1996-2000 Track & Field | Mike Stamps (Jan. 27) | Val Whitfield-Dunn (Jan. 29)
By Paul Watley | @WatP7
ARLINGTON, Texas - Hunter Pence served as the face of the San Francisco Giants during their 2014 World Series title run. The Arlington High product hit .444 with five RBI in the seven-game series against the Kansas City Royals with his best performance coming in a crucial Game 4 as he went 3-of-5 at the plate with one double and three RBI.
Pence, a three-time MLB All-Star, will etch his name in Maverick history on Friday, Jan. 30 as he is inducted into the UT Arlington Hall of Honor. Pence spent two years playing for the Mavericks, picking up a pair of Southland first-team honors and the 2004 Southland Player of the Year award.
"It's very deserving not only based on what he did here with being player of the year in the conference, but what he's done in his career since he left here winning two world series titles," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "He has come back to speak at our banquet and he's a big alumni for us. He's a local kid that went to Arlington High and it's a neat story. He deserves everything he's gotten and he made the best of every opportunity he had here."
While showing potential in his time at UT Arlington, Pence has truly blossomed into an elite Major League player, hitting a career .284 with 185 home runs and 689 RBI. Pence's 2014 postseason was one to remember as the outfielder registered a batting average of .333 with one home run, six doubles and eight RBI on his way to his second World Series ring.
"I'm truly honored to be inducted alongside my fellow Mavs," Pence said. "Playing baseball at UT Arlington helped me to become the player I am today and I thank my coaches and teammates for being a part of that."
While Pence has showed himself to be a premier talent in the Major Leagues, his former coach said that the work ethic of Pence was what impressed him most.
"He worked hard. He only had one speed just like he does now, but even more so in college," Thomas said. "He didn't know any better, but to play hard and that really made him into a good defender. He could always hit and run the bases, but throwing and running in the outfield wasn't always there for him. He was an infielder in high school and really made himself into a good defender with his hard work."
In addition to the trio of All-Star nods, Pence also has picked up a multitude awards, including the 2013 Giants Willie McCovey Award which is given to the San Francisco Giants player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership shown by the San Francisco legend Willie McCovey.
The Hall of Honor ceremony will take place on Jan. 30, 2015 in the Bluebonnet Room of the University Center.The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. Individual tickets are available for $50 at www.utatickets.com.
The 2015 Hall of Honor inductees are Hunter Pence (baseball), Elston Cawley (men's track and field), Valeria Whitfield-Dunn (women's volleyball), Mike Stamps (football), and the 1996-2000 Men's Track and Field teams.
Please contact Kimberley Jardine at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-272-0694 to reserve a table in proximity to an inductee or if you have any questions.
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