Torii Hunter hit 214 home runs as a Twin. Nearly all of them were accompanied by John Gordon’s signature “Touch ‘em all,” call on the radio.
So perhaps it’s appropriate that Hunter and Gordon will go into the Twins Hall of Fame together. The longtime outfielder and legendary broadcaster have been elected as the Class of 2016, team president Dave St. Peter announced Friday.
Induction ceremonies will be held July 16 and 17 at Target Field, an occasion the team has been unable to hold since 2013. Chuck Knoblauch was elected in 2014, but the team chose not to induct the All-Star second baseman after he was charged with assaulting his ex-wife in Houston. For 2015, no former Twin received the required 60 percent of votes by an electorate of 66 media members, former players and Twins officials.
Concerned that a third year could go by without an inductee, the Twins eliminated a two-year waiting period for retired players last fall, allowing Hunter to appear on the ballot this winter, and the nine-time Gold Glove winner was an easy choice to become the 27th person, and 19th player, elected to the team’s top honor. He received 66 votes.
In addition, a 23-member veterans committee consisting of Hall of Fame members, Twins executives and team historians selected Gordon, who called Twins games for 25 seasons. Gordon’s Minnesota career began in 1987, coinciding with the team’s first world championship, when he was hired to work alongside Herb Carneal, another Twins Hall of Famer. Gordon, who called Orioles and Yankees games before being hired by Minneapolis station WCCO, retired after the 2011 season
Hunter was a first-round pick by the Twins in 1993, and was a regular from 1999-2007, earning two All-Star invitations. He left as a free agent following the 2007 season, but returned in 2015 for a one-year Minnesota encore, hitting .244, smacking 22 home runs and turning 40 years of age. He announced his retirement in October.