Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Five-Time MLB All-Star, Torii Hunter, Enshrined into the Little League® Hall of Excellence

Photo courtesy of Little League Baseball®
Long-time Little League® supporter and five-time Major League Baseball All-Star, Torii Hunter, was officially enshrined into the Little League Hall of Excellence with an on-field ceremony prior to the 7:30 p.m. game of the 2016 Little League Baseball® World Series on Wednesday, Aug. 24. Enshrinement into the Hall of Excellence is the highest honor that Little League can bestow.


“Mr. Hunter played Little League Baseball in the National Little League in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in the mid-1980s and has supported our program throughout his illustrious Major League Baseball career,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Throughout his life, both on and off the field, Mr. Hunter has exemplified what Little League stands for – leadership, dedication, and giving back. We are honored to enshrine him into the Little League Hall of Excellence.”

Through the Torii Hunter Project, Mr. Hunter has supported the Little League Urban Initiative program. Little League’s Urban Initiative supplies the financial and educational assistance to local leagues to provide all children, from any economic background, the ability to play baseball and softball.

In 2007, Mr. Hunter was selected as the William A. “Bill” Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award recipient for his accomplishments and being a positive role model. Mr. Hunter was the first active Major League player to be honored with the award.

Mr. Hunter was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1993 and made his debut with the team in 1997. Throughout his 19-year career, playing for the Twins, Angels, and Tigers, Mr. Hunter hit 353 home runs, drove in 1,391 runs, had a career batting average of .277, won nine Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger awards, and was named a five-time All-Star. In his first All-Star game in 2002, his already-respected athletic outfield play was on full display when he scaled the wall and snatched a home run away from Barry Bonds. The memorable catch was awarded as the This Year in Baseball Best Defensive Play of the Year.

Established in 1988, enshrinement in the World of Little League Hall of Excellence is an annual honor bestowed on a Little League graduate (or graduates) who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession and exemplify the values learned as children in Little League Baseball or Softball. Mr. Hunter is joining Tom Coughlin, former NFL Coach, and Cat Osterman, former collegiate, Olympic, and professional softball player, as 2016 Hall of Excellence Enshrinees. After their enshrinement, there will be 52 people honored as members of the Little League Hall of Excellence. For more information and a complete list of Hall of Excellence enshrinees, visit LittleLeagueMuseum.org.

READ: Legendary Softball Pitcher, Cat Osterman, Enshrined into the Little League® Hall of Excellence

Over the course of 10 days, 32 games will be played in the 2016 Little League Baseball World Series, beginning on Thursday, August 18 and concluding with the Little League Baseball World Series Championship Game, which is scheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 28.