October 2, 2012
Okay so the 2012 season didn’t turn out the way all of us Angel fans hoped. More on that soon, but today I want to focus on something that is dear to my heart (and my wife’s Cheryl’s as well) and that’s Torii Hunter.
Whenever I think of Torii Hunter it’s easy for me to become emotional. He makes me laugh because quite frankly – he’s just very funny. He makes me smile because he has a joyful spirit and you can’t help but smile whenever you are around him, hear him speak or see him interacting with people in general.
Torii Hunter represents everything that is good about baseball and his life is a model for how we should all approach life. Torii Hunter has sincere appreciation for his life and all the things he’s been able to do with it. He is philanthropic, humble at the core of who he is, and he is always uplifting others.
My admiration for the man is well documented on this blog; in fact, some might say that I go a little over-board with my praise.
So why blog about Hunter again?
I don’t know what the future holds; although there seems to be some good indications that he will be back with the Angels next year.
And while I am extremely disappointed with the Angels’ season, I’m even more disappointed for Torii. I sincerely hope he gets the opportunity to play in a World Series. If ever there was an athlete who deserves that opportunity, it’s Torii Hunter.
I’m not alone in that thought and Hunter has become very much beloved among the Angels’ faithful.
So here’s the deal…. This can’t be Hunter’s last season because more than anything – I want to have an opportunity to be at his last home game; knowing it’s his last home game and give him the proper respect he deserves. I want to stand and applaud and say “thank you” – even if he can’t hear me and even though he’ll never know how I feel. I want that, my wife Cheryl wants that and the many Torii Hunter fans out there want that too.
When Tim Salmon retired – we were fortunate to have that opportunity. When David Eckstein was non-tendered or even when Joe Saunders was traded – we didn’t have the chance to say “good bye.” I know that’s just the way it works sometime, but in Torii’s case – I hope more than anything that we have that moment to stand and celebrate his time in Anaheim.
The days to come in the off season will be long; too long. It will be painful to look back on all the lost opportunities and struggles of 2012.
My only hope is that we receive news that Torii will be back (and we hear it soon) and that will give me and Cheryl something to look forward to.