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Gary Gaetti and Jim Rantz elected to Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame01/26/2007 3:23 PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Twins announced today that former third baseman Gary Gaetti, the 1987 ALCS Most Valuable Player who helped lead the Twins to their first World Series Championship, and Director of Minor Leagues, Jim Rantz have been elected to the team's Hall of Fame. Gaetti and Rantz will become the 17th and 18th members of the Twins Hall of Fame when they are inducted during special on-field pre-game ceremonies, Saturday May 5th (Rantz) and Sunday, August 19th (Gaetti).
The Twins Hall of Fame, which honors players, managers, coaches and off-field personnel who have contributed to the organization's growth and success since the Twin Cities broke into the Major Leagues in 1961, was created as part of the club's 40th Season Celebration in 2000. The inaugural class of Twins Hall of Famers -- Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Calvin Griffith -- were inducted on August 12, 2000. Other inductees include pitcher Jim Kaat (2001), broadcaster Herb Carneal (2001), pitcher Bert Blyleven (2002), former manager Tom Kelly (2002), long-time public address announcer Bob Casey (2003), outfielder Bob Allison (2003), catcher Earl Battey (2004), pitcher Frank Viola (2005), owner Carl Pohlad (2005) and shortstop Zoilo Versalles (2006).
Gaetti, a four-time Rawlings Gold Glove third baseman (1986-1989), played 10 seasons for the Twins from 1981-1990 and was the Opening Day third baseman nine consecutive years (1982-90). Gaetti helped guide the Twins to their first World Championship in 1987 as he hit 31 homers and drove in a team-high 109 runs. During the 1987 ALCS against Detroit, Gaetti hit .300 (6-for-20) with two home runs, five RBI and was named the Series MVP. Gaetti was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1988 and 1989. In 1988 he hit .301 and led the team with 28 home runs, which ranked fourth in the American League. On the Twins all-time leaders list, Gaetti ranks fifth in doubles (252) and RBI (758), sixth in games (1361), at-bats (4989), hits (1276), home runs (201) and total bases (2181), and eighth in runs scored (646), while his .977 fielding percentage in 1988 is still the highest single season percentage by a Twins third baseman. Gaetti spent 20 seasons in the Major Leagues, playing in 2,507 games with Minnesota (1981-90), California (1991-93), Kansas City (1993-95), St. Louis (1996-98), Chicago Cubs (1998-99) and Boston (2000).
Gaetti was elected by a 58-member committee consisting of local and national media, club officials, fans and past elected members using rules similar to those necessary for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The 58-member committee annually considers "uniform" personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame. Gaetti was the top vote getter followed by pitchers Rick Aguilera, Jim Perry, Camilo Pascual and Jim "Mudcat" Grant.
Rantz, who has been a member of the Twins organization since its inception in 1961, signed his first professional contract with the Washington Senators in 1960. A former pitcher, Rantz spent five years as a player and Manager before joining 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. Rantz' duties have included full administration of the minor league department, including the working relationships with the Twins six affiliates. He is responsible for player moves at the minor league level and for the development of young talent for the Major League club. Rantz also handles contract negotiations with minor league players. In 1997, he was named Topps' Long Meritorious Service Award winner and in 2000, the Minnesota Twins were named Topps' Organization of the Year. Baseball America recognized the Twins as Organization of the Year in 2002 and 2004.
Rantz was elected through the Veterans Committee ballot, which consists of 14 voters; voting participants include all living Twins Hall of Famers, current Twins President and General Manger and two Minnesota Baseball historians. The 14-member committee votes every other year on "non-uniform" personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame.
Twins Hall of Fame membership is currently displayed via special signage at the Metrodome and will eventually be combined with a Minnesota Baseball Museum within the confines of a new Twins ballpark.
Tickets to the Twins Hall of Fame induction game and ALL Twins home games, including the Home Opener on Monday, April 2 against the Baltimore Orioles (7:10 p.m.), are available online at www.twinsbaseball.com or by calling (612) 33-TWINS or (800) 33-TWINS. Tickets can also be purchased over-thecounter at the Twins' Metrodome box office or at the Twins Pro Shops (Apple Valley, Minnetonka or Roseville).
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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