Kevin Towers, architect of the only two San Diego Padres teams to ever reach the World Series in the franchise’s history and the man whose success during a 14-plus-year reign as the club’s General Manger is credited with the voters’ approval of Measure C which led to the construction of Petco Park, will be inducted posthumously into the club’s Hall of Fame on May 12th, the club announced on March 20th. Towers pitched for MiraCosta College under the late John Seely in the old Desert Conference when the Spartans fielded a baseball team, earning a Division I scholarship to BYU along the way. In the Major Leagues, his Padres teams won four National League West championships after he was promoted from Scouting Director at age 34 and faced the Detroit Tigers in both the 1984 World Series and the New York Yankees in his final season in San Diego in 1998 before leaving to become General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who also won an NL West title. Towers was 56 when he passed away on January 30 of this year after a 14-month battle with cancer of the thyroid.
“I think Kevin coming in with that ’98 club and how he built that team … that ultimately got to the World Series and led to Measure C passing – for him to do that, helping the organization on so many levels, it’s perfect,” all-time great Padres closer Trevor Hoffmann told the San Diego Union Tribune in an article announcing his pending Padres HOF induction on March 21st. Hoffman, who starred as a shortstop both on the community college level at Cypress College and on the Division I level for Arizona State, set what at the time was the all-time Major League record for saves after being converted into a pitcher in pro ball and will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown later this season. “The only way it would be better,” added Hoffman, whose MLB saves record eventually was broken by the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, “would be if he were around to take part in it.”
“I think it’s very fitting that the architect of four postseason teams in San Diego is being inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame,” Hoffman said when he was one of more than two dozen friends of Towers who spoke at a celebration of life at Petco Park in February. The Union Tribune estimated that the major league executives, managers, coaches, scouts and personnel who flocked to San Diego that weekend” numbered in the hundreds. The Padres will host the St. Louis Cardinals on May 12 in a game slated to start at 5:40 p.m. as part of a celebration that will honor the 1998 National League championship team that set a franchise record with 98 wins. The Tigers defeated the Padres four games to one in the 1984 World Series and were swept by the Derek Jeter-led Yankees in 1998.