Jim Rantz, Senior Director of Minor League Operations, announced this morning at the Twins organizational meetings in Ft. Myers, Florida that he will retire at the end of the year.
The 75-year old Rantz 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. The former pitcher earned the win for the University of Minnesota in the deciding game of the 1960 College World Series. After spending five years as a player and manager, he joined the Twins’ front office following the 1965 season. He spent four years as Assistant Public Relations Director before moving into the minor league and scouting department. Rantz was named Director of Minor League Operations 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.
“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 & their spouses, and nine grandchildren,” said Rantz. “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. “
In 1997, he was the Topps’ Long and Meritorious Service Award winner. 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,” said Rantz. “It was a very humbling feeling to become a member of this select group and it is the highlight of my career.”
Rantz added, “I am proud of our staff’s many accomplishments and still get a thrill when a young player advances through our system and plays in the Major Leagues.”