OF Hunter retires with Twins after 19 seasons

OF Hunter retires with Twins after 19 seasons

Outfielder Torii Hunter, a five-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner, announced his retirement Monday at age 40.

Hunter played 19 years in the major leagues, the first 11 and the last one with the Minnesota Twins.

“I’m sad because it’s all I’ve known for half of my life,” Hunter said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “This great game of baseball has done so much for me. I have learned a lot of lessons. They say baseball is life and life is baseball, and I used baseball and applied it to my life. So I got through a lot of hardships and a lot of hard times and I learned from them and I made adjustments, which you have to do in the game of baseball as well as the game of life. So baseball taught me a lot.

“But mentally, I think it’s time. I still love the game, but time has taken a toll on me mentally and physically.”

Hunter played for the Twins from 1997-2007. In November 2007, he signed a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels, and he played five seasons in Anaheim. Hunter then signed as a free agent with the Tigers, and he played two years in Detroit.

Last winter, Hunter agreed to a one-year deal that brought him back to Minnesota.

“It meant the world to me,” Hunter said of concluding his career with the Twins. “This is where it all started. Molly (Paul Molitor, a former Minnesota teammate) was the manager. It was the perfect scenario to come back and finish my career with the Twins, possibly get to the postseason. The perfect scenario would be to win the World Series with those guys this year. We fell short, but we did have a winning season and there were a lot of positives that came out.”

In 139 games this year, Hunter hit .240 (his lowest mark for a full major league season) with a .293 on-base percentage, a .409 slugging percentage, 22 homers and 81 RBIs.

For his career, Hunter posted a .277/.331/.461 batting line with 353 homers, 1,391 RBIs and 195 stolen bases in 2,372 games.

All of Hunter’s Gold Gloves came as a center fielder before he moved to right field late in his career. He captured American League Silver Slugger awards in 2009 and 2013.