Balfour's father passes away from pancreatic cancer

David Balfour was key to baseball's growth of popularity in Australia

Balfour's father passes away from pancreatic cancer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Balfour, the father of Rays pitcher Grant Balfour, died Tuesday at age 62 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.

David played a large role in the rise of baseball in Australia, and he was the longtime general manager of the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday.

Grant has spent the past two weeks with his father in Australia. He is expected to return to camp this weekend.

In December, Grant told MLB.com that being around as his father battled cancer had added a lot of perspective to Grant's own life.

"Seeing what he's going through, you see some things differently for sure," Grant said. "He's been fighting for a while. We try to fight it with him, but he's doing all the work. He's going through all the aches and pains.

"At the end of the day, health is No. 1. If you have a healthy family, it doesn't get much better than that."

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