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02/10/10 7:44 PM EST

O's former traveling secretary passes away

Onetime reporter Itzoe spent 45 years working for Baltimore

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles lost a longtime friend and colleague on Wednesday, when former traveling secretary Phil Itzoe passed away after an extended illness. He was 72.

Itzoe had spent 45 seasons with the Orioles, and 41 of them in his capacity as traveling secretary. Itzoe's Baltimore tenure began in 1968 and he received a large variety of distinctions along the way.

Itzoe, a former reporter, spent four seasons with Baltimore as an assistant to the public relations director. He took over as traveling secretary in 1968 and held that position for the next four decades. Itzoe was honored with the first Donald Davidson Memorial Award in 1990, which is annually presented to the top traveling secretary in the Major Leagues.

Baltimore honored Itzoe in 2008, when he entered the Orioles Hall of Fame as the recipient of the Herb Armstrong Award. Itzoe, a member of the York Area Sports Hall of Fame, is survived by his wife TyLisa, children MariaLisa and Josh, daughter-in-law Jessica and grandchildren Caleb and Lydia. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

"It is with great sadness that we learned today of the passing of Phil Itzoe," said Peter Angelos, the Orioles' principal owner and managing partner. "Phil served the Orioles with excellence and loyalty for over four decades and was respected not just by his coworkers, but also by those throughout the sports industry for his integrity and dedication.

"We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, TyLisa, and the rest of his family."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.