SAN FRANCISCO Hunter Pence didnt know what became of it.Neither did Giants clubhouse man Mike Murphy.
The most famous and magical broken bat in franchise historyhad disappeared for a few hours only for everyone to react in horror when theydiscovered where it ended up:
Sold, for 400, to a fan at the From the Clubhouse game-usedmerchandise stall behind Section 119 just an hour after the Giants 9-0,pennant-clinching victory over the Cardinals Monday night.
Talk about your Antiques Roadshow moments.
You dont need to be an appraiser for Sothebys to know thebat, which will go down in Giants lore, is worth many times more than its saleprice.
Pence shattered it in the third inning when he swung at apitch from right-hander Joe Kelly. It broke upon impact with the handle and theball almost magically made contact with the decelerating barrel two additionaltimes, imparting such crazy english that it made Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozmazig right as the ball zagged left. The never-before-seen triple hit ended up asa bases-clearing double for Pence a cleverly dubbed triple-double, as it were and it was the most important hit in what ranks as the only Game 7 victory inGiants franchise history.
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I hit my home run in St. Louis with that bat, too, Pencesaid. So Id like it back.
Pence will know the bat when he sees it. The wide-eyed,unorthodox right fielder is known for his quirky habits, and he revealed another one during the World Series media session on Tuesday.
I name all my bats, he said.
This one, for reasons even he cannot explain, was calledFryer.
F-R-Y-E-R, Pence said. Whatever word comes to mind, Ijust write on it. If I know Im going to use em in a game, Ill name em.
What happened to a good old name like Wonderboy?
Oh, I had a Wonderboy a long time ago, he said.
It turns out Pence and his Fryer might have a happy ending. Greg Marinec, a longtime account manager with the Giants, saidone of his season-ticket holders left him a message Tuesday morning.
He was very excited, Marinec said. He purchased the batand said he wanted Hunter to have it. He was very serious about it.
Marinec wasnt sure if he should wait until after the seasonto pursue the bat, so as not to distract Pence as he prepares for the World Series.But given all the history and meaning behind that piece of splintered lumber, expect phone calls to be made in a hurry.
Oh, and if anyone has seen the ball that Marco Scutaro caughtin a rainstorm for the pennant-clinching out, give the Giants a holler. They cant seemto find that, either.