"I've been married to the game 23 years," Hunter told LaVelle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I put it almost No. 1 in my life. My family kind of second. I made sacrifices for my family. And now it is time to give them more time."
The 40-year-old Hunter makes his decision following 19 successful big league seasons. He was voted to five All-Star Games, won nine Gold Glove awards, and finished in the MVP voting four times.
Hunter, who established himself as a big league regular back in 1999, was a main cog in the Twins lineup for a good part of the early-2000s. He appeared in 1,227 games for Minnesota from 1999 to 2007. During that stretch, he hit .271/.324/.469 with 192 home runs and 709 runs batted in over 4,875 plate appearances.
He took a seven-year hiatus from the twin-cities, heading to the Angels for five seasons, then the Tigers for two. But Hunter finished his career back where he started it, signing a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Twins this offseason to head back home.
Hunter was the Twins' first round pick (20th overall) in the 1993 MLB Draft. According to Baseball-Reference WAR, Hunter (50.0 bWAR) was the second-most valuable player selected in that round, behind Alex Rodriguez (118.8)
For his career, Hunter finishes as a .277/.331/.461 hitter, hitting 353 home runs and driving in 1,391, while recording 2,452 hits.
I wish Hunter the best in retirement and good luck as he takes the next step in life.