Hunter Pence used baseball to explain science on Bill Nye's new show

Bill Nye (you may know him as the Science Guy) has been explaining science to kids (and adults) for years. In his new show on Netflix, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” Nye is still trying to explain science, and using everything he can to do it.

And in this case, “everything he can” involves San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence.

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Pence appeared on episode 5 of Nye’s show, which is titled “The Original Martian Invasion,” and helped Nye explain the theory of panspermia. Here’s what Nye says about panspermia on the show.

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“The idea of panspermia is that an asteroid impact on Mars sent tons of materials into space, and teeny-tiny Martian microbes survived the trip and the landing, and started life on Earth.”

How could Hunter Pence help explain an asteroid impacting Mars? By just doing his day job. After Nye introduced him, Pence jogged out on stage with a fungo bat in his hand. Nye wanted Pence to play the part of the asteroid, using the bat to hit balls toward a model of the planet Mars, which would mimic the asteroid’s impact.

It took Pence a few tries to hit Mars, but he did it. He whacked the bottom part of the Mars model with a baseball, and then Mars released Martian bacteria which landed on the model of Earth and began to foam and “create new life.” Just like the theory of panspermia says.

Before Pence came out, Nye told the audience that he loves baseball, and wanted to find a way to include it in the show. Having a baseball player hit balls toward a model of Mars is absolutely perfect. And even more perfect was how Pence looked.

pence nyeOh sure, no problem!And I forgot to add mine, because I am the worstMy parents left town after a visit yesterday, I've been preparing for it for over a weekI think that's smart, give the commenters a chance to get all their anger outHunter Pence and Bill Nye in episode 5 of Nye's new Netflix show
Hunter Pence and Bill Nye in episode 5 of Nye’s new Netflix show “Bill Nye Saves the World.” (Netflix)

He went on the show before he shaved and cut his hair, so he looked like the kooky Hunter Pence from the last two years. The Hunter Pence who could also pass as a caveman, or a scientist whose hair had poofed out after an experiment had exploded in his face. It only made Pence more delightful, especially when he greeted Nye. Instead of saying “Great to be here,” he said “Glad to help populate Earth.” MLB’s Cut4 captured Pence’s look while he said that in a glorious gif.


Never stop being you, Hunter Pence. Never ever.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher