Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why The Angels Love OC


Our sixth installment of our month-long love letter to Orange County entitled Why We Love OC features Torii Hunter and Mike Napoli. That's right, your ANAHEIM Angels (we're still in denial that they're the LA Angels. They'll always be Orange County's team in our hearts!) Let me give you the run down on these two Angels veterans. 

[Torii Hunter showing why he won the 2009 Silver Slugger Award.]

Torii Hunter: Center fielder and powerhouse slugger. Last season won his 9th consecutive gold glove award on top of a silver slugger award, named # 44 on the Sports News list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball in 2009, and was selected to represent the Angels in the All-Star game (his third career appearance). When Torii hits the field with his balls-out playing style, things happen. And on top of all of this, he's got a heart of gold. Torii is always giving back to our local community in Southern California through his program the "Torii Hunter Project Education Initiative," and other charities promoting education and the funding of sports programs. Just in 2008, he helped fund a baseball field for kids in Placentia. It's no wonder why he won the Branch Rickey Award last year, an award given to MLB players who show excellence in charity work. 

[Mike Napoli hard at work behind the plate.]

Now for Mike Napoli: Catcher and powerhouse slugger. Started out right here in SoCal with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes before moving up eventually to the majors and joining the Angels. With much hard work, Napoli soon became the starting catcher. Napoli batted better than .270 for the second season in a row and is so strong on offense, he sometimes fills in as DH for Vladi. 

With the Angels re-working their roster for the upcoming season, Torii and Mike are going to be among the remaining veterans the new young talent will be looking to as leaders to help the team to grow and rebuild - hopefully all the way to another World Series title! 
Without further ado, here is why these two love this great county of ours:

“I love Orange County because…we have the best fans in the league”
Mike Napoli, Angels catcher

“I love Orange County because….I can always work on my tan”
- Torii Hunter, Angels center fielder (and always the comedian)

Baseball season will be upon us soon - but until April, check up on the Angels website for all the latest on the roster and signings. For the illustrious history on the Angels and their local beginnings, checkout our article here! Did you know Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, was the one who bought the franchise and renamed them the Angels? When I say illustrious, I mean illustrious!

- Amy

Stay tuned for more love letters from your favorite local celebs, professionals, athletes and more right here at the OC Gazette Blog!

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