Torii Hunter literally was willing to run through a wall last season to earn his first World Series ring with the Detroit Tigers. Hunter learned, however, that running through a wall is both painful and ineffective when it comes to winning baseball games.
Hunter returned to Fenway Park this weekend for the first time since last season’s American League Championship Series. The Red Sox, of course, took down the Tigers in the 2013 ALCS — en route to a World Series title — and one of the most iconic images of Boston’s championship run was Hunter spilling over the right field wall on David Ortiz’s game-tying grand slam in Game 2 at Fenway.
“You know when someone’s walking behind you and you can feel it,” Hunter said Friday while recounting the scene, according to the Boston Herald. “I knew that wall was there and I just said, ‘Forget it. All or nothing.’ You usually have that point where you’re running after the ball and then a voice says, ‘Hold up,’ like a normal human being. And I guess in that moment, I said, ‘I’m a superhero.’
“I didn’t feel like one afterward.”
Hunter went full throttle in an attempt to rob Ortiz, whom he’s great friends with from their days together with the Minnesota Twins. But the Tigers outfielder came up empty and tumbled over the wall as now-famous bullpen cop Steve Horgan threw his hands up in triumph.
Hunter made some comments in the wake of his reckless wall encounter that sounded critical toward the clearly jubilant Horgan. The five-time All-Star clarified Friday, however, that his comments were made in jest and that he since has shared a laugh with Horgan, whom he’s actually known for years as a visiting player at Fenway.
“He seems like a good guy,” Hunter said Friday of Horgan. “It was his moment. He got a chance to shine. He got to sign autographs. It’s a great thing. Good things happen to good people.”
Many around baseball will tell you Hunter falls into the category of “good people.” The 38-year-old still has yet to taste World Series glory, though, and last season was a painful reminder of how elusive that first ring can be for some players.