Former Padres And Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers Passes Away At The Age Of 56

UC Davis v San Diego State

Some sad news to pass along today — former San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers has passed away at the young age of 56. He had been diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer back in December of 2016, and a little more than a year later, he was gone.

Towers was one of those guys who was universally loved by the people he worked alongside, and even by the people who covered him. He was funny, smart, personable, and passionate. That story that Towers told in 2012 of the time that he traded a player for a treadmill in 1999 was the perfect example of all of those characteristics. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports wrote a very nice tribute to Towers today, and included this story:

I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “K.T.”

He turned to look.

It wasn’t him. Not K.T. at all. I started to apologize.

“Brownie,” he said.

It was him. Too thin, too slack, too dull in the eyes, but there was a trace of Kevin Towers, the gunslinger, the man who loved life so much, who laughed his way through it, in there still, in his voice.

His wife, Kelley, stood nearby, in the dugout at Petco Park. Walt Jocketty, the longtime big-league general manager and Towers’ friend, too. It was mid-March, the World Baseball Classic was in town, and Towers couldn’t resist a ballgame, maybe his last, but he didn’t think so.

He was 55 years old then, and fighting every step, every word, every thought.

“Hundred-and-seventy-nine pounds,” he said, patting the place where the rest had been. “My high school weight.”

That amused him.

“You look good,” I tried.

“Gonna find a way to beat this damn thing,” he said.

Kelley smiled. Walt nodded.

“Yes, you are,” I said.

Even during the darkest time period of his life, his love for the game of baseball never wavered. The baseball world lost a great man today. Rest in peace, Kevin Towers.