San Diego, CA – San Diego Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds passed away Sunday morning after a 19-month battle with cancer.
The senior member of the San Diego coaching staff, he had recently turned 50 on June 12.
"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."
Promoted to the team on June 11, 2001 after serving as the pitching coach for the Padres' Triple-A squad, he had not been with the club since April 15 as his health began to deteriorate.
Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December of 2010, he stayed with the team through the 2011 season despite receiving regular therapy throughout the year.
He made 125 appearances, including 13 starts, during his big league career and went 9-10 with a 5.08 earned run average with Oakland, Cleveland, Texas and Philadelphia.
Akerfelds began his coaching career in 1997 with the Padres Single-A team in Clinton, Iowa of the Midwest League.