DENVER, May 8 (UPI) -- Former Colorado Rockies co-owner, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Jerry McMorris died Tuesday, the team said. He was 71.
McMorris succumbed after long struggle against pancreatic cancer, The Denver Post reported.
"I believe it is fair to say without the efforts of Jerry there may have never been major league baseball in Denver. He will be greatly missed by us all," current Rockies Chairman and Chief Executive Dick Monfort said.
McMorris, a landowner and businessman, stepped in to help avert a crisis that could have scuttled the planned Rockies expansion franchise in 1992 when one of the team's original owners was charged with fraud and embezzlement, the newspaper said.
McMorris helped raise $20 million to cover a shortfall nine months before the Rockies were to play their first game.
"I am very saddened by the loss of my friend Jerry McMorris, whose efforts were integral to bringing Major League Baseball to Colorado in 1993," Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said.
McMorris stayed involved with the club until 2005, when he sold his interest in the team.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, two married children and five grandchildren, the Post reported.