L.A. to Arkansas to Anaheim . . . all good

I went home to Arkansas on a private plane after the game yesterday at Dodger Stadium to be with family attend services for my grandmother. That’s why I wasn’t able to hang around and talk to reporters, which I enjoy doing as part of my job.

I know everyone was curious about how I felt after crashing into the wall to make that catch on Matt Kemp’s ball, and I was pretty sore. But a massage helped me out, and I actually feel pretty good today. So I called Mike Scioscia, our manager, and Ron Roenicke, our bench coach, and told them I’d better be in the lineup against the White Sox.

My grandmother — Zelma Louise Hunter — passed last Saturday. This is my dad’s mom, and he’s taking it pretty hard. She was 94 years old and lived a good, long life. She went to the hospital 10 days ago and they told her she had a week to live.

I got back to Pine Bluff last night, going solo. I hung out with my family. I haven’t seen some of them for 10, 20 years. I’m glad I was able to get back there and be there for her services. She was a wonderful person, and she’ll be missed.

OK, so here I am, back on the job. I’m going to take batting practice and get ready to play. I didn’t think I’d feel like this after it happened. I was trying to catch my breath after the catch. My body spasmed up. I was trying to ball up before I hit the wall, turn and hit it with my back, but my elbow hit me in the ribs and took my breath away.

The whole game after that I had short breath. But that’s what I do. I was asked, very respectfully, if I’m a little crazy to make plays like that, but I’ve got to catch that ball. It’s irritating to let a ball fall. I’ve been running into walls my whole career. If I was gun-shy, it would have happened my first year. Only in Boston will I let it go off the wall — you don’t want to run into that thing. Everywhere else it’s padded out there, and it’s like Ray Lewis hitting you. You know how much I love football.

I came out of the game yesterday a little early, in the seventh inning. My quad tightened up a little, but the massage I got after the game straightened that out. I’m fine.

I’m excited to be back. The great Vladimir Guerrero comes back tonight, and that’s another big weapon in our lineup. We’ve been playing pretty well lately, showing our toughness, I think. The guys have come together and played some good baseball. It’s a long season, and I love this team.

It’s great to be back, and my family’s all right. It’s all good. I’m ready to get back out there and get after it.      

21 Comments

Sorry about the family stuff Torii. Best of luck.
-Dillon
http://demboysfromthebronx.mlblogs.com

Torii, I am your biggest fan and I am playing american legion baseball for my high school, so i know what it is like to take hits, my grandmother is also in hospital from stroke but she is doing much better.

I do feel for you man
-Mitchell

As a lifelong Angels fan I cannot thank you enough for 2 things:

1) Coming to play for the Angels

2) Playing the game as hard as you can at all times!

Thanks for keeping in touch with the fans!

Torii You are one of a kind.
1.) I enjoy watching you play in center field. The balls you catch are amazing to watch. You are truly a golden glover.
2. Thank You for being a club house leader.
3. I’m glad you signed with the Angels, you mean so much to the Angel team. Keep up the hard work.
4. Hope you make the All Star Team this year, I’m doing my best to get you voted in.
A Loyal Fan in Henderson, NV
Bob

My condolences to you and your family. I have lost a few people in my life young, and old…no matter what age it always seems to be a loss. How very respectful of you to make the time and dash home for your grandmothers services. You are truely a “great effort person”. I can see it in your playing and I can only image how you are with your family and in your everyday life. I have a feeling the people around you and your teamates that you see everyday are blessed to have your support and your commitment.

Torii, I am sorry about your grandmother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
**Awesome catch! You play with alot of heart and I love it**

It seems that every single game, Torii makes another amazing catch, or knocks another fastball into the next century. Sometimes both. I cannot express how important Torii is to the 2009 Angels.

Randy ~ ExposurePerfect.com

Torii, I’m very sorry to hear about your grandmother passing. My condolences to you and your family.

I’ve always loved watching the Angels play their style of ball, but it’s been even more enjoyable since you joined the team. You always give it everything you’ve got and are willing to take hits to make those spectacular catches. Your leadership and positive attitude in the clubhouse, on the playing field, and in the community truly impresses me. You definitely get my vote for the 2009 All Star team!

Tori,

You have my sympathy and my prayers. I know how hard it is to lose a loved one. Please send my condolences to your family.

You and the team have been playing great. You are on my Fantasy Baseball Team and I never knew the story Vince Skully told about you sleeping in your car when you first started out. It really touched my heart. You have the heart of a real champion. Good things come to good people.

I am so glad I have someone with such character on my team. Keep up the good work.

Torii,
My prayers are with you and your family right now as you deal with your Grandmothers passing. With God’s strength, you will get through.
I have to tell you that my 6 year old Grandson, Jack loves you. You are the #1 Angel player (Vladi and Chone are second and third). When someone asks why you are his favorite, he says that he will always remember when you hit the ’4 person home run’ We were at the game against Cleveland last April 8th and they were kicking our butts. Jack was getting tired so we left thinking it was all over for the Angels. In the parking lot we heard on the radio that we loaded the bases. We got home 10 min later and I took Jack upstairs and turned on the TV. He had fallen asleep in the car and I went to get the rest of the gear out of the car and I hear “Grandma! Torii just hit a 4 person home run and the Angels win!” I could not get him back to sleep, he was so excited. So now every time you are up, he asks ‘will Torii hit another 4 person HR?’ We love your heart, humor and your fantastic catches! We hope you will be an Angel for a long time to come!

Torii,
First I want to say I’m sorry about your grandmother. That’s always tough to deal with…but I’m sure your family was happy to have you there. Sounds like grandma got the most out of her life…..just like you are doing!
Secondly….i just want to say that I’m so happy that you are an ANGEL!!!! You have already become a leader of our team in every way…and I LOVE IT! I love watching you play your game.
And finally, I just want to say…. KEEP SMILING! You have an awesome smile! I always see you with a smile on your face…and it puts a smile on MY face! :)-

YOU ROCK TORII HUNTER!!!!!!!

Alison

Torii im very sorry to hear about your grandmother, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Just wanted to tell you how much I admire you. I love the way you go out there and play everyday. You always play 110% and put all your heart in the game. Thanks so much for always being hear for us. YOUR THE BEST…..
Hey thanks for the awesome home run on sat (5-23) you shut the dodgers fans for awhile and I was telling them “Now What Torii is #1″ LOVED IT!!!!!! k well GOD BLESS YOU N YOU FAMILY

94, wow, that’s a long time with grandma, a thankful and fortunate grandson feeling with that, filled with lotsa fun memories, I’ll bet!!

P.S. Have u been shooting yourself on the foot trying to advance to 3B lately?!

Hi Torii, I am very sorry to hear about your grandmother. I am glad to hear that you took the time to go to her services. A lot of people now a days dont take the time for their families anymore. Thank you for keeping your heart and my prayers to you and your family.

Tori,
I was sorry to hear about your grandmother. Mine lived well into her 90′s as well. When she passed away it left a hole in the entire family. After all, she had ALWAYS been there. There with her love, charm, her sense of humor, and the wisdom that comes from 96 years of experience.
Even in passing, she shared one final lesson: Live well. I think of her often and I am not afraid to ask myself, what would Grams do? It is as though I carry a moral compass within me that affects everything. My work ethic, how I treat those around me, etc..
I have no doubt your grandmother shared invaluable lessons as well. Savor them, embrace them. Encourage others to do the same. Her memory will serve you well; you need only allow it.

Dear Mr Hunter,
I’m sorry for the loss it must be hard on your family and yourself. I would like to thank you (for the millionth time) for playing with great passion every single day! We, as fans, appreciate it so very much!! Best of luck this season :D
much love

p.s. Man i’m voting for you like a maniac for this year’s all star game! I can’t believe you aren’t even in the top 5 though what is this?! So lame :( You deserve a spot in there definitely and i’m trying my best here to give it to ya

Torii,

I hope you read the article on yahoo sports today. It said that you should be the MVP so far this year and I def. agree with that. You are def. an angel favorite and mean more to this team than you know. This has been an up and down season so far but you have been solid all year and I hope you never leave the angels. Torii for MVP.

Torii,

I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother and I wish your father all the best. You’re definitely playing out of your mind; making all the big defensive plays and coming up with the big hits. Vlad should be able to come back with no problems because he has you raking behind him. I’m glad you love the game as much as you do to play as hard as you can in every game.

on saturday at the parking lot before the game i told you i like your blog

my prayers are with your family

This was a nice blog. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hunter family. I know Zelma Louise is with God now. Torii, just want to say we miss you up here in Minnesota, but I’m happy you are well received in Anaheim, now a lot more people have the opportunity to see how special you are, and you can play on grass now! I met you on May 2nd, 2001 in Minneapolis. That was your breakout year so you weren’t as well known back then but you were exactly the same as you are now, always smiling, genuine, down-to-earth. You hit a home run that night to lead the Twins in a 4-2 victory over the Yankees. Remember that? Well ever since I’ve been the biggest Torii Hunter supporter. I wish you all the best in Anaheim and in your career. God Bless.

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