2001 was considered Torii Hunter's first great season. He hit his second careergrand slam on June 6. He also led the Twins in home runs, while ranking second in RBI and slugging percentage. He received his first Gold Glove that year, leading all AL centerfielders in total chances at 478. He tied for the league lead in assists (14) and finished 5th in fielding percentage (.992). He has continued his fielding excellence for the remainder of the 2000s, winning his ninth straight Gold Glove award in 2009. Only one other member of the Minnesota Twins has ever won as many as the 7 he won for them in his career, pitcher Jim Kaat who garnered 12 of his 16 in seasons in which he played in Minnesota.
Outside of baseball, Hunter was largely involved in the community in the Twin Cities, working with organizations like Big Brothers and Big Sisters Of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He was also the spokesman for a lightning safety program through the National Weather Service in 2004.
In 2008, he left the Twins as a free agent and signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to take over centerfield for the previous year's free agent bust, Gary Matthews. He was coming off his best season, having slugged a career-high 28 homers and 107 RBI for the Twins in 2007. He continued his solid hitting for his new team, posting a line of .278/.344/.466 while continuing to play outstanding defense for the Angels. In 2009, he was the team's best overall hitter and won a Silver Slugger Award even though injuries limited him to 119 games. He hit 22 homers and drove in 90 runs while posting a .299 batting average in leading the Angels to another AL West division title.
He is a cousin of Choo Freeman.
- 4-time AL All-Star (2002, 2007, 2009 & 2010)
- 9-time AL Gold Glove Winner (2001-2009)
- AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2009)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 9 (2001-2004, & 2006-2010)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2006)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (2003 & 2007)
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- Torii Hunter