Minnesota Twins: A look at the career of Torii Hunter

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 16: Former Minnesota Twins player Torii Hunter speaks as he is inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame in a ceremony before the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians of the game on July 16, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 16: Former Minnesota Twins player Torii Hunter speaks as he is inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame in a ceremony before the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians of the game on July 16, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, a Puckett’s Pond look at the careers of former Minnesota Twins greats.

We’ll kick things off with a player that all Minnesota Twins fans should remember fondly. Torii Hunter helped keep baseball fresh in the Twin Cities while making defensive plays reminiscent of the great Ken Griffey Jr.

Hunter is the type of player that draws people into the sport of baseball. His infectious, always present, smile conveyed his love for the game even more than his flashy defensive plays in center field. The man had no fear and could do things like this…

His career spanned 19 seasons, and he hit .277 with 2452 hits and 353 home runs with the Twins, Los Angeles Angels, and Detroit Tigers. He also had 195 stolen bases, proving he was an all-around threat. If Hunter isn’t a HOFer, then I don’t know what is.

Now, let’s talk about his Twins career

For me personally, there has been nothing better than watching Griffey Jr. track down everything hit in his direction. There have been some good centerfielders since Griffey Jr. was redefining the position, Jim Edmonds and Mike Trout come to mind.

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However, Hunter is the only player who comes close to matching Griffey’s on-field flair. Most people remember this…

That’s barely a fraction of what Hunter provided the Minnesota Twins organization.

He won seven straight Gold Gloves with the Twins and finished as high as sixth (2002) in the MVP voting during his Twins career. However, it was always about more than what Hunter did on the field statistically because his energy could draw in any type of fan.

Hunter had fun with the game and made the game so much fun to watch that even non-Twins fans loved watching him patrol centerfield. He hit. 268 with 1343 hits and 214 home runs during his 12-year career with Minnesota.

Without Torii Hunter, baseball wouldn’t have been the same in the early 2000’s. He was a transcendent player and will forever be among the Minnesota Twins greats.

Next: A look at another Minnesota Twins great

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