Torii Kedar Hunter
Torii Kedar Hunter, a seven time Gold Glove outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, was born on July 18, 1975 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Torii Hunter has shown his athletic ability, having taken away many home runs throughout his 11 year baseball career for the Minnesota Twins. Torii was selected as the Twins’ first-round pick in 1993 out of high school, and made his first appearance with the Twins as a pinch runner in Baltimore on August 22, 1997. On November 21, 2007, Hunter signed a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
He is a 1993 graduate of Pine Bluff (AR) High School where he played baseball, basketball, football and track. Along with many other high school recognitions, Torii was named first team All-State his junior and senior seasons, played on the South squad in the 1992 Junior Olympics, was selected to the High School National Team by USA Today, named to the All-American Team by Baseball America and was named the Gatorade Arkansas Player of the Year in 1993.
In his youth Torii’s first love was football, but being athletically gifted he turned to baseball in the spring. He started in tee-ball at the age of eight and played in organized leagues every summer after, including Little League and Babe Ruth, right into his teens. Becoming a two sports star in high school, Torii naturally discovered a hero in Auburn’s Bo Jackson. Torii is considered one of the most electrifying defensive center fielders since Ken Griffey, Jr. His speed enables him to collect infield hits and stretch doubles into triples. He is also known for scaling wall to make a catch.
Torii Hunter’s love of baseball has led him to establish the Torii Hunter Project which is designed to stop the disappearance of the sandlot baseball diamond from neighborhoods and communities and to provide America’s youth in inner cities and poor rural communities, regardless of race or ethnicity, with opportunities to learn the game of baseball. Torii, who has received numerous awards and recognitions, was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in February 2008.