Don Welke, the Vice President of Scouting Operations for the San Diego Padres, has died, the team confirmed Thursday.
Welke, who began scouting for major league baseball with the Cincinnati Reds in 1965, worked in the league for more than 50 years.
At some point in his long career, Welke worked for the following: the Texas Rangers, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Baltimore Orioles, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Kansas City Royals and the Team USA Olympic baseball team.
He joined the San Diego Padres in 2014.
San Diego Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler described Welke as a dear friend who was invaluable to the Padres' front office.
"He was a legend in the baseball world," Seidler said in a written statement. "Don was a super scout and a super guy, and we will miss him greatly.”
Padres Executive Vice President & General Manager A.J. Preller described Welke as a visionary.
"Don had a tremendous career in baseball, both as a talent evaluator and in the relationships that he built," Preller said. "Beyond his accomplishments, Don was a loyal and generous friend. Everyone whose lives he touched were better for having known him."
A native of Illinois, the 75-year-old Welke had three children and made his home in San Diego.