Long-time Mariners scout Bill Kearns, who joined the organization nearly a year prior to his first season, died Thursday morning at age 94 from a ruptured aorta at a hospital in the Boston area.
“Bill was a gentleman, in the finest sense, and represented his family and the Mariners in a first-class manner,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said.
“And he was an excellent scout, a true ambassador of the Mariners and the game of baseball. Bill was one of the most positive people I have ever met. He will be missed.”
Kearns joined the organization in May 1976 before it chose “Mariners” as its name and scouted the New England area. He previously scouted for the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals.
Major League Baseball recognized Kearns as a Scout of the Year in 2013.
The Mariners said Kearns awoke at 2 a.m. Thursday and wasn’t feeling well. He drove himself to the hospital but died shortly thereafter with his family at his side.