MINNEAPOLIS -- Hunter Pence isn't from Minnesota. He has played only six major league games in the Twin Cities. Nevertheless, Tuesday's All-Star game is something of a homecoming for the Giants right fielder.
Pence's father, Howard, was born and raised in a small town in south-central Minnesota, farming country hard by the Iowa border. When he was in his early 20s, he moved to Texas for the oil business, but many of the Pence clan remain in southern Minnesota. And thanks to Hunter's hot first half, a good chunk of them will be at Target Field this week.
"There was a lot of pressure on me to get here, even though that's out of my control," Pence said. "They were like, 'We would love for you to be there! It's in Minnesota!' As soon as it was announced a couple of years ago, they told me about it."
Pence was planning to see his grandmother on his trip back "home," but he wasn't sure how many relatives would be in the stands Tuesday night.
"A ton -- I had my dad take care of it because it's all his family. I was focused on the games against the Diamondbacks and Oakland when that happened, so I just got him and our traveling secretary and he took care of all of that. To me, it's too hard to focus on organizing all that and baseball at the same time."