MINNEAPOLIS - A man who made the Minnesota Twins his life-long career has died at the age of 79 after a lengthy illness.

Frank Quilici was a Minnesota Twins player, coach and manager.

The Twins released the following statement:

“The Minnesota Twins today mourn the passing of Frank Quilici. Frank not only exemplified professionalism as a player, coach, manager and broadcaster for the Twins, he also served as a community leader in the Twin Cities working to make sure youth had recreational opportunities and contributed to many other charitable causes. The club, like many of his friends throughout the game, is thinking of the Quilici family during this difficult time.”

He started with the team in 1961 as an amateur free agent. He made his major league debut at second base in 1965 and appeared in 405 games for the Twins over five seasons (1965, 1967-70).

He was then hired as a coach under manager Bill Rigney in 1971 and 1972. Quilici served as the Twins manager for parts of four seasons. He also worked at WCCO radio alongside Herb Carneal from 1976-77 and 1980-82.

Quilici was honored with the Kirby Puckett Award for Alumni Community Service in 1973 for his work promoting being an organ donor and other charitable causes.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.