A year later, the scene was essentially the same. The team and the town changed, but the energy and excitement looked awfully familiar.
There was video footage of Hunter Pence hopping out of a chauffeured car and waving to an adoring crowd. He was greeted by a team representative, and then the mascot materialized out of nowhere and gave him a big, photo-friendly hug. Pence waved and smiled a lot, just as everyone expected.
On Wednesday, Pence played his first game for his new club in his new home ballpark. People held signs with fawning messages stamped on them, and the fans gave him a standing ovation. Pence waved and smiled some more.
Replace all that black and orange with red and white -- swap San Francisco for Philadelphia -- and you would have thought it was 2011 all over again.
Its a little surreal. Around this time last season, Philadelphians were agog over Pence. He was the righthanded bat the Phillies sorely needed and the fans desperately wanted.