Souhan: From intern to VP, Antony still enjoys ride with Twins

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 - 7:34 AM

The Twins executive feels added responsibility because of his roots here.


Twins vice presient Rob Antony

Photo: JEFFREY THOMPSON, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Rob Antony was a junior at the University of Minnesota in August 1987 when the Twins hired him as a public relations intern.

“I’m not sure I aspired to a lot, right then and there,” he said. “I was just hoping to graduate, and hoping there would be a full-time job.”

More than 25 years later, the Twins promoted Antony, their assistant general manager, to vice president. After years in the closet-like confines of the Twins’ old PR department in the Metrodome anterooms, the former Minneapolis Henry High School player and lifelong Twins fan works out of a spacious office at Target Field.

“I still can’t say I aspire to anything, or that I aspired to this,” Antony said. “I really didn’t envision being in this role 25 years ago. I just hope Terry stays in his role a long time, and I get to stay in this role for a long time and we get better as a team, so they want to keep us around.”

In December, Twins General Manager Terry Ryan called Antony in for his job review. In Ryan’s informal way, he told Antony about his new title, saying something like, “I’d like you to handle this.”

Antony had moved from PR intern to PR assistant to media relations director, a destination job for many in the industry. He left that role to work in baseball operations for Ryan, meaning he entered a realm where people get fired when the team loses. He began working with minor league affiliates while learning how to scout from Ryan and other veteran talent evaluators.

“It was like starting all over again, at the bottom of the totem pole,” Antony said. “Everybody was my boss. That was fine by me, because that meant I had room to grow if I did well. I did that for about 12 years. I loved it, because I was involved in the minor league and scouting and with the major league staff. I learned so much.”

He scouted amateur players. He traveled to Australia, the Dominican Republic and The Netherlands in the Twins’ search for undiscovered talent. Soon, he was handling contract negotiations.

When Ryan stunned everyone in the organization by stepping down from the GM job in 2007, longtime assistant GM Bill Smith replaced him, and hired Antony as his assistant. The kid who grew up living and dying with the Twins, whose first job had been running quotes to the press box during the 1987 postseason, suddenly was one of the brains in the brain trust.

Antony is positioned to try to prevent the kind of burnout that caused Ryan to resign in the first place. If Ryan departs again, Antony could be in position to succeed his mentor someday.

“I was absolutely shocked when Terry stepped down, and Bill took over and they asked me to be the assistant GM,” Antony said. “That was great, but it wasn’t something I was shooting for. Before, Terry took on so much and traveled so much. When he came back I told him, look, I’ll do whatever you need me to do.”

As a kid who idolized the Twins, Antony feels added responsibility while helping run them.

“I do feel there is added pressure, because as someone who grew up a Twins fan, I know how these people feel,” Antony said. “I feel a strong, strong commitment to trying to build a winner not only for the organization and the Pohlad family, but for our fans.

“I do take it personally when things aren’t going well. It can get embarrassing. Maybe if I worked for another club and I wasn’t from there, it would feel more like a business and just a job. Here, it feels somewhat like an obligation. You’re handed this responsibility and you don’t want to let friends and fans down.

“There are so many people who live and die with us. They might not even come to the ballpark. They might be elderly people who tune in every night. I know my Mom lives and dies with us. That’s why sometimes I think about my job and think, ‘What the heck. How did this happen?’ ’’


Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. •

  • related content

  • Chart: TwinsFest schedule, info

    Monday January 20, 2014

    TwinsFest 2014at Target FieldSCHEDULEFriday: 4-9:30 p.m.Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.Sunday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.FEATURESAutograph sessions, memorabilia and collectibles show and auctions.Tickets: $20...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 96 4th Qtr 5:15
Brooklyn 80
New Orleans 98 4th Qtr 0:44
Chicago 106
Atlanta 64 3rd Qtr 2:26
Milwaukee 58
Philadelphia 32 3rd Qtr
Utah 44
New York 2 1st Qtr 10:10
Sacramento 2
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 3rd Prd 14:38
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia 1 3rd Prd 11:07
Nashville 3
Anaheim 1 3rd Prd 8:13
Arizona 1
Chicago 2 2nd Prd 13:36
Colorado 2
Edmonton 0 1st Prd 17:31
Calgary 0
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
North Carolina 89
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 43 2nd Half 2:38
Tennessee 61
Kennesaw St 18 2nd Half 18:30
Illinois 57
Colorado State 24 2nd Half 16:17
New Mexico St 30
Portland 37 2nd Half 11:34
San Diego 37
Wayland Baptist 38 2nd Half 15:31
Utah State 44
Bristol University 39 2nd Half 15:20
Weber State 67
Sacramento St 43 2nd Half 14:30
Utah Valley U 38
Southern Utah 7 1st Half 15:32
SD Christian 4 1st Half 16:30
San Diego St 8
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 17 3rd Qtr
(24) USC 24
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
(2) Connecticut 96
Houston 50
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65


question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters