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SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame Nomination #10: Jim Gantner

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Jim Gantner was born January 5th 1953 in Fond du Lac Wisconsin. Gantner grew up in Eden WI, and attended high school in Campbellsport WI. He attended the UW-Oshkosh and was eventually inducted into their Hall of Fame, along with other MLB alum, Gary Varsho and Jarrod Washburn.

In the twelfth round of the 1974 draft, Gantner was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers. Two years later, on September 3rd in 1976, Jimmy Gantner would make his MLB debut against Mark Fydrich and the Detroit Tigers. Gantner would go 2-4, collecting his first MLB hit in his second AB.

Gantner would bounce between the majors and minors in 1977, however on Sep. 25th, Gantner would hit his first career homerun off of Twins pitcher Ron Schueler. In 1978 and 1979 Gantner would serve as a utility infielder for the Brewers, playing every infield position. 

In 1980 Gantner would take over the starting third base job from Don Money, and would make over 100 appearances for the Brewers in eleven of the last thirteen years of his career. The Brewers would lose to the Cardinals in seven games in the 1982 World Series, however, Jim Gantner would hit .333 with four doubles and a triple.

In 1983, Gantner would put together one of his best offensive seasons when he launched eleven homeruns, and batted .282. Gantner would start to accumulate most of his playing time at second base starting in 1981, and during that span he would define himself as one of the best fielding  second basemen to ever play in the American League.

After seventeen seasons Ganter would retire, playing his entire career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1992. Gantner would retire with a .274 batting average and 1696 career hits. Only Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor would play in more games as a Brewer than Gantner, and only Yount, Molitor and Cecil Cooper would collect more hits.

Currently, Jim Gantner is still involved in Wisconsin baseball as he coaches the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwoods League.