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ST. LOUIS -- Brandon Belt thought Hunter Pence would never get his stolen scooter back.
“I mean it’s just a nice piece of equipment,” Belt said before a recent game in St. Louis. “It’s not something you just get back. It was pretty crazy when it showed up. I think the people who took it felt a little pressure, everybody [in the city] is looking for it. You couldn’t get away from it.”
After Pence tweeted on May 29 that his scooter was stolen, fan support came pouring in and everyone wanted to help find the stolen scooter.
“I was definitely curious because I had a scooter myself last year when I lived in the city,” Belt, the Giants first baseman who is on the 15-day DL with a broken left thumb, said. “Those things, it’s not like you can just go to Walmart and buy those, they’re not really that cheap. We were all kind of curious where it went. For us, we were kind of wondering who would just see it, first of all, and then grab it and then run off and nobody would see him do it.”
Belt said players who ride scooters park them in the clubhouse, then plug them into an outlet to charge them up during the game.
“Usually, the battery last quite a while. Sometimes you’ll take it to a restaurant or something and they’ll let you park it into a little closet or something like that; that’s what happened to [Pence],” said Belt. “So I guess somebody saw him do that and took it and went with it.”
For anyone who isn’t familiar with San Francisco, Belt offers context as to why riding a scooter in the city is really helpful, and why the team hoped Pence would find his.
“I had my big truck in the city last year, and it’s just tough to ride around,” said Belt. “First of all, the streets are narrow and small, and they’re all one-way. If you need to park, you’ve got to do it in the garage. There’s no parking lots. Parking garages are not that big, so it’s just easier to ride a scooter, and there’s just tons of traffic all the time. I mean, it’s not a big peninsula, land-wise. There’s just tons of people stuffed in this small little area and it’s tough to drive around there, so you get on your scooter and you go flying around the sidewalk and it’s easy.”
Pence said he never anticipated so much support from fans when he tweeted his scooter was stolen.
“I really didn’t think that when I sent the tweet that it was going to be anywhere close to what it became, but it was a lot of fun, to be honest with you,” Pence said. “It was funny to read a lot of the comment, even though some people got mad at me for some reason, I forgive them, too. I didn’t mean to offend anybody by my scooter getting stolen.”
Anyone who knows Pence sees his desire for excellence, his contagious energy and his leadership on the team. He’s always trying to encourage his teammates, so when the tables turned and everyone helped him he was overwhelmed.
“There was so much support and so much backing from the fans that it really was uplifting, to be honest with you,” he said. “It was wild that they brought the scooter back.”
Pence said a scooter has been his transportation since he’s been in San Francisco, and he enjoys riding in the fresh air. More than anything, you can tell his scooter suits his personality and the way he plays the game.
“Yeah, I really enjoy the ride,” Pence said.