Davey Nelson, who held various roles since 2001 with the Milwaukee Brewers, together with analyst for the tv broadcast team, died Monday at 73 after a battle with cancer.

The former All-Star infielder joined the Brewers in 2001 as roving minor-league outfield instructor and served as their first base coach from 2003-’06. In 2006, he moved into a broadcasting role as analyst for FOX Sports Wisconsin and also served in the team’s front office as director of alumni relations.

“Davey took every opportunity to turn a casual introduction into a lifelong relationship, and his legacy will live on in the positive impact he had on the lives of so many people,” Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger said.

“Davey’s love of life and commitment to helping those in need were second to none, and we are so grateful for the time that we had with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of those who loved him.”

Born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Nelson graduated from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California and attended Compton Junior College for one year and Los Angeles State College for two years. He also served in the Army Reserve for six years.

Nelson signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1964 and went on to a 10-year career in the majors with the Indians, Washington Senators, Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. A constant threat on the bases, he stole 51 bases in 1972 for the Rangers, ranking second in the league, and 43 in ’73, when he made the American League all-star team. That year, he batted .286 with seven homers and 48 RBI in 142 games.

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Nelson began his major-league coaching career in 1981 with the Chicago White Sox as first base coach and base-running instructor. He went on to coach for Oakland, Montreal and Cleveland, and in 1980 was on the coaching staff at TCU.

Beyond his contributions with the TV broadcast crew, Nelson was a perfect front-office fit for the Brewers because of his easy-going, affable nature that always left friends and acquaintances smiling. He was a loyal member of the organization and served a vital role by maintaining a database of former Brewers players and organizing alumni events.

But Nelson also had a profound effect off the field as founder and member of the board of directors for Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa, an organization that gave housing to children either orphaned or from unstable family situations. His annual golf tournament raised significant funds for that organization.

As a sign of how beloved Nelson was within the organization and to those who knew him, tributes immediately poured in on Twitter:

In lieu of plants, donations to Open Palms House for Youngsters may also be made in Nelson’s reminiscence at openarmshome.com. There might not be a proper memorial provider however a personal birthday celebration of Nelson’s lifestyles will probably be held later this spring.

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