Former major league pitcher Darrel Akerfelds, who has been the bullpen coach for the San Diego Padres since 2001, has died after a 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer:
Akerfelds, who turned 50 on June 12, died at the Cancer Center of America in Phoenix, Ariz.
Padres manager Bud Black notified his team of Akerfelds’ death before Sunday’s game at Petco Park. There was a moment of silence at Petco Park before the first pitch of the Mariners-Padres game.
Through the Padres, Black issued a statement:
"The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the loss of Bullpen Coach Darrel Akerfelds," said Padres Manager Bud Black. "Ak was an invaluable member of the Padres coaching staff. He brought a tireless work ethic and compassion for baseball to the ballpark every day. He was a loyal Padre to the end. Players and coaches were made better by Ak. He will be sorely missed, and what he brought to this organization will never be forgotten."
Akerfelds pitched in five major league seasons for the Athletics, Indians, Rangers and Phillies, posting a 9-10 won-lost record, a 5.08 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. He was the No. 1 draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1983.