Rosenthal: Remembering the beloved Kevin Towers, the life of any party

From Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic on January 31, 2018:

It was a Super Bowl party none of the attendees will ever forget.

Padres assistant general manager Fred Uhlman Jr. picked up Theo Epstein at the San Diego airport, then he got Brian Cashman at his hotel. The three stopped at a liquor store to buy some alcohol before heading to Encinitas, Ca., to join their ailing friend, Kevin Towers, at the home of his longtime agent, Barry Axelrod.

Kirk Gibson, Towers’ former manager in Arizona, was in the area and planning to attend. Bud Black, Towers’ former manager in San Diego, was coming from his nearby home in Rancho Santa Fe. Bruce Bochy, another of Towers’ former managers, would have made it too, but got stuck in Florida and could not leave.

“What an array of different friends,” Gibson said on Tuesday night as he mourned the loss of Towers, 56, to thyroid cancer. “But that was who he was. He could communicate with everybody. And he became everybody’s best friend.”

Few people in baseball, or any walk of life, were as beloved as Towers, the former GM of the Padres and D-Backs. Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, came up with the idea for last year’s Super Bowl party, then flew in from Chicago to see his former mentor. Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, flew in from New York. “We could have invited 500 people and 500 probably would have showed up,” said Uhlman, Towers’ longtime assistant with the Padres. But Uhlman, Epstein and Axelrod decided to keep the group small and limit it only to close friends.

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Originally published: January 31, 2018. Last Updated: January 31, 2018.