Former Padres, Diamondbacks GM Towers dies of cancer
- Author: Stacy Allen Feb 01, 2018,
Feb 01, 2018, 0:21
Towers was a college baseball star who was drafted as a pitcher by the Padres in 1982.
He was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer in 2016 but his condition was not made public until Game 4 of the World Series in October when his name was displayed on a placard in a Stand up to Cancer spot.
Following his career as a player, Towers became a pitching coach for the Spokane Indians in 1989, and also served as a scout for the Padres from 1989 to 1991.
Tower's influence on the current game is apparent and can be found all over the league, from front offices like the Cubs and Theo Epstein, who said, "He was the best".
Notable draft picks under Towers watch were Jake Peavy, Corey Luebke, Khalil Greene and Xavier Nady. Even though the Padres were blanked by the Bronx Bombers in four straight games, it was an October to remember in sunny San Diego. Seven years later, as general manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Towers would once again entrust me with a Major League role, this time trading for me from the Oakland A's. The Padres' run at the World Series in 1998 was credited for voters approving funding for Petco Park, which opened in 2004.
His tenure in Arizona was likewise characterized by ups and downs. The Diamondbacks won the NL West in Towers's first season in charge but failed to finish above.500 in his final three years.
Breslow: "I didn't realize how integral Kevin Towers was to my career trajectory until I asked the question: How much different would things have been without KT?"?
Towers was 56 year-old.
Chief baseball officer Tony La Russa was hired to oversee Towers in 2014, and Towers left the organization soon after before the general manager position was filled by Dave Stewart.