SAN DIEGO — Peter Seidler, the free-spending owner of the San Diego Padres who was unable to bring a World Series title to the major league baseball franchise, died Tuesday. He was 63.
Seidler had been battling an illness for months. His wife and children were with him as he passed away, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The family requested his cause of death remain private.
Seidler, a two-time cancer survivor, issued a statement on Sept. 18 noting that he had undergone a medical procedure in August that prevented him from attending games for the rest of the 2023 season, according to ESPN. According to The New York Times, Seidler had twice undergone treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“The Padres organization mourns the passing of our beloved Chairman and owner, Peter Seidler,” Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement. “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.”
Majority ownership of the Padres will remain in the Seidler family, the team said.
Seidler was a third-generation of the O’Malley family who owned the Dodgers franchise in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, KSND-TV reported. He was the grandson of Walter O’Malley and the nephew of Peter O’Malley.
Seidler was part of a group that bought the Padres in 2012 and bought out Ron Fowler’s majority stake in November 2020, according to the television station. Seidler also bought Rawlings in 2018.
Seidler’s biggest ambition was to win a World Series with the Padres, no matter how much money he needed to spend. He spent millions but the Padres are still one of five MLB franchises never to have won the Fall Classic. The team reached the World Series in 1984 and 1998 but lost both times.
“I kind of like spending money,” Seidler told the Union-Tribune in 2022. “You can’t take it with you.”
Seidler opened his wallet to secure big contracts for free agents like Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts, according to ESPN. He also spent big to keep Fernando Tatis Jr., Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish.
“Peter was an extraordinary leader and had the confidence and support of everyone in the Padre organization and the San Diego community,” Seidler’s uncle, Peter O’Malley, said in an email to The Associated Press. “When he moved to San Diego to lead the Padres he was 100% committed to bring to San Diego its first World Championship. He was all in and the Padres never had a bigger fan. Our family will miss his passion, optimism and friendship.”
The Padres reached the National League playoffs during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, ending a 14-year drought, ESPN reported. The team reached the National League Championship Series in 2022.
Although the team missed the playoffs this season, the Padres set a new team attendance record and drew more than 3 million fans for the second time in franchise history, according to ESPN.
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