Monday, October 23, 2017
Angels’ Hunter wins Branch Rickey Award for Community Service
By Associated Press
Published September 17, 2009

Torri_HunterLEADER: In his second year with the Angels, Tori Hunter has stepped up his community outreach as well as his leadership on a young team which earned him the Branch Rickey Award. 

Angels’ Hunter wins Branch Rickey Award for Community Service

Associated Press

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter was named the winner of the Branch Rickey Award in recognition of his work with kids in the community.

Created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991, the Branch Rickey Award honors individuals in baseball who contribute to their communities and are strong role models for young people.

“It means a lot,” Hunter said. “That’s something that you should do, whenever you can. My grandmother always instilled in me to treat people like you should be treated, and if you can do anything to make people’s lives better, you’ve got to do it. That’s part of your responsibility as a human being, and especially as a ballplayer.”

Roland Thornton, president of the Rotary Club of Denver, made the announcement Thursday at the Denver Athletic Club.

Each year, major league teams nominate a player, coach or executive, either active or retired, for the award. Last year’s winner was Trevor Hoffman, who left San Diego for Milwaukee this season.

Hunter will be honored at a banquet in Denver on Nov. 14.

Hunter’s community works include the “Torii Hunter Project Education Initiative,” which provides college scholarships to students in California, Arkansas, Nevada and Minnesota.

He also is active in the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas and last year helped fund construction of a youth softball field in Placentia, Calif. He has partnered with Major League Baseball to help maintain and improve baseball diamonds in inner cities and is involved with Big Brothers and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

“Even in the minors, I tried to go out and talk to the kids wherever I was,” Hunter said. “When they look at a major league baseball player, that’s a major thing in their lives. When they meet a ballplayer who takes time out to shake a hand or sign an autograph or teach them how to play the outfield, it just gives them that boost to go on with their lives. That’s a big thing to a kid.

“I just love the looks on kids’ faces when I go. They get so excited, so happy, and you can see how much it means to them. A lot of these kids don’t have dads. There’s a lot of dads missing in this world, so some of them look up to other men. If you’re in a position to be an example to them, that’s what you’ve got to be.”

The award is named in honor of the late baseball executive known for creating the framework for the modern minor league farm system and for breaking baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues.

“Branch Rickey, that’s the man,” Hunter said. “He was just as important as Jackie Robinson. People forget that. He got threatened, too. He had to have the courage, and it’s amazing to be a part of that.” 

Categories: Baseball

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!


LA Sentinel
in your pocket:

Taste of Soul Sponsors

© 2017 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

Contact UsAboutMedia KitCorrections & Misprints

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »

Enter For a Chance to Win!

HYUNDAI "Better" Contest at Taste of Soul Los Angeles