Torii Hunter Hosts A Special Play Baseball Detroit Rally in Wayne, Michigan
A sea of screaming orange.
That’s what greeted Detroit Tigers superstar Torii Hunter as he entered the Franklin Middle School auditorium in Wayne, Michigan on May 14.
Hunter was at the school as part of the Tigers’ Play Baseball Detroit Program, designed to encourage participation in youth baseball and softball programs throughout the metro-Detroit area.
Over the past two decades, participation in youth baseball and softball programs has fallen dramatically in inner city and urban areas throughout the country.
The Tigers are trying to turn those numbers around.
That’s why each year they throw a Play Baseball Detroit Rally in a local school with a Tigers player to help encourage young people to participate in the game of baseball.
This year, it was Hunter’s turn to fire up the kids. And he did just that.
Hunter spoke about his life growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and how he prepares himself to succeed on the field, and in life.
“It’s about getting yourself ready,” said Hunter. “It’s like when a teacher gives you test. If you studied for the test you’re like ‘Man I got this’. But if you didn’t study for the test, that’s when you feel pressure. And that’s when things get tough.”
Hunter encouraged the kids to get involved in their communities, be active in sports, and find what their passions and strengths are.
Then Hunter posed for a photo with the youth baseball and softball players in the audience before returning to Comerica Park for that night’s game against the Astros.
For Hunter, the Play Baseball Detroit Rally was a chance to give back and encourage more kids to play the sport that he loves.
“It was pretty awesome to see the kids and to give them the opportunity to see a professional player and talk to them and engage with them,” said Hunter. “These kids had me pumped up.”