LOS ANGELES — Tommy Hunter was ready to call it a career last winter and settle into the life of a retired pitcher and full-time dad.
After 14 major league seasons and after undergoing back surgery last summer, the timing seemed right. Hunter had appeared in just four games for the Mets last year before the back pain intensified to the point he couldn’t continue.
But before Hunter could get too comfortable with the idea of retirement, his wife, Ellen, asked him to reconsider. At the root of her request was the couple’s third son, Rowan, born in April 2021.
“She was kind of pushing me toward doing baseball, going through everything as long as I can,” Hunter said in a phone conversation this week. “She was like, ‘You don’t have a picture with the baby on a big league field, and I think that’s something you would live to regret if you never gave it a shot.’ ”