19-year veteran, 9-time gold glove winner, and 5-time All-Star outfielder, Torii Hunter has announced his retirement from the game of baseball. The 40 year old, destined for Cooperstown, said when asked why he chose to retire, "I want to focus on my family... I didn't want a going-away tour... Didn't want to be a distraction." Now when Hunter says this, it tells me that he knew going into the year that this would be his last, regardless of how the Twins faired.
Hunter ended his career on a high-note, hitting .240 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI in his age 39 season. A season in which the Minnesota Twins just missed the playoffs with a surprising record of 83-79 (2nd in the AL Central).
Hunter signed with Minnesota last offseason, leading many to ask if this was his last season in the MLB, Hunter just wanted to focus on the season and work to make the playoffs.
And what a way his career could've ended had Minnesota made a playoff run.
Torii Hunter is almost definitely going to the Hall of Fame. Finishing his career with a .277 average, 353 homers, 1391 RBI, and 2452 hits over 19-years. Also winning 9 Gold Gloves as a Center Fielder. Those numbers are great and deserving of a plaque.
Torii Hunter is arguably the best outfielder in Twins history and is one of the best outfielders in baseball history (defensively). He is also a great man who is leaving a huge hole for the next outfielder in Minnesota. Hunter's presence will be missed in the game of baseball.