SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres announced today that Kevin Towers has been elected to the Padres Hall of Fame. The former Padres player, scout and front office executive will be posthumously inducted on Saturday, May 12, 2018, in a special pregame ceremony ahead of that night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals as part of a weekend-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1998 National League Championship team. The election was made by the Padres front office in collaboration with the San Diego chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) and local sports media.
“Kevin was the perfect embodiment of what it means to be a Padre and his legacy will continue to live on at Petco Park,” said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler. “He was truly instrumental in putting San Diego on the baseball map, and this well-deserved induction into the Padres Hall of Fame ensures his place in club history. As one of the most beloved executives in our game, Kevin’s devotion to his craft was unparalleled and his influence continues to be widespread.”
Towers will be honored for his nearly thirty years of service with the Padres, most notably as general manager of the club from 1995 to 2009. Dubbed a “gunslinger” for his fearlessness in making trades, Towers was 34-years-old when he began his role as general manager after serving as the club’s director of scouting the previous two seasons. Under Towers, the Padres enjoyed some of the most successful years in club history, including four National League West titles (1996, 1998, 2005, 2006) and a National League pennant in 1998. The ’98 club, which set a franchise record for victories with 98, was comprised of a number of Towers’ acquisitions, including Wally Joyner, Chris Gomez, Greg Vaughn, Quilvio Veras, Sterling Hitchcock and Kevin Brown. Towers was also responsible for acquiring Phil Nevin, Ryan Klesko, Brian Giles, Adrian Gonzalez, David Wells and Heath Bell, as well as drafting future Cy Young Award Winner Jake Peavy, during his tenure in San Diego.
A native of Medford, Ore., Towers first joined the Padres when he was selected in the first round of the 1982 First-Year Player Draft from Brigham Young University. He proceeded to pitch seven seasons in San Diego’s minor league system before a series of arm injuries ended his playing career in 1988. His post-playing career began as an area scout for the Padres from 1989-1991 while also serving as pitching coach for the organization’s Short-Season Single-A affiliate in Spokane. After two years as a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Towers returned to San Diego in 1993 as the Padres’ Director of Scouting. Following his career in the Padres organization, Towers worked as a special assignment scout for the New York Yankees prior to being named the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in September 2010, where he served from 2010 to 2014 and won a National League West title in 2011.
“During his memorable 15-year run as general manager here in San Diego, Kevin Towers was many things to many people: Architect of the greatest stretch in Padres history (the 1998 World Series team and four division championships), builder of stout bullpens, groomer of talent, self-professed gunslinger and, always, a scout at heart,” said Scott Miller, chairman of the San Diego chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “But perhaps KT’s greatest tool came in his humanity: From executive offices to the intern’s desk, he was a beloved friend to all. So many in our game will never forget his warm smile, quick wit and ferocious desire to win. That his legacy will live on in the Padres Hall of Fame not only is altogether fitting, it is wholly deserved.”
“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,” said Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman. “That’s where he belongs.”
Members of the Towers family are expected to be in attendance as he becomes the 15th person to be enshrined in the Padres Hall of Fame, which was created to honor the club’s 30th anniversary in 1999. He joins (in order of induction) Randy Jones (1999), Nate Colbert (1999), Ray Kroc (1999), Dave Winfield (2000), Jerry Coleman (2001), Buzzie Bavasi (2001), Tony Gwynn (2002), Dick Williams (2009), Trevor Hoffman (2014), Benito Santiago (2015), Garry Templeton (2015), Ken Caminiti (2016), Ted Williams (2016) and Jack McKeon (2017).
The Padres Hall of Fame presented by Sony opened at Petco Park in July 2016 on K Street behind the left field seating area. The exhibit showcases the full history, not only of the San Diego Padres, but also of baseball in San Diego. Its many features include an 80-foot-long in-depth timeline, starting with baseball in San Diego in the era before the Padres (1871-1935), moving into the Pacific Coast League Padres (1936-68), and finally transitioning into the Major League Padres (1969-present). Visitors also experience interactive displays and individual tributes to the players, broadcasters and executives who have made a tremendous impact on baseball in San Diego.