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Former Twin and fan favorite Nick Punto is retiring

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Former Twins infielder Nick Punto is hanging up his glove.

MLB.com says Punto, a fan favorite for years in Minnesota, has decided to retire.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports also tweeted the news.

https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/700393057531904000

Punto did not play in 2015 – he signed a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks last January, but later decided to sit out the season.

Punto was traded to the Twins in 2004, coming from the Phillies (along with Carlos Silva and later Bobby Korecky) in exchange for Eric Milton, Baseball-Reference.com says.

While in Minnesota, he was known for his utility defense and heading up the group of four scrappy hitters dubbed "The Piranhas" by former White Socks manager Ozzie Guillen.

They were given the moniker in 2006, arguably Punto's best season with the Twins. He hit .290 with 45 RBIs and 17 stolen bases, according to BaseballReference.com.

He stayed in Minnesota for seven seasons, playing in 747 games while batting .248 with 311 runs scored, according to Twins Daily.

https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/700460262600540160

The Twins declined to renew his contract after the 2010 season, and Punto was then picked up by the Cardinals, who would go on win the World Series in 2011. Punto bounced from St. Louis to Boston, before returning to his home state of California to play for the Dodgers and the Athletics.

Punto's career: A .245 batting average in 1,163 games, with 798 hits, 263 RBIs, and 421 runs scored.

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