MEDFORD -- After a battle with thyroid cancer, North Medford alum and former San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers died Tuesday morning. He was 56 years old.
Towers played baseball, football, and basketball at North Medford from 1976-1979 when he graduated. He went on to play baseball at MiraCosta College, BYU and then in the minor leagues for the Padres over the course of seven seasons.
He served as the Padres' GM from 1995 to 2009. He then led the D'Backs in the same capacity from 2010 to 2014. He joined the Reds' organization as a special assistant to the GM in 2015.
Towers was well-liked and respected by his peers in the game. USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale described Towers as "one of the greatest people this game has ever known, the ultimate fighter."
Buster Olney, another well-respected baseball writer for ESPN said on Twitter, "Kevin Towers was such a great person. So beloved in the baseball community. Terrible to hear about his passing."
Towers was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually took his life late in 2016. His diagnosis wasn't made public until current Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch put Towers' name down on his "Stand Up to Cancer" card during the 2017 World Series.