But the Detroit Tigers right fielder never considered leaving Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
"This is the postseason," Hunter told reporters after Detroit's 6-5 loss Sunday at Fenway Park. "I'd die on the field for this. You're not going to take me off this field."
Hunter crashed headfirst over the right-field wall while attempting to catch David Ortiz's game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning. Hunter went down hard and came out only after teammates had waved for the Detroit medical staff to come help him.
"I was trying my best to just stop that ball from going over the fence," Hunter said. "I'd sacrifice my body if I have to. I've done that my whole career."
With two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Ortiz lined Joaquin Benoit's first pitch deep into right-center field.
Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove winner, said he momentarily lost the ball in the lights before attempting to make a leaping catch at the wall.
"I jumped up. I thought I had a bead on it," said Hunter, who came up in the Minnesota Twins organization with Ortiz and remains friends with the Red Sox slugger. "Next thing I know, I'm falling over the fence."
Hunter, 38, believes he avoided serious injury despite suffering bruises on his side and a scratch on the back of his head that was bleeding.
The fans waited until trainers signaled that Hunter was OK before chanting "Papi!" and drawing Ortiz out of the dugout for a curtain call.
"The one guy you don't want to beat you ... and he beat us," Hunter said. "One of the best hitters in postseason history, and he hit it out of the park and it ties the game up. They end up coming back and winning the game."
The best-of-seven series, which is tied 1-1, resumes Tuesday in Detroit.
Hunter, who is batting just .138 this postseason, indicated that he will play in Game 3.
"I'll just put some ice on it and some Robitussin or something later," he said.
Hunter took to Twitter on Monday, confirming that he plans to play Tuesday in Detroit.
Tough lost last night. I feel like I played a Sunday night football game. I'm sore right now but I'll be ready to go on Tuesday.
— Torii Hunter (@toriihunter48) October 14, 2013
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.