It’s been nearly 20 months since Torii Hunter tumbled into the Boston Red Sox bullpen and instantly became an internet meme.
Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins outfielder was back at Fenway Park, the scene of the 2013 American League Championship Series, talking about the play and how it almost ended his stellar career.
“For six to eight months, I was hurt,” Hunter told The Pioneer Press. “It was painful all around…physically and mentally.”
Fans at home, perhaps distracted by the indelible image of Boston police officer Steve Horgan signaling a David Ortiz grand slam, had no idea of the magnitude of Hunter’s impact following the fall. But, according to the Nine-Time Gold Glove Award Winner, he blacked out…and has former Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster to thank for bringing him to.
“He ran over and checked on me,” Hunter continued. “He was like, ‘T! Wake up.’ He’s slapping me in the face. I was kind of out of it. I was trying to figure out what was going on.”
Hunter would stay in the game and, incidentally, play every out for the rest of the series. Battered and bruised, the veteran would go on to hit .294 (5-for-17) in the four games following the tumble.