DENVER -- P.J. Carey, whose 22-season Minor League managing career was spent mostly directing the Rookie and Class A prospects in the Rockies' system, died Friday night at the age of 59 after a long illness. The Rockies announced the passing of Carey in a statement on Saturday morning.Carey managed with the Rockies from 1993 through 2006, then joined the Dodgers' system in 2007 and finished a 40-year baseball career as a Dodgers senior advisor for player development. Born on Nov. 4, 1953 in Scranton, Pa., Carey began a four-year playing career in the Phillies organization in 1972 before turning to coaching. As a manager, he worked in the Phillies, Reds and Mariners system before joining the Rockies. Carey earned Arizona Rookie League manager of the year honors in 1998 and 2000, was South Atlantic League manager of the year in 1996, and spent 1997 at the Major League level as the Rockies' bench coach. In all, he managed six different Rockies affiliates, and often spent offseason time giving special instruction to catchers at all levels, including the Majors. The Rockies' statement said: "Our entire organization grieves at the death of P.J. Carey. We were deeply saddened to learn of P.J.'s passing on Friday evening. He was a great husband, son, brother and friend to so many throughout our organization and the baseball community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Katherine, family, and to all of those whose lives were touched by P.J. over his life and 40-year career in professional baseball."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.