Former Diamondbacks Executive VP/General Manager Kevin Towers passed away Monday night after a long illness. He was 56.
“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,” said D-backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick. “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 lost an important member of our family and someone I personally love dearly,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “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 served as the team’s Executive Vice President and General Manager from September 2010 through May 2014, helping guide the franchise to the 2011 National League West Division Championship just one season after the team finished in last place. As a result of the 29-game turnaround, Towers finished third in The Sporting News Executive of the Year voting. He signed first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to a five-year contract extension in 2013 less than 200 games into his big league career and was the GM when the team drafted Archie Bradley.
Considered one of baseball’s most respected General Managers, he served in that capacity for 18 seasons with the D-backs and San Diego Padres (1996-2009).
Towers helped raise the global presence of the franchise, signing the organization’s first players from Japan, Brazil and Germany, while taking goodwill trips on behalf of the team to Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. An avid traveler, Towers visited more than 30 countries during his lifetime.
A native of Medford, Oregon, he was selected in the first round of the 1982 draft and pitched in the Minor Leagues for seven seasons before a series of arm injuries ended his playing career in 1988. He then served as a scout and pitching coach for the Padres before rising to Director of Scouting in 1993, a position he held until being named GM in 1995.