The image of Torii Hunter tumbling legs-over-head into the Boston Red Sox’s bullpen while Steve Horgan emphatically lifts his arms to celebrate David Ortiz’s grand slam is what people remember. But the iconic photo from last year’s American League Championship Series doesn’t tell the whole story for the Detroit Tigers outfielder.
While Horgan was becoming one of the most famous men in Boston and the Red Sox were charging past the Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series championship, Hunter was recovering from his brutal crash over the bullpen wall, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports.
“That play there, wow,” Hunter said of his Fenway fall. “I had a concussion. I had all kinds of pain. I got a cortisone shot. It was tough. … It took me two months to get right from that. Two months. That’s something a lot of people don’t know about. It hurt. I went to rehab. Did everything. Muscle tension. I had a lot of stuff going on.”
Hunter said he has recovered physically since the incident, but he hasn’t been able to fully move on from that fateful night because fans can’t resist asking him about his Fenway flip. Although he appreciates those who view it as a player sacrificing his body to rob Ortiz of a game-tying grand slam, Hunter doesn’t take kindly to fans who find the comedy in the situation. So, fans hoping Hunter will sign the lasting image are out of luck.
“I ain’t going to sign that,” Hunter said. “A couple of people have tried. They said, ‘Would you sign this?’ I said, ‘No. That ain’t even me. That’s my feet.’ They think it’s funny. It’s funny to them. It’s not funny to me. I was trying to win.”
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