Kevin Towers

Although he hadn’t applied or interviewed to be the Padres’ GM, Towers was handed the job in November 1995 in a surprise announcement by team owner Larry Lucchino. By 1998 he had built the team into pennant-winners, although financial constraints kept the team from sustaining its success.

Towers pitched for seven seasons in the San Diego farm system, but never made it to the bigs. He once threw batting practice for the Padres regulars, but was angrily sent off the field by skipper Dick Williams after plunking Steve Garvey in the head.

Always dedicated to his work, Towers hammered out a trade involving Willie Blair and Brian Johnson with Tigers GM Randy Smith just before his wedding in December 1996. “We were waiting for his wife to show up at the church,” explained Smith. “Kevin was nervous, so we started talking baseball.”