Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hunter is featured in the second episode of MLB Productions’ four-part series “My MLB Life” on MLB Network this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The premiere episode of “My MLB Life” last week focused on Matt Kemp and other episodes over the following two weeks will feature CC Sabathia and Ryan Zimmerman.

“My MLB Life” is a lifestyle-focused documentary with the theme of “work hard, live well, give back.” The camera crew followed Hunter this past February to his offseason home in Prosper, Texas, near Dallas, and to Tempe, Arizona for the start of Angels’ Spring Training. Hunter’s wife, Katrina, and his three sons are featured throughout the episode as Hunter gives a tour of his home and describes his childhood in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, why he chose baseball as his main sport while growing up, the MLB legends who first influenced him as a rookie with the Minnesota Twins, and his charitable efforts today.

Here's a sneak preview of the premiere on the Angels outfielder.

Hunter on building his home in Prosper, Texas: “It was growing and it was all new, and were like, ‘Yeah, we want to grow with this.’”

Hunter on his hometown of Pine Bluff, outside of Little Rock:
“There’s some poverty there. We didn’t grow up with much. I remember we used to go and knock on our neighbors doors and ask for bread or sugar or whatever, and I remember some times when we had the lights cut off.

Hunter on choosing baseball as his main sport while in high school: “Baseball for some reason just came about. It jumped on me. … I was only used to Pine Bluff, Arkansas and this was the only thing that I knew. But when I traveled with baseball, I was able to go see different things that broadened my horizons and that’s why I fell in love with baseball.”

Hunter on playing with Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield: “Coming out of high school, I was drafted [in] 1993 by the Minnesota Twins, and they let me go to the big league camp. When I’m walking in the clubhouse on my first day, the sit my locker right between Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett. I had so much respect for these guys and I didn’t want to get star struck. So when they walked in, they were like, ‘What’s up, Torii?’. They knew my name and everything … they were just so down to earth and so cool, right away it made me feel at home. They made me follow them around and they talked to me about finances, about their homes, about their families. It’s something that’s stuck with me to this day, because whenever young guys come in, I make those guys feel at home and feel comfortable. Because of those guys [Winfield and Puckett], that’s the way I do things today.”

Hunter on how he got his nickname, “Spiderman”: “People call me ‘Spiderman’ because I use a glove which they might call a ‘web’ and I might jump over the fence to catch it. Without my glove, I’m nothing, but with it, I’m something.”

Hunter on taking a home run away from Barry Bonds in the 2002 All-Star Game: “The first time I went to the All-Star Game was 2002 in Milwaukee. I was the starting center fielder. I’m 26-years old and Barry Bonds is stepping up to the plate. I’m like, ‘Don’t hit it to me, don’t hit it to me, don’t hit it to me.’ I’m like, ‘Wow, he hit that pretty far,’ so I just took a courtesy jog because I thought it was gonna go out. Then, I saw I had a chance to take this home run away. Ichiro was on the wall and [after the catch] he’s like ‘Way to go, [beep] [beep] [beep] [beep].’ I didn’t know he knew curse words in English, but it was pretty awesome.”

Hunter on winning a Silver Slugger Award in 2009: “This is something that is really dear to my heart because I was getting so much attention on my glove and not enough attention for my bat.”

Baltimore Orioles infielder Adam Jones on Hunter: “It’s good to have guys like him in the game to let you know that, hey, there’s people doing it the right way. He’s taught me a lot about just how to be a man and how to be a man in this industry.”

Hunter on a signed jersey he owns from Hall of Famer Andre Dawson: “When I was a kid in 1987, I’d come home and my granddaddy was watching WGN and Andre Dawson is at the bat and boom, hits a home run. He hit 49 home runs that year and got MVP, so he really influenced me to play the game. When he signed that jersey, it was very special to me.”
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