Twins' Jim Rantz plans to retire after 52 years with organization
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Longtime Twins employee Jim Rantz announced Monday morning at the team's organizational meetings in Fort Myers, Fla., that he will retire at the end of the year.
Rantz, 75, who is the Twins' senior director of minor league operations, has been a member of the Twins' organization since its inception in 1961 after signing his first professional contract with the Washington Senators in 1960.
Rantz was a pitcher at the University of Minnesota and earned the victory in the deciding game of the 1960 College World Series.
Rantz joined the Twins' front office following the 1965 season after five years as a player and manager.
He spent four years as assistant public relations director and then moved into the minor league and scouting department. Rantz was named director of minor league oerations in January of 1986 and assumed full administration of the Twins minor league baseball operations.
In addition to handling minor league player contract negotiations, Rantz worked closely with the Twins' six affiliates where he was responsible for player moves and for the development of young talent for the Major League club.
Under the guidance of Rantz, the Twins organization was named Topps' Organization of the Year in 2000 and again recognized by Baseball America as Organization of the Year in 2002 and 2004.
In 2008, he was selected by minor league baseball as the first recipient of the Sheldon "Chief" Bender award for distinguished service, player development and fostering good relationships with the organization's affiliates.
He was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame in 2007. "I will never forget being honored with induction into the Twins Hall of Fame," Rantz said in a statement released by the team. "It was a very humbling feeling to become a member of this select group and it is the highlight of my career."