Pine Bluff native Hunter wins Branch Rickey Award

DENVER (AP) - Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter is the winner of the Branch Rickey Award in recognition of his work with kids in the community.

Hunter is a native of Pine Bluff and will be honored at a banquet in Denver on Nov. 14.

The Branch Rickey Award was created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991 to honor individuals in baseball who contribute to their communities and are strong role models for young people.

The award is named in honor of the late baseball executive known for creating the framework for the modern minor league farm system and for breaking baseball's color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson.

Hunter's community works include the "Torii Hunter Project Education Initiative," which provides college scholarships to students in Arkansas, California, Nevada and Minnesota.

He's also active in the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas and last year helped pay for construction of a youth softball field in Placentia, Calif. He's partnered with Major League Baseball to help maintain and improve baseball diamonds in inner cities and is involved with Big Brothers and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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