Torii Hunter retired from MLB in October after 19 years with the Twins, Angels and Tigers. As it turns out, Hunter is leaving the game with some pretty incredible memories.
The nine-time Gold Glove winner reflected on his time as a pro ball player in an essay on The Players’ Tribune, and revealed some pretty fascinating stories from his playing days.
For example, Hunter had to live out of his car—a Geo Prizm—for a short time while in Double A.
We couldn’t afford a $19-a-day hotel room because we had just broken Spring Training and we hadn’t gotten paid yet ... After each game, we’d sit in the car and wait for everybody else to leave the stadium. Then we’d drop the Prizm seats down and sleep right there in the parking lot.
We didn’t have a place to shower, but we had a clubhouse guy who knew our situation, and he’d come in early each morning and let us into the facility so we could clean up. Then we’d leave the ballpark before anyone else got there, drive around for a little and hang out at the mall to kill time. When it was time to report to the stadium for that night’s game, we’d roll up like we hadn’t just been there showering a few hours earlier, as if we had a place to stay and we were just getting in, like everybody else.
There are plenty of great anecdotes from Hunter’s piece—the prank the Twins played on him in his first game, a peanut-butter-in-the-underwear trick on Big Papi and his relationship with Mike Trout are just a few of the highlights.