Tigers' Torii Hunter idol: Andre Dawson

Tigers' Torii Hunter celebrates with teammates after defeating the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre...

Tigers' Torii Hunter celebrates with teammates after defeating the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre last night. Hunter had four hits in the game. (Reuters)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:19 PM ET

Parents try to prepare their children for the path ahead.

Torii Hunter was 12 on opening day 1987 when he knew the path he wanted.

After school in Pine Bluff, Ark., he’d rush to his grandfather’s house to watch the Chicago Cubs on WGN.

“On school days I’d get to grand daddy’s about the seventh inning,” said the Detroit Tigers right fielder Hunter on Tuesday, before the slugfest against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.

“I’d sit on the couch and watch. There was a black man ... just like me. He had a curl ... just like me.

“He was big, he was strong. I wanted to be just like Andre Dawson.”

Dawson was in his first year with the Chicago Cubs leaving the Montreal Expos as major league teams agreed not sign free agents. Agent Dick Moss told the Cubs Dawson would sign a blank cheque and the Cubs could fill in the amount ($500,000 US), a cut from $1.047 million he’d earned in 1986.


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