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Interview with Torii Hunter

Angels outfielder Torii Hunter arrived at the Winter Meetings yesterday to discuss his foundation, Hunter's Hundreds, with baseball executives. The foundation targets schools and other programs for children and offers one hundred scholarships to kids. "Not all kids can be athletes, so it feels good to give kids other opportunities," Hunter said. Hunter won his eighth Gold Glove with the Angels this past season and is a two time All-Star. Overall, Hunter hit .279 with 21 HR with 78 RBI and 19 SB. After an interview with MLB Productions, Hunter made time to give me a quick interview, and I really appreciate it. I want to thank Mr. Dillon for making that happen.

ELI: How were you feeling as you approached Angels Stadium for the first time?

TORII: Oh, it was exciting. I was anxious. But, I couldn't wait to get out there and play in the sun, and on grass. Playing in seventy degree weather on grass doesn't get much better. [Laughs]

ELI: What would you say was your "Welcome to the Angels" moment?

TORII: In April, I had a walk off grand slam against Cleveland. When I jumped into the mosh pit, all I could here was, "You're an Angel baby!"

ELI: What was it like returning to Minnesota for that first series?

TORII: It was tough, you know? I grew up there. I left Minnesota when I was seventeen. My mom and I were crying, I was just a kid. It was like returning home, but not living at home.

ELI: How do you feel about Greg Maddux retiring?

TORII: I had the privilege of facing Maddux, even though I was probably one of his strikeout. It is always sad to see a great pitcher retire, especially a guy I watched growing up and coming up through the minors. He dominated everywhere he went: Atlanta, Chicago, L.A., San Diego - he played everywhere. I am honored to have played against a Hall of Famer like him.

ELI: What are you working on to get ready for the 2009 season?

TORII: I just have to keep being Torii. [Laughs] I want to lose some weight to help me steal some more bases. Other than that, just have to get ready for a World Series run. We are waiting on Tex [Mark Teixiera] and Sabathia, and those guys are game changers. They both want to play, at least that's what I heard. You pick one of them up, and that will make all the difference.

Check out Torii Hunter's new website here!

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.