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Minor league manager Dwight Lowry collapses, dies after game

July 11, 1997

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (AP) _ Dwight Lowry, manager of the Jamestown Jammers, collapsed and died Thursday morning just a few hours after pitching batting practice. He was 39.

Lowry, who had a history of heart problems, was taking out the trash at his home shortly after coaching the Detroit Tigers’ Class-A farm team to a 9-8 victory over the Batavia Clippers in the New York-Penn League when he slumped to the ground.

He was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. Thursday at WCA Hospital in Jamestown, hospital officials said. Chautauqua County authorities were looking into the cause of death.

Lowry had faxed the results of the Jammers’ victory to Detroit shortly after 11 p.m. and walked three blocks from the stadium to his rented home in Jamestown. His wife, Pam, heard him collapse outside before calling an ambulance.

``He’s going to be hard to replace, not only in baseball, but as a person,″ said Dave Miller, the Tigers’ director of minor league operations. ``He was just so fair with his players and other people. Just a fine individual.″

On Saturday, the team will hold a memorial service for their manager.

``He was definitely the most patient, most tolerant, understanding _ not only coach _ but probably person I’ve ever met,″ first baseman Brennan Hervey said. ``He never yelled, never raised his voice. He really knew how to bring out the best in his players and people.″

Jammers general manager Mike Ferguson said the death was a surprise because Lowry had recently passed a team physical. Ferguson said Lowry seemed fine before the manager started walking home.

``There were no signs of him being ill at all,″ Ferguson said.

But Lowry’s father said his son’s heart problems were first detected when he was a student at North Carolina in 1979. He had been hospitalized twice.

``He had an inflammation of the heart,″ Marvin Lowry told The Robesonian newspaper of Lumberton, N.C. ``...I’m assuming it’s the same thing. But I know they did everything they could to save him.″

Lowry’s 11-year professional career included four seasons in the major leagues, where he was mostly a reserve. He was a catcher for the 1984 World Series-winning Tigers and played his last major league game in 1988 with the Minnesota Twins. Lowry retired in 1990 while with Montreal’s Triple-A team in Indianapolis.

Lowry coached three seasons with Detroit’s Class A team in Fayetteville, N.C., of the South Atlantic League. Last year, he was named coach of the year by the organization.

``He’s made a big impact on our lives, not just baseball-wise,″ said Hervey. ``He’s taught us a lot about being a person.″

Jamestown’s scheduled Thursday night game at Batavia was postponed. The New York-Penn League announced other teams would a have moment of silence and flags at other ballparks would be raised at half-staff.

Besides his wife, Lowry is survived by three children: Zack, Amanda and Cecily, and his parents.

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