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AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Published: 8 months ago
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Kevin Towers, whose 14-year tenure as general manager of the San Diego Padres included an appearance in the 1998 World Series, has died from complications of cancer. He was 56.
Friend and former agent Barry Axelrod said Towers died Tuesday at a hospital. Towers' wife, Kelley, was at his side.
Towers was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer a little more than a year ago.
Axelrod said Towers was admitted to a hospital with fluid on his lungs a few days ago, and friends and family members thought he would be able to go home Tuesday
As he spoke last week about being elected to the Hall of Fame, former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman grew emotional when he mentioned Towers' influence on his career.
Towers also was general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks for four seasons, including 2011, when they won the NL West title in a 29-game turnaround from their last-place finish the previous year.
"We lost an important member of our family and someone I personally love dearly," Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said in a statement. "He was one of the biggest personalities the game has ever seen, with a heart of gold and an eye for talent. He could not get enough of baseball, and baseball could not get enough of our KT. It is no surprise he fought for extra innings. Our love goes out to Kelley, his family and everyone who knew him."
Towers was born in Medford, Oregon, was a first-round draft pick and pitched in the minor leagues for seven seasons before arm injuries ended his playing career in 1988. He served as a scout and pitching coach for the Padres before being promoted to director of scouting in 1993 and was named Padres general manager in 1995.
Under Towers, the Diamondbacks signed Paul Goldschmidt to what became an extremely team-friendly five-year contract in 2013 and drafted current bullpen ace Archie Bradley.
"KT was the epitome of a good baseball man who played a significant role in the history of the D-backs, and his contributions to our franchise will never be forgotten," Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick said. "He fought hard until the very end, as we all knew he would, and I will always remember him for his positive outlook on life. Baseball lost a great executive and person."
We invite you to share condolences for Kevin Towers in his Guest Book.
BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
Copyright Associated Press