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Hunter to leave team for sons' graduation

Hunter to leave team for sons' graduation

DETROIT -- Torii Hunter has spent 18 years missing various events in his kids' lives in order to be there for his team, but his sons' graduation from high school is something he's not about to miss.

"This is just once in a lifetime," Hunter said. "I hope people forgive me for it."

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Most fathers, hopefully, will understand. Considering that one of the things that drew Hunter to the Tigers this past offseason was the opportunity to be close to one son, Torii Jr., at Notre Dame, it would be difficult to fans to complain.

Hunter plans on heading home to Texas after the series finale in Pittsburgh on Thursday night. He'll miss the games on Friday and Saturday in Baltimore, then return for Sunday's series finale against the O's.

Unlike bereavements, paternity leave and family medical emergencies, there's no special list that would allow the Tigers to replace Hunter on the 25-man roster. The only Minor League outfielder on the 40-man roster at the moment is Quintin Berry, anyway. With Hunter gone for just two days, the Tigers will get by a man short.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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