Hunter Pence

How ex-Giants star Pence would sell San Francisco to free agents

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The city of San Francisco has been getting bashed recently for not being a hospitable spot for professional athletes, and Hunter Pence shared some strong words for potential free agents.

Speaking on 95.7 The Game’s "Willard & Dibs," the former Giant expressed his deep love for San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, explaining how the city’s success in all areas including sports makes it a desirable location. 

“This culture, the history, the support, the passion, the creativity, the greatest minds live here," Pence said. "There’s been so much creativity and world-changing, world-breaking thinkers, doers. ... There is movement that comes from this city, there are championships, look at the Warriors, look at the Niners, look at the Giants, this is a championship city.

“And if you want to move the world, it starts here. This is a spectacular land, spectacular people, it has the most beautiful, breathtaking countryside in all of the world."

From the Giants to the San Francisco 49ers to the Golden State Warriors and others -- Pence knows Bay Area sports are on another level.

“Excellence is what is expected here. I know we’re going to get there, are we are constantly striving and reaching for those championships...

“And I’m reaping the benefits of that work and of that passion in this great city, I’m treated absolutely incredibly well here in some of the most incredible wonderful places the world has to offer. So I’ll go pitch to these players and let them know.”

Pence has adopted San Francisco as his home, falling in love with the city during his seven-plus seasons playing with the Giants. He continues to be a big supporter of the Giants and other San Francisco teams, recently appearing at the 49ers' NFC Championship Game win over the Detroit Lions.

San Francisco has taken a beating in the press over the past few years, with the narrative being that the city is in a spiraling doom loop of decaying social trust, car break-ins, homelessness and drug abuse that makes it unappealing to big-name athletes and normal people alike.

Giants’ co-owner Buster Posey publicly expressed many of these sentiments last year, lamenting losing out on signing Shohei Ohtani because of the city’s bad reputation.  

Despite the continued success of technology companies like OpenAI, Salesforce, Uber and Reddit, many people still believe all the negative press.

City leaders have struggled to push back against this narrative in recent years as San Francisco still faces numerous obstacles in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, with 35% of office buildings remaining vacant in 2023, a record.

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