Towers was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually took his life late in 2016.
Towers started his career when he was drafted by the Padres in the first round of the secondary phase of the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft. 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. Numerous downs during his tenure were attributed to team ownership's unwillingness to spend money, however, and Towers continued to be well-respected within the industry regardless of how the Padres fared. USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale described Towers as "one of the greatest people this game has ever known, the ultimate fighter".
Notable draft picks under Towers watch were Jake Peavy, Corey Luebke, Khalil Greene and Xavier Nady. I'll never forget the 1996 Ken Caminiti MVP season and the 1998 World Series run in San Diego - attributed vastly to Kevin Towers.
Towers was finally let go by San Diego in 2009, after which he spent two years as an advisor in the Yankees front office.
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers addresses the media after he was introduced during a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, in Phoenix.
His tenure in Arizona was likewise characterized by ups and downs.
The D-backs won the NL West in 2011 and with a 94-68 record lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS.
Kevin Towers was the general manager of the Padres when I made my debut in 2005.
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?"?
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