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Minor League senior director Rantz to retire

Minnesota native has been with Twins since their first season in 1961

Jim Rantz, who has been with the Twins since the organization's arrival from Washington in 1961, announced Monday he will retire at the end of the year from his post as senior director of Minor League operations.

Rantz, a pitcher who earned the win for the University of Minnesota in the deciding game of the 1960 College World Series, signed his first professional contract with the Senators in 1960 and spent five seasons in the Minor Leagues as a player and manager before joining the Twins' front office after the 1965 season. He spent four years as assistant public relations director before moving to the Minor League and scouting department. He was named director of Minor League operations in 1986.

"This has been an incredible journey for me and for my family and I look forward to spending more time with my wife, Pearl, our four children and their spouses, and nine grandchildren," said the 75-year-old Rantz, who was born in St. Paul. "I am most grateful to the Griffith family for bringing me into the game and to the Pohlad family for allowing me to contribute to the Twins organization for 52 years. It has been especially rewarding to do this with one club in my hometown."

Rantz was named the Topps' Long and Meritorious Service Award winner in 1997 and played a role in the Twins being named Topps' organization of the year in 2000. The Twins also received that honor from Baseball America in 2002 and 2004. In 2008, he was chosen as Minor League Baseball's first recipient of the Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award for distinguished service, player development and building relationships with the club's affiliates.

Rantz 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. "It was a very humbling feeling to become a member of this select group and it is the highlight of my career."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.
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