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Torii Hunter visits the ballpark he helped build

Aug 20, 2010, 1:57 PM EDT

When I read the intro to this story about Torii Hunter’s return to Minnesota in today’s L.A. Times, I was prepared to scoff at yet another strange Torii Hunter statement: Target Field is “The House That Torii Built.”  Ha! Put this alongside “Dominicans are imposters” and “Kirby Puckett moved off centerfield for me.” The usual Hunter weirdness.

But (a) Hunter didn’t say that Target Field was “The House that Hunter Built,” the writer came up with that construction; and (b) even if he did say it, he wouldn’t be all wrong.

Unless you’re a Twins guy like Gleeman it’s easy to forget now how dire the ballclub’s straits were in the late 90s and early oughts. The threat of contraction seemed very real at the time. And even if you didn’t think it would happen, it certainly felt like Twins baseball was on life support in many important ways.

As the article notes, however, a crop of young players — not the least of which was Torii Hunter — helped revitalize the team and restore winning baseball to the Twin Cities. That, in turn, helped generate excitement which, in turn, led to the construction of what by all accounts is a wonderful ballpark.

Torii Hunter says a lot of crazy stuff. He wouldn’t be wrong, however, if he said that he had a hell of a lot to do with the construction of Target Field.

  1. BCTF - Aug 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    Target Field: The House That Matt Lecroy Built!!!

  2. doctorfunke - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Hopefully Jacque Jones gets a September call-up and gets to play at Target Field. He was right there with Torii. And as much as most Twins fans would hate to admit it, A.J. was a huge part of that resurgence as well.

  3. BCTF - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    AJ was a huge part of the ALDS in 2002

  4. eminmn - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    I’ll always be grateful for what Torii did for Twins baseball, but I have to agree and expand on what doctorfunke just pointed out: it wasn’t Torii alone, and I won’t ever be caling it the “house that Hunter built.” Torii was part of a group of guys that made Twins baseball watchable again: Stewart, Jones, and even A.J made it happen. If anything, and it kind of pains me to say this, because I don’t always agree with his style, Target Field is the house that Gardy built. He took those guys, and then Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer and Co. and made them into the perennial contenders the Twinkies are today.
    I certainly hope Torii is smart (and humble) enough to realize this and that this is just the reporter taking a bit of license with his conversation with Torii.

  5. NicoSamuelson2 - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    As far as Twins went, Torii was always the most outspoken critic of the Metrodome.

  6. NicoSamuelson2 - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    It seems like forever ago, but Christian Guzman was one of the better players on those teams.

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