Finding a throwing partner has, and always will be, one of the most important relationships you’ll ever come across as a ballplayer.
When Michael Morse signed as a free agent with the Giants before the 2014 season, he was approached by outfielder Hunter Pence, and a friendship and -- throwing buddies -- commenced.
“I remember one of the first days I walked into spring training, and I knew Hunter Pence from playing against him, but I didn’t know him, know him,” Morse said this week on Balk Talk.
Morse noticed Pence out of the corner of his eye, and wasn’t sure how they’re interaction would go.
It ended up going phenomenally.
“[Pence] comes over and gives me a big hug, and was like ‘Dude, I’m so excited, so pumped that you’re on the team,’ and I was just like ‘Whaaaaat?!’
“I couldn’t believe it,” Morse added. “We became such good friends. From that day he was like, ‘Hey, you want to be my throwing partner?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ He’s like, ‘You want to go eat?’ I’m like ‘Heck yeah!’ He was like, ‘You want to put lockers next to each other?’ I’m like ‘Super yeah!’”
Morse said Pence made it really easy for him to feel like a part of the Giants. That's probably why his pivotal moment hitting a pinch-hit home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2014 during Game 5 of the NL Championship Series remains something you want to watch on loop.
Pence, who recently announced his retirement, was the one who helped the entire team grow close to Morse. The two’s friendship helped Morse instantly fit in with Buster Posey and the Giants and is a big part of why Morse is so romantic when he talks about his time in San Francisco.