AZUSA, Calif. -- Scott Raftery, a former Azusa Pacific baseball player and the Cougars’ long-time football public address announcer, passed away in his home in Arcadia on Saturday, Feb. 23 after a battle with skin cancer.
A celebration of life ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, at 11 a.m. at Sunridge Community Church in Temecula. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center are encouraged.
Raftery, who played three seasons of baseball (1977-79) at Azusa Pacific after transferring from Citrus College, still ranks in the Cougar baseball program’s top-10 in hits, doubles, total bases, walks, and at bats.
“Scott loved Azusa Pacific,” said Azusa Pacific Director of Athletics Gary Pine. “He was a proud alum, and we were equally proud to call him one of ours. Our hearts are heavy at this time. We’re going to miss Scott. He always knew that life was about the relationship, not the accomplishment.”
He returned to his alma mater in 1993 as the football public address announcer, calling Cougar football games for the past 20 seasons. In fact, Raftery continued to call games throughout his battle with cancer during the 2012 season, Azusa Pacific’s first year of NCAA Division II competition within the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
“Scott was the most unique public address announcer I ever knew,” Pine said. “He was the consummate professional but he never took himself too seriously. He brought a different level of joy to our games and entertained the crowd with his uncanny wit and timing, yet his commentary was always centered around the action on the field. As much as he cared about making people smile, he cared even more about the young men on the field.”
Raftery’s devotion to Azusa Pacific had previously resulted in his selection to be honored as part of this year’s Cougar Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, March 23, as the recipient of the Cliff Hamlow Service Award.
Raftery worked for 16 years at Linfield Christian High School in Temecula, where he served as athletic director and softball coach. His teams won four section championships during his 14 years as the softball coach there. In 2007, he moved on to his final professional assignment, joining CIF Southern Section as assistant commissioner.
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