Kevin Towers, who rose from a minor league pitching coach to the general manager of two big league clubs in a career that spanned nearly 30 years, died on Monday from thyroid cancer. He was 56.
Towers served as the Padres general manager from 1995-2009, overseeing four division titles and a 1998 World Series team, and was the Diamondbacks general from 2011-14, overseeing another division title in 2011. He most recently worked as a Reds scout and special assistant to the general manager.
Towers also worked for the Yankees in 2010 and scouted for the Pirates early in his career from 1991-93.
Towers was a standout pitcher at Brigham Young and was drafted first overall by the Padres in the secondary phase of the 1982 draft, but injuries ended his playing career in Triple-A. He spent two years as a pitching coach at Class A Spokane, moved into scouting with the Padres and Pirates, became the Padres pro scouting director and finally was promoted to their GM, all in a six-year span.