Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 11/16/12
DETROIT -- You might call Tigers owner Mike Ilitch and Torii Hunter an odd couple, but the two are bound by something very powerful: An overwhelming desire to win a championship. That desire was so strong and Hunter's belief in the Tigers so great that he had already decided that if the Los Angeles Angels didn't offer him a contract, he wanted to come to Detroit. Hunter was the one who arranged to visit Detroit with his wife, Katrina, this past Tuesday. When he met Ilitch for the first time, he recognized a kindred spirit. "This guy has a lot of fire," Hunter said. "He just greeted me with a big smile. He said, 'You came here, you played against us with a fire and that's what we need, fire.' "Just looking at him and talking to him, I could tell that he really wants to win that World Series. I've been playing Major League Baseball for 14 seasons and I see that same fire. I could look at him and I feel it because I'm searching for the same thing. "I really want to win a World Series and he's given me that great opportunity to win a World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 2013. I want to say thank you to Mr. I." Ilitch and Hunter also realize time is not on their side. At 84, Ilitch knows he doesn't have forever to win. At 37, Hunter knows his career is closer to the end than the beginning. Ilitch has won four Stanley Cups with his Detroit Red Wings. He's built an incredibly successful business in Little Caesars Pizza, among other enterprises. But there's still something missing. Hunter has been an All-Star four times, has won nine Gold Gloves and made the playoffs. But there's still something missing. "That's definitely the hole," Hunter said. "You could say the Gold Gloves, the All-Stars, whatever it may be, but it's not complete. Nothing's going to be more gratifying and satisfying until I win that World Series. "All that stuff, I don't feel complete. So I know what's going to make me complete is winning a World Series, and I think the Tigers give me a better chance of winning a World Series." As much as Hunter wants to win a championship, that's not all there is to him, which made Ilitch appreciate his new outfielder even more. "Torii had a reputation of being an upscale player, lots of enthusiasm," Ilitch said. "But the thing that impressed me in the time we spent together is that he cares about everybody. He cares about poor people. The first thing I talked to him about was the conditions in Detroit, and he wants to help." Ilitch said meeting Hunter was like being with someone he's known 20 years. Even during the press conference, Hunter bantered easily with his new owner and got it right back. "I'll pay you later for what you just said," Hunter said to Ilitch after hearing the compliments. "I said it the way you wanted me to," Ilitch responded, eliciting laughter from the crowd. Later, when Hunter tried to respond to a question that was directed at Ilitch, the owner smiled and said, "Is it OK, boss," to Hunter before answering. "I found that this baseball player had other concerns, about other people in the world and in life," Ilitch said. "That made me feel real good ... I got a solid individual here, a solid human being." Hunter had similar things to say about Ilitch. "Mr. I, you guys have something special here," Hunter said. "I heard about him for so many years, and I got a chance to really meet him and sit down and talk to him. He has a great personality, good character man, and he's very down to earth. I like that about him." Ilitch already has done a lot for the people of Detroit, and Hunter hopes to join him in some of those charitable endeavors. Each knows that one of the best ways to bring joy to the city and Tigers fans is winning it all. "It's just a perfect marriage, a perfect fit, and I really think I can win my World Series here in 2013," Hunter said. "And '14.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker