After attending St. John’s, the native of New York signed with the Detroit organization in 1941. Rutner’s minor league manager said the Tiger probably wouldn’t have signed him if they knew he was Jewish. After serving in World War II, Rutner, now at third base, had several good years in the minors. In 1947, he was hitting .327 for Birmingham when he got called up to play for the Philadelphia Athletics in September. He hit .250 in 12 games. Despite a career .295 average in the minors, Rutner never got another shot at the big leagues.