Giants’ Hunter Pence wore ashes of Dodgers fan in necklace

Pence, a former Houston Astro, donned the necklace for all nine innings on Sept. 22, the night Los Angeles clinched the National League West title and celebrated the 90th birthday of Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, L.A.’s former manager. Pence played right field, and the game video shows him checking on the necklace after a sliding catch.

Liston says the Pence-Janiszewski episode is part of a campaign to get Major League Baseball teams to designate days when they would grant the wishes of fans who would like to spread up to an ounce of a loved one’s ashes in designated areas of the park. He cites ESPN SportsNation poll data indicating more than three-quarters of those surveyed were willing to spread a family member or friend’s ashes at a stadium, and says officials of MLB teams told him that this is already frequently done clandestinely.

Pence said in the film that he agreed to wear the ashes simply to help a fan.

“It’s not necessarily the physical of the ashes,” he said. “It’s being the instrument of that spirit and his presence being out there with me and hopefully giving her some closure.”

“They used to say I had some talent, but was too short,” he recalled (H/T Football Italia). “At one point, I wanted to quit football, as the scouts all told me the same thing and I thought it might be futile to continue. Then I had a trial with Napoli and it went well.”

The forward is the only player in the Serie A squad who hails from Naples, and he claims that it brings about a fair amount of pressure.

“Being the only Neapolitan in the squad, it can happen that the fans expect something more from me. I remember when I was a child and there were 70,000 fans in the Stadio San Paolo for a Serie C game. You don’t see that anywhere else.”

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