Torii Hunter signed with the Los Angeles Angels in November of 2007, leaving the organization that originally drafted him out of high school way back in 1993. This made him the second local fan favorite to leave the Twin Cities in such a short period of time as Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett was traded away just four months earlier.
Fast forward to 2015 and both Garnett and Hunter are back where they began their careers and made names for themselves, and the timing of their returns has matched up almost like their departures did.
Spring Training has now begun and the reality of Hunter return to the Twins outfield is really setting in for fans as the five time All-Star is in Fort Myers with the team. The reality of Garnett’s return becomes true tonight as he’ll suit up for the Timberwolves when they take on the Washington Wizards tonight.
Both players were arguably the face of their respective franchises from the late 90’s through 2007 and this made the two star players good friends.
WCCO-TV in Minneapolis caught up with Hunter in Florida yesterday and the 39-year old Major League veteran expressed much excitement in Garnett’s return, stating that “it’s nice to see us both come back where our true love is” before saying that he’ll see Garnett at a local steakhouse.
Garnett and Hunter, who are 38 and 39 respectively, are both among the oldest active players in their sports and each is the oldest player on his new team. Both the Timberwolves and Twins are in rebuilding mode with their young rosters and each team is looking for their first taste of success in a long time.
The Twins haven’t made the postseason since 2010, a four year drought that has seen 90 or more losses in each season. For the Timberwolves, the drought has been even longer as they have not reached the NBA playoffs since 2004 when Garnett was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and helped push the team all the way to the Western Conference Finals.