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Associated Press, Published January 07 2011

Minnesota Twins executive Bell to retire

With Target Field finally open and receiving rave reviews, Jerry Bell has decided to retire.

The longtime Minnesota Twins executive announced his retirement to the staff on Thursday morning, ending an era in which he helped the Twins win two World Series titles and ensured the team will remain in the Twin Cities for decades to come after winning a more than decade-long fight to get a new ballpark downtown.

“Jerry’s imprint on the Twins organization is deep and very significant,” said Dave St. Peter, who succeeded Bell as Twins president in 2002. “Really his focus over the course of last of 10-15 years was ensuring the long-term viability of baseball in Minnesota. His heart and soul is very evident in Target Field and he can feel very proud where this franchise is today.”

Bell served as the team’s president from 1987-02 and was on staff when the Twins won titles in 1987 and 1991. He was appointed president of Twins Sports Inc. in 2002 and spearheaded the team’s campaign to get a new ballpark.

The Twins opened gleaming new Target Field last season, a beautiful outdoor park that assured the team would remain in Minnesota. Team officials credited Bell for his tireless work overseeing the planning, design and construction with the project’s overwhelming success.

Even though Bell is retiring from his primary duties as Twins Sports Inc., he will keep an office at Target Field and plans to continue to help the organization with special projects.

“He’s not really saying goodbye,” St. Peter said. “He’s moving into a new phase of his career. He will continue to be very involved.”