SAN FRANCISCO -- The saga of Andres Torres could launch a thousand screenplays. But one film should suffice in capturing his story. Torres, who overcame literally dirt-poor beginnings in Puerto Rico and a prolonged struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to thrive as a Giants outfielder, said Monday that he will be the subject of a documentary to be released next July. Torres, 32, hopes that youths with ADD will see the film and realize that their malady doesn't have to limit them. ADD or ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is believed to affect 3-5 percent of school-age children. However, a recent Mayo Clinic study indicated that the figure could be as high as 7.5 percent.
"It's about giving kids hope and never giving up," Torres said of the film project. "You have to keep working hard. I want to be something positive, especially for kids with ADD. It's a message for the kids." The company that's conveying Torres' message, Plan A Films, has been honored at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival for its work. "Making movies that matter" is the slogan appearing on Plan A's Internet home page. "I choose to portray only people who inspire this world," said Chusy Jardine, a Plan A director, producer and writer. Torres, who said that he was approached by Plan A representatives two weeks ago, is compelling on multiple levels. He was raised in Aguada, Puerto Rico, where he, a brother and a sister frequently occupied themselves by pulling yams from the earth. Torres developed sprinter's speed despite not even having shoes for many years. Said Torres, who's widely regarded as one of the friendliest Giants, said, "I came from a poor family. But it doesn't matter. What matters is what's in your heart." Torres played baseball at Dr. Carlos Gonzalez High School in Aguada but was unpolished. A natural right-handed batter, he learned to switch-hit at Miami-Dade Community College, where he was lured after a recruiter saw him flash the speed that enabled him to cover 100 meters in 10.4 seconds. Torres toiled in professional baseball for 11 years, spending all but one year and 115 days of that time in the Minor Leagues. He had never made an Opening Day roster in the Majors until 2009, when his impressive Spring Training performance won him a spot with the Giants -- his sixth different organization. By then, Torres had learned to cope with ADD. He was finally diagnosed with the disease in 2002, but didn't begin taking medication regularly until '07. Not coincidentally, he hit a rousing .292 that year while amassing 21 doubles, 20 triples and 10 home runs at Double-A and Triple-A in Detroit's organization. "I started being more consistent," Torres said. Mostly a reserve for the Giants in 2009, Torres worked his way into an everyday job by late May this year. He finished with a .268 batting average, 16 homers, 63 RBIs, 26 stolen bases and 67 extra-base hits, which tied for 10th-most in the National League. He also hit .276 in 15 postseason games. Torres said the Giants' World Series triumph accented the documentarians' interest.
"It was a team that played together," he said.Torres said the filmmakers will retrace his steps from Puerto Rico to Miami to Scottsdale, as well as San Francisco, to chronicle his tale. He said that versions will be done in English and Spanish. Having remained mostly in San Francisco since the World Series ended, Torres said he has received positive feedback when he has mentioned the documentary to fans, who now recognize him everywhere.
"I want to thank the fans for their support and their love," Torres said.Known for his humility and work ethic -- he won this year's "Willie Mac" Award as the Giants' most inspirational player -- Torres is eager to see his life unfold on the big screen. He intends to serve as an example, not to have his ego fed. "I want people to see why I am the way I am," Torres said. "We need to feel proud of where we came from. ... It's not about just me."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.