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Padres Chairman And Owner, Peter Seidler, Dies At 63

peter-seidler

Owner of the San Diego Padres Peter Seidler passed away on Tuesday. Despite making financial commitments in the hundreds of millions, Seidler brought his team to a national level of prominence without ever seeing it win a World Series. He was sixty-three.

The Padres did not reveal the cause of death, but in a statement released on September 18, Seidler—a two-time cancer survivor—stated that he had had surgery the previous month that would keep him from playing in any games for the rest of 2023.

The Padres’ majority owner going forward will be the Seidler family.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Padres will open the Home Plate Gate at Petco Park so that supporters can congregate and pay their respects. The team will be in mourning for the remainder of this week, but next week—possibly before Thanksgiving—it is anticipated that a new field manager will be named.

In a statement, Padres CEO Erik Greupner wrote: “The Padres organization mourns the passing of our beloved chairman and owner, Peter Seidler. Today, our love and prayers encircle Peter’s family as they grieve the loss of an extraordinary husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. Peter was a kind and generous man who was devoted to his wife, children and extended family. He also consistently exhibited heartfelt compassion for others, especially those less fortunate.

“His impact on the city of San Diego and the baseball world will be felt for generations. His generous spirit is now firmly embedded in the fabric of the Padres. Although he was our chairman and owner, Peter was at his core a Padres fan. He will be dearly missed.”

Seidler, a die-hard baseball fan and the grandson of renowned Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, will be known for having approved major free agent contracts for players like Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado while also making significant expenditures to keep players like Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Fernando Tatis Jr.

Under Seidler’s direction, the Padres broke a 14-year drought by making it to the postseason in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. In 2022, the team advanced all the way to the National League Championship Series, capped off by an exhilarating, division series-clinching victory over the rival Dodgers at Petco Park in front of a sellout crowd.

The Padres play in a television market that ranks in the bottom third and has a generally disinterested fan base nationwide, but Seidler thought that if an ownership group made the right kind of investment, the community would support his team. Seidler lived to see that vision realized before he passed away.

The Padres set a new attendance record in 2023, selling the second-most tickets in baseball and drawing more than 3 million fans for just the second time in their history, despite a disappointing, postseason-less season. Revenue records followed suit.

Their payroll on Opening Day was close to $250 million, which was about 40% more than the franchise record they had set just two years prior and the third highest in the sport, behind only the New York Yankees and New York Mets. The Padres were expected to operate within the $200 million range despite widespread reports that they were cutting costs this offseason. This was a significant commitment for a team that had previously been treated like a small-market franchise.

Co-founder of Seidler Equity Partners, a private equity firm, Seidler assisted in the Padres’ 2012 acquisition and assumed official ownership of the team in November 2020. Seidler, who beat non-Hodgkin lymphoma twice, went on to become a well-known figure in San Diego. He started the “Tuesday Group” seven years ago, which met once a week to discuss homelessness in San Diego.

He contributed to the Padres’ “Pedal the Cause” campaign, which raised over $18 million for regional cancer research, in one year. The Padres claim that since taking over as team president, contributions to their foundation—which aids marginalized communities in the area—have increased “by more than 10-fold.”

Seidler established a reputation for being extraordinarily devoted, extraordinarily kind, and intensely passionate both inside the Padres and throughout the community. He spoke frequently about choosing to see the good in people and adopt an optimistic outlook in the face of adversity. And all he wanted was to win San Diego its first significant championship.

Sheel, his wife; Terry, his mother; three children; and nine brothers and sisters survive Seidler.

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