Porcello sells 48 to Hunter for hurricane relief
You had to figure once the Tigers had a deal with Torii Hunter, he would end up getting his number 48 from Rick Porcello. This probably wasn’t the expected way.
As it turned out, Porcello turned the usual jersey number exchange into a very positive turn for his home state.
Hunter and Porcello had met and talked once in another offseason when both were in Las Vegas, so there was already a familiarity.
“I called Rick Porcello, and I told him that I wanted to [buy the number],” Hunter said Friday. “You know, veteran guys usually give a nice dollar amount for a number, so I offered him a nice dollar amount. And he said no. I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with him.’”
Then Porcello came at him with another idea.
“You know what, he’s from New Jersey,” Hunter continued, “and Hurricane Sandy came and destroyed some parts of New Jersey, and he knows some people that were affected by it. He said, ‘The money that you offered me, could you donate it to this organization for Hurricane Sandy?’
“That’s the kind of guy Rick Porcello is. And he really gave me number 48. I’m like, ‘Are you sure you don’t want anything? You’re OK?’ He’s like, ‘Yes, I’m straight.’”
Porcello lives in northern New Jersey, close enough that he can see New York from his hometown. He went to high school at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, which was reportedly hit hard by the storm. There was a YouTube video that circulated around showing what looked like an endless line for gas at a station in West Orange that hadn’t opened yet.
Porcello had worn number 48 since he made the Tigers rotation out of spring training in 2009. He wore 21 in high school, but Dontrelle Willis had that number in 2009. Delmon Young wore 21 the last season and a half. Porcello will wear it now.
Hunter was glad to help.
“Thank you, Rick. You the man,” Hunter said.