Torii Hunter Officially Retires
According to multiple sources, Torii Hunter has officially retired from baseball.
The Star Tribune reports:
"Hunter, who said he had contemplated retirement during the previous two offseasons, entered 2015 thinking it would be his last season. He kept those thoughts private, however.“I didn’t want a going away party,” Hunter said. “I didn’t want to be a distraction.”On Oct. 3, the second-to-last day of the regular season, Hunter addressed the team before its game against the Royals and told them he was 80 percent sure he was done."
Good call. The Minnesota Twins season would have been drastically different if it was about Hunter’s last season. Instead, fans and the team were able to focus on building a better future. This season was more exciting to watch without every team showing their appreciation for Hunter. Almost making the playoffs is more exciting. Watching the Twins finish May with a 20-7 record is more exciting.
Instead of a retirement parade, the Twins and Hunter, went out and played baseball. They showed up ready to win.
Hunter has been showing up ready to win for 19 years as a major leaguer. He had five All-Star appearances, nine Gold Glove awards and two Sliver Slugger awards. A lifetime .277 hitter, Hunter will fall short of meaningful career milestones.
He finishes 48 hits away from 2,500, two doubles away from 500 and nine RBI away from 1,400. Milestones aside, Hunter will not be forgotten in Twins Territory. He hustled every day. He also loved the fan’s support.
Every game that Hunter started this year, he would run out to right field. Fans sitting in the seats in front of the plaza would wave and cheer at him. Hunter always saluted them with a smile.
Oct 4, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins right fielder Torii Hunter (48) salutes the fans during a video of his season accomplishments during the seventh inning stretch against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. The Royals win 6-1 over the Twins. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
That is how some will remember Hunter. As a player who was always grateful of the support. No matter if he was playing in Detroit, Anaheim or Minnesota, Hunter was never booed. He was always cheered for.
Unless of course we are talking about Cleveland fans. They are probably grateful Hunter will not be mashing Indians pitching ever again. Hunter belted 37 home runs against the Indians, most against any team, in his career.
Previously, Puckett’s Pond highlighted why Hunter should retire. Now that he has, most would expect a formal conference to announce the news. According the Star Tribune, Hunter will not hold one and instead will spend time watching his two sons play college football.
Hunter will now focus on contemplating his career decisions for life after baseball. But for the Twins and the fans, the time has arrived to focus on life after Torii Hunter.