San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler, whose unprecedented spending and other bold moves brought him national attention, died Tuesday. He was 63.
Seidler’s family has asked that the cause of death remain private. Sidler, who has been dealing with an undisclosed illness, announced in a statement on Sept. 18 that he underwent an undisclosed medical procedure and will not be able to participate in Padres games for the remainder of the 2023 season.
“The Padres organization is saddened by the passing of our beloved chairman and owner, Peter Sadler,” Padres CEO Eric Graepner said in a statement.
“Today, our love and prayers surround the Peter family as they mourn 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 family. He constantly showed heartfelt compassion for others, especially those less fortunate.
“His impact on the city of San Diego and the world of baseball will be felt for generations. His generous spirit is now firmly woven into the fabric of the Padres. Although he was our chairman and owner, Peter was a passionate Padres fan. He will be greatly missed,” he said.
Seidler was the grandson of former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley and nephew of Peter O’Malley, who owned the Dodgers after his father’s death and led the franchise to World Series titles in 1981 and 1988. Seidler, a fan named after his uncle, and San Diego businessman Ron Fowler made his fortune in private equity before leading the team that bought the Padres from John Moores in 2012.
Under Seidler, the franchise’s lead investor and later chairman, the Padres went from a traditionally overlooked team in the bottom third of the television market to one of the sport’s movers and shakers. Seidler is credited with authorizing and in some cases pushing the nine-figure signings of Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Joe Musgrove, Xander Bogaerts and Yu Darvish. Such investments have helped propel the Padres from one of the league’s most frugal clubs to baseball’s third-highest payroll for the 2023 season.
Seidler also signed the hiring of AJ Preller in 2014 and twice extended the contract of the general manager who changed the Padres’ roster frequently and aggressively. San Diego’s 14-year playoff drought ended in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, after which Seidler replaced Fowler as owner. In the year In 2022, the Padres went to the National League Championship for the first time in 24 years. Amid last season’s disappointment, the star-studded team still drew 3.2 million fans to Petco Park.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Peter’s passing,” MBB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Peter grew up in a baseball family and his passion for the game was evident throughout his life. He was passionate about owning the Padres and bringing in a team that San Diego fans have always been proud of. Peter has proven that the Padres are part of the community solutions in San Diego, especially the homeless community. He was a passionate supporter of using the Padres and Major League Baseball to bring people together and help others.
In the year Born to Roland and Terry Seidler on November 7, 1960, Peter Seidler founded Seidler Equity Partners, a private investment firm, in 1992. It’s his background in business, he says, that helped him land a unique opportunity for the first time. In the year In 2011, he considered buying the Padres.
But Seidler, a Type 1 diabetic and two-time non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor, might not have seriously considered that possibility had he not undergone cancer treatment that year.
The exploration, fueled in part by boredom, turned into a full-blown search. Shortly after purchasing the Padres, Seidler moved his young family to San Diego and began immersing himself in the community. In the year In 2017, Seidler founded the “Tuesday Group,” a coalition of business and civic leaders who meet weekly to address homelessness in San Diego. His other philanthropic efforts focused on health and medical issues; During Seidler’s tenure, for example, the Padres’ “Pedal the Cause” raised more than $18 million for cancer research.
Known for his constant positivity and regular presence around the Padres — at home and on the road — Seidler has demonstrated his passion for baseball in all his endeavors. In the months leading up to his August medical procedure, he publicly said he intended to keep ownership of the team in his family for decades to come.
“You go through something brutal, and sooner or later we all do, either directly or through a family member or a good friend. You can’t avoid that in life,” Seidler said in a 2021 interview. But there are silver linings that come, and in my personal case, I’m thankful for the silver linings that come with cancer treatment (in 2011).
“And for me in professional sports, it’s all about winning. And a championship or a lot of long-term value brings to a city or a district or an area, something special and truly unforgettable.
Sidler is survived by his wife, Shell; three small children; his mother, Terri; and nine brothers and sisters. One of Seidler’s younger brothers, Tom Seidler, is a minority owner of the Padres and the team’s senior vice president of community and military affairs.
(Photo: Dennis Poroy/Getty Images)