MOST San Francisco Player That Giants Fans Could Ever Ask For." This included 27 visual examples of why this is true, like Pence's awkward batting stance, giving away free high fives, and, best of all, lending himself to a personalized rap song. (And here I thought I was the only one who didn't like "Raymond.")
Hunter Pence is so congenial about the injury that he even went as far as to tell reporters that the fractured forearm was "a great blessing." But that wasn't the only potent quotable to be derived from the 10-minute interview. When asked if Hunter Pence thought he wouldn't be on the field opening day, the San Francisco Giants star gives a standard answer except for this little bit.
"Saddest part is I can't really comb my hair anymore, so I apologize for what you have to look at."
That's the ticket, Hunter. Mr. Idiosyncratic.
[Image courtesy of MLB.com]