Torii Hunter on kissing a gator: “That was my fear”

The Instagram picture of Torii Hunter kissing an alligator went viral to the point that it was a topic on national talk shows. Not even Hunter expected that kind of reach.

It wasn’t a full-on kiss, Hunter admitted, but it was close enough.

“I didn’t actually kiss it,” Hunter said Wednesday morning. “I was on the backside of it. I’m definitely afraid, and my wife wouldn’t kiss me after that. What if he broke loose and bit my nose off? Noseless Torii.”

Even getting that close, however, was plenty. He touched an alligator, and that was a first.

“It was cool. We had some fun. I was scared as hell. That’s my fear. I had never touched a gator. That was my fear and I overcame it. I got close, right in his face, and touched him in the eyeballs and everything.”

It was more than Miguel Cabrera was willing to do.

The setup revolved around manager Brad Ausmus’ soon-to-be-famous 9:30am meetings. Sometimes, players are sent out on projects around the area. Drew VerHagen had to go to the circus across the street early in camp and interview some of the performers. In this case, Hunter said, Daniel Fields, Ramon Cabrera and others were sent to Gatorland to film something.
“They all went to Gatorland and did a little skit,” Hunter said. “They had a video and they were talking with a mic and just kind of walking around and talking to people and touching different animals and different reptiles. Then they showed it in here. At the end of it, the lights came on and they brought a FedEx package to Miguel Cabrera and it was a gator.

“Miguel started running around the clubhouse. He was running, and they were trying to give him the package. We just all took pictures of it and Verlander said I dare you to kiss it.”

It was not a small gator, either. Hunter estimated it to be four or five feet long.

The gator presumably went back to Gatorland, though Hunter has no idea where it came from or where it’s going.

“Probably some boots,” Hunter said. “It’s probably boots right now.”


I am glad the team can have some fun off the field. It almost sounds like chemistry to me. I just got done reading the Kinsler article that was from the ESPN mag. I liked it but I am sure the writer wanted some drama. Sad about Dirks. I really like him. Also sad that we lost another GREAT Tiger fan. My brother in law just died after a 7 month battle with brain cancer. He was 57. We have some connections and want to spread his ashes at Comerica. I have never been to opening day and this year it is on my 57th birthday. I might just make the drive from Grand Rapids! Go Tigers! –Dave

My condolences to you

Sorry, Dave.
I’m starting to wonder whether Opening Day will be possible on March 31.

Ca-ca-ca. Crowe,Kelly, Carrera. They might combine for 5 homers this year!

Brad said at the beginning of ST, that he didn’t know anything about some of the guys in the farm and wanted to see them play. He’s giving them a good opportunity.

Still snow in the frozen North?

Dan, it reached a toasty 22 degrees, so I walked to the store. About 30″ high in my yard.

stickin yer mug near the business end of a croc seems like a legit fear…i’d be worried bout anybody who wouldn’t be fearful of this faceoff. heck i knew a guy who got his nose bit while nuzzling a horse

also knew of someone who got hurt playing a video game…perhaps my fear of video games is irrational

This was not exactly the smartest of pranks/dares to carry out! I’m surprised Torri was that stupid unless they had the three stooges leather belt to hold the snoot open. Haha

The gator ( or caiman , looks like one) was tied. No tongue

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