Phillies fans welcome Hunter to 'Pence-ylvania'

PHILADELPHIA - July 30, 2011

Hunter Pence took the field for the 1st time Saturday night to a hearty welcome from Phillies fans, and Pence was saying "thank you, thank you".

Before the game Pence signed autographs for eager fans who were welcoming him to Philadelphia and wishing him luck.

The 28 year old became the Phillies everyday right fielder in their push to win their second World Series in 4 years.

He's batting 308, has 11 homeruns and 62 RBI.

"That's a great trade," said Matt Wiley. "I will definitely take Pence; absolutely great hitter, great player."

"We were sitting here watching batting practice, and he was jacking them, every single one, a couple up to Harry the K, so he looked pretty good. He came to play," Walt Stakus said.

There are already high hopes for Hunter Pence as evidence by t-shirts that read, "Hunter for Red October" and fans were waving signs that read, "Welcome to Pence-ylvania" and "Welcome to Philly, it was Werth the Hunter".

"I'm happy for Pence-ylvania. So come on Hunter, bring it home baby, I think it was a steal. I don't think they could've done any better with that trade, it was amazing," said Edward Zorn.

The Phillies got Pence for 4 minor league prospects, and the team will also receive a $1 million from the Houston Astros to offset the roughly $2.3 million Pence is owed this season to keep them under the $178 million Luxury Tax Threshold.

Many believe he is the missing link the team has been needing to win the pennant in October.

"I think we're going to the World Series after that trade, absolutely," said Tammy Liberi. "It's like Christmas in July."

And the new Pence # 3 Phillies team shirt is hot off the press and on sale to the public.

"We're going to pump them out, so if fans what to come down, we can customize them while they wait," said Francis Winky.

Pence is under contract to the Phillies until 2013, so he's not what Ruben Amaro likes to call, "a rental".

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