Hunter Pence offers reward for return of stolen scooter

Hunter Pence is an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Over the weekend, someone stole Hunter Pence's motorized scooter.

Tony Avelar/AP
San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence drives in a run against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 23, 2014, in San Francisco.

San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence had a somber look on his face when he showed up to the ballpark Monday, pushing himself on a backup scooter the final few steps through the clubhouse.

Pence said his customized motor scooter, which he rides a few blocks to every home game, was stolen outside a restaurant on San Francisco's waterfront Sunday night. The scooter has fascinated fans since Pence arrived in a trade from Philadelphia in 2012, and the Giants even gave out bobblehead dolls of Pence on the scooter at a game earlier this season.

"It kind of doesn't make much sense to steal it because the charger is kind of rare. It's not going to last you very long," Pence said. "I just trust people and apparently someone else needed it more than I do."

Pence said he parked the scooter on an out-of-the-way ramp where cooks come in and out of the restaurant and never thought anybody would take it. He said he has no ill will toward the city, saying he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support on Twitter to find his lost scooter.

Pence said he did not file a police report. He said he's willing to forgive the culprit, offering a signed bobblehead if the scooter is returned — no questions asked.

Pence said the scooter is one of the few possessions he cares about, calling it "kind of an extension of me." The scooter has custom stickers with his name and No. 8, and he can often be seen outside AT&T Park taking pictures with fans on it.

Pence, who is usually smiling and joking with teammates in the clubhouse, rode a backup scooter to the game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

"He had a sad face on this morning," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I've never seen that from Hunter."

Pence said he's already working to upgrade the backup scooter's battery power because it won't carry him all the way to the ballpark. He said he won't use a car.

"I can't fathom driving for some reason," he said.

Pence still has hope he will get his favorite scooter back. He said he even had a dream Sunday night that he saw a man riding it down the street.

"And I tackled him," Pence said.

The restaurant, EPIC Roasthouse, said it was saddened to learn of the theft and is offering dinner for two as a reward for the return of Pence's undamaged scooter. Other businesses near the ballpark also started promotions hoping to get Pence's scooter back.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.