April 05, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) Billy DeLury, a Los Angeles Dodgers employee for nearly 65 years, dating to the team's roots in his hometown of Brooklyn, has died. He was 81.

He died Saturday night at a hospital where he had checked in a day earlier after not feeling well last week, the team said Sunday.

DeLury joined the Dodgers at 17 out of high school in 1950. He worked for the franchise both in New York and its spring training home of Vero Beach, Florida, starting out in jobs including laundry and the mail room. DeLury received his first World Series ring in 1955 while, as he called himself, ''an office boy.''

DeLury went on to sell advertising for Dodgers programs, worked in the minor league department and became assistant ticket manager. He was the team's traveling secretary for more than 20 years. In recent years, DeLury worked as an assistant to the broadcasters and traveling secretary, and was a familiar presence around Dodger Stadium. His service with the team was interrupted by military duty from 1957-58.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully knew DeLury for more than 60 years.

''A Dodger from head to toe,'' Scully said. ''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.''

As a teenager, DeLury was instructed to leave the Polo Grounds in the ninth inning of the final game of the 1951 National League playoff between the Giants and the Dodgers, with Brooklyn leading 4-1, to take the train back to Ebbets Field and begin distributing World Series tickets.

When he arrived there were no crowds, only a night watchman who told of Bobby Thomson's home run, the famed ''shot heard `round the world'' that beat the Dodgers.

''Billy's consistent dedication and outstanding character were both an inspiration in our front office as well as a daily reminder of our roots in Brooklyn,'' Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said.

He is survived by a daughter.

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