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Torii Hunter Speaker Profile

Outfielder for the Detroit Tigers

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Torii Hunter Biography

Torii Kedar Hunter was born on July 18, 1975 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, about 45 minutes southeast of the state capital, Little Rock.

One of four boys produced by Theotis and Shirley Hunter, Torii was a gifted athlete who idolized his older brother, Taru. He credits his sibling with helping him develop into the player he is today.

Shirley worked as an elementary school teacher in Little Rock, and Theotis was an electrical engineer who found steady employment in a cotton mill and with the railways. Despite their long hours on the job, providing the bare necessities was sometimes a struggle. Electric bills didnt always get paid, and roaches and rats were often unwelcome housemates. Torii slept on a towel when the old mattress in his bedroom became too disgusting.

Shirley and Theotis relied on their boys to look after themselves. This made Torii and his brothers mature beyond their years. He learned to cook by age 10. Baking cakes was his specialty.

Pine Bluff was not the type of place you'd find pictured in a Norman Rockwell painting. The Hunters lived on the east side of town, where crime and drugs offered tempting shortcuts to the bored and desperate. The Hunter boys were crazy about sports, however, which provided a perfect alternative to life on the corner. Torii, who possessed amazing speed, had a sixth sense for tracking down footballs and baseballs. Taru challenged his little brother to run down long bombs and deep flies, and marveled as the ball settled into his soft hands no matter how far he had to run for it.

Torii's first love was football. On offense he lined up at quarterbackhe had the best arm in townand on defense he patrolled the secondary as a hard-hitting free safety. Of course, come the spring the youngster turned to baseball. Torii started in tee-ball at age eight, and played in organized leagues every summer, including Little League and Babe Ruth, right into his teens. As a talented two-sport star, he naturally discovered a hero in Auburns Bo Jackson. Torii marveled at Jackson's sprinter's speed, raw power and impeccable instinctsand thrilled with the rest of the country as he became a star for the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Royals in the 1980s.

Torii entered Pine Bluff High School as a sophomore in 1990, and immediately became a football star. He also made headlines in basketball and track for the Zebras. Success in baseball was slower to come, but by his junior season, Torii was distinguishing himself on the diamond. No matter how good he was, however, he could not hope to be the best in the school at any sport. That distinction belonged to his friend Basil Shabazz.

Considered by many to be the greatest prep athlete in Arkansas history, Shabazz could do it all. Though he played just one season of baseball, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and received a $150,000 signing bonus. The notoriety helped Toriis cause; when the scouts came to see Shabazz, they noticed him, too. Voted an All-State performer his last two seasons, Torii had already begun his thieving ways, both on the basepaths and in centerfield, where he regularly robbed opponents of homers and extra-base hits. He was no slouch at the plate, either. He generated excellent bat speed, and once hit a 550-foot homer, according to Zebra coach Billy Bock.

In 1992, Torii was named to the U.S. Junior Olympic baseball squad. When the teenager couldn't come up with the money to cover team expenses, he wrote Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and received a check for $500.

In the spring of 1993, Torii was wooed by several college recruiters, including Bill Springman of Pepperdine, which had a superb baseball program. He was intrigued by the idea of a college scholarship until he began hearing rumors that he might be taken in the first round of the draft. Torii was surprised that he was regarded so highly, but by draft day the rumors had been confirmed.

Some 50 relatives gathered at the Hunter home on June 3rd to await news of where Torii was headed. He secretly hoped to be selected by the Atlanta Braves. Georgia wasn't too far Arkansas, the team was building a dynasty, and almost all of the club's games were shown on cable. But when the phone rang, it was the Twins, who had tabbed him with the 20th pick overall. Mike Ruth, the team's Midwest Scouting Director, had first spotted him in the spring of 1991 and monitored his progress from there. Torii wasn't sure what to think. All he knew of Minnesota was Kirby Puckett. After the draft, a local television station wanted wanted to do an interview with Torii wearing a Twins hat. A friend was dispatched to the mall, but no one could find one.

A few days later, Ruth arrived at the Hunter home and sweated out a brief negotiation in their un-air conditioned living room. Torii accepted the teams signing bonus of $450,000 and packed his bags for Fort Myers, Florida.


Torii Hunter Booking and Hiring Information

Popular baseball players such as a Torii Hunter have made the national past time what it is today. The booking agents at AthletePromotions can assist with Torii Hunter appearances or speaking engagements from current and retired legends. We have years of experience in booking the boys of summer for autograph signings as well as keynote speeches. Booking a baseball speaker like Torii Hunter is not a hard process. Our agents can provide availability, fees and all costs associated in bringing out a successful football star to your next corporate event. Our team will find Torii Hunters agent to make this booking happen. A Torii Hunter appearance will add energy to your upcoming event and reward employees, customers and clients. Most likely, baseball fans and corporations can find Torii Hunter's official website, charity involvement, Twitter account, representation, publicist and management info at www.Torii Hunter.com.

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AthletePromotions acts only as an athlete broker for corporate functions, private events and speaking engagements. Athlete Promotions does not claim or represent itself as Dennis Rodman's agent, speakers bureau, manager, publicist, assistant, PR firm or management company. Athlete Promotions is a celebrity booking agency representing organizations and groups seeking to hire motivational speakers, athletes, celebrities and corporate entertainment for private corporate events, athlete endorsements, personal athlete appearances, spokesperson campaigns and speaking engagements. We are often asked how we can book Dennis Rodman for an event? Our celebrity booking agency can hire Dennis Rodman for celebrity golf tournaments, tradeshows, conventions, store grand openings, VIP meet and greets, licensing deals, print advertising and television commercials. Dennis Rodman booking and appearance fees, costs and prices on this website are estimates and are only act as a guideline. Exact booking fees are determined by a number of factors, including location of event, the celebrities schedule, desired duties, supply and demand and other market factors. Bios on this site are for informational purposes only and deemed to be reliable resources, but not guaranteed. Some parts of the athlete's biography may be used from Wikipedia, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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