When Jake Peavy was at his lowest point, Darrel Akerfelds kept telephoning with words of support and encouragement.

Peavy understands how lucky he was to have a friend who gave everything he had and gave nothing in return. As he watched his friend wage a courageous fight against a disease that would not beaten, Peavy simply wanted Akerfelds to know how much he'd meant to him.

"He was everything to me," Peavy said Tuesday. "He was a friend. He was a mentor. He was also a father figure because he was older and more experienced. At the end of the day, Darrel was an incredible baseball guy."

That's exactly the message Peavy attempted to deliver Monday when he joined Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers and Padres manager Buddy Black in giving eulogies for Akerfelds during a memorial service in San Diego.

"He was as good a friend as you can have," Peavy said. "He was a trench guy, a warrior. When you have someone in your corner in good times and bad times, that's special.