After 19 years in the bigs, Torii Hunter is hanging it up. The longtime Minnesota Twins outfielder and founding “soul patrol” member announced his retirement Monday. Since his first full-time Twins season in 1999, the wide-grinning Hunter became the heart, soul, and personality of the team for years.
His outfield acrobatics and productive bat made Hunter a fan favorite and childhood hero to the post-Kirby generation. The nine-time Gold Glover played with hustle and fire, not afraid to bulldoze a White Sox catcher or throw a punch at a teammate when things got heated (for better or worse).
With the 40-year-old’s playing days now behind him, here are 10 classic Hunter moments worth showing at his retirement party. Our Evite must have gotten stuck in our spam filter.
Easily the most talked-about, replayed highlight of his career, Hunter robs Barry Bonds of a homer during the 2002 All-Star Game.
Hunter's first and last career homeruns, 16 years apart.
Torii Hunter retires -- 1st HR: 4/15/99 vs B. Moehler // Last HR (353rd): 9/24/15 vs C. Anderson https://t.co/0db4CZgLOd
Fans love watching a guy get tossed. It’s not something to teach little leaguers, but an old-fashioned baseball tantrum is weirdly endearing. Plus, it really was a junk call.
As a member of the Detroit Tigers, Hunter blasts his 300th career homerun at Target Field in front of the fans who loved him first.
The stud turf patrolman takes a game-tying dinger away from Carlos Lee back in the Dome days.
Hunter's moves aren't limited to the outfield, as shown here leading a clubhouse dance party tradition with Brian Dozier (and an awesome bat boy).
Generic post-game interview? Nah, not Hunter.
Torii Hunter keeping it interesting pic.twitter.com/er02iDIlcB— Jason Andera (@AnderaMidcoSN) June 23, 2015
After nearly catching a pitch in the chin, Hunter takes Cleveland Indians hurler Trevor Bauer deep.
Because Hunter's homerun thievery never gets old.
Sensing it could be their last chance, Twins fans gave Hunter one final curtain call at the end of the 2015 season.