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Dodgers fixture Billy DeLury dies at 81

Billy DeLury, left, seen here during spring training this year at Camelback Ranch.
Billy DeLury, left, seen here during spring training this year at Camelback Ranch.
Photo: Jon SooHoo | LA Dodgers

Longtime Dodgers traveling secretary, Billy DeLury, passed away on Saturday night at age 81, the team announced on Sunday.

DeLury started with the Dodgers out of high school at age 17 in 1950, the same year Vin Scully started with the team.

"I was privileged to know Bill DeLury for more than 60 years from the time he was an office boy in Brooklyn and rose to become a most valuable member of the organization as our traveling secretary," said Scully in a statement. "A Dodger from head to toe. A respected baseball man. And a deeply religious husband and father. Anyone and everyone in baseball who knew Bill will mourn his passing and he will be truly missed."

DeLury worked a number of jobs in his over 65 years with the team, from self-described "office boy" to laundry to the mail room. He sold programs, worked in the ticket department, minor league development, then for over 20 years as the traveling secretary. In recent years, DeLury worked as an assistant to the broadcasters and to Scott Asaki, the club's current traveling secretary.

One of the great things about the Dodgers is how prevalent and embraced history is throughout the organization. It helps to have old Brooklyn Dodgers still roaming the halls, like Scully, Don Newcombe, Tommy Lasorda, and DeLury. With DeLury now gone, another tie to the past is gone, and a great storyteller at that.

DeLury was one of the most beloved members of the Dodgers family, and was a constant presence at Dodger Stadium and during spring training, even this year. He was an exceedingly nice man who always had time to say hello. DeLury will be greatly missed. Just ask the people who worked with him and knew him.

Dodgers photographer Jon SooHoo has a photo essay of DeLury up on his blog.