San Diego Padres president and owner Peter Seidler dies at 63 – Orange County Register

San Diego Padres president and owner Peter Seidler died Tuesday at the age of 63 while attending a game between the Padres and San Francisco Giants prior to the MLB World Tour Mexico City Series on April 29, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Sean M. Hafey/Getty Images)

San Diego Padres president Peter Seidler, who exuded joy in nearly every encounter and became a hero to Padres fans for his financial commitment and passion for the team and baseball, died Tuesday morning .

Seidler, who turned 63 earlier this month, had been battling the disease for several months. He died peacefully with his wife and children by his side. The family has asked that the cause of death remain confidential at this time.

“The Padres organization mourns the passing of our beloved Chairman and Owner Peter Seidler,” Parent CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement. “Today, our love and prayers surround Peter’s family as they grieve the loss of an extraordinary husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. Peter was a kind, generous man who was devoted to his wife, children and extended family. Family loyal. He also always showed heartfelt compassion for others, especially those less fortunate.

“His impact on the city of San Diego and baseball will be felt for generations. His generosity of spirit is now firmly woven into the minds of the Fathers. Although Peter was our chairman and owner, he was a priest at heart. fans of the team. “He will be deeply missed. “

Seidler’s grandfather, Walter O’Malley, moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958, and his mother and uncle, Peter O’Malley, have always owned the team Until 1998. Many of Seidler’s happiest moments as an owner occurred when the Padres beat the Dodgers, a team he once called “the dragon on the highway we were trying to kill.”

Seidler was part of the group that purchased the Padres in August 2012. He moved to San Diego and soon became active in philanthropic causes, such as working to reduce homelessness. Due in large part to Seidler’s leadership, the Padres Foundation’s annual giving increased by 1,000 percent.

Seidler became Padres president (the team’s majority owner) in November 2020 with the retirement of Ron Fowler.

“It’s sad on so many levels,” Fowler said Tuesday. “… He’s probably the most positive person I’ve ever met. He always sees the positive. He always feels there’s something better going to happen. It’s been a unique experience getting to know him and working with him. His The positivity is incredible.”

Seidler was loved almost immediately after taking over the day-to-day operations of the team, as fans considered him essentially one of their own. He once declared that the 2020s would be “the decade of the Padres.” In 2022, Seidler, usually accompanied by his wife and/or eldest daughter, will meet the Padres in a city on almost every road trip, which is unheard of for team owners.

Two days after the Padres lost to the Phillies in the 2022 National League Championship Series, the first time the franchise had advanced that far in 24 seasons, Seidler was asked about the Padres’ ’23 roster.

“I kind of like spending money,” Seidler said with a laugh. “You can’t take it away.”

The $256 million the team has committed to players through 2023 ranks third in the majors.

While the Padres do plan to honor Seidler during the 2024 season, no public memorial has been announced.

The Padres will have a week to mourn as an organization and put all non-essential business activities on hold. The manager search will be temporarily halted, with word that a new manager will be named before the Thanksgiving holiday next week.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Peter’s passing,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Peter grew up in a baseball family and his love for the game ran through him. his life. He was passionate about owning the Padres and bringing San Diego fans to a team they would always be proud of. Peter made sure the Padres were part of the solution for San Diego’s communities, especially the homeless community. He is an avid supporter of using the Padres and Major League Baseball to bring people together and help others. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my condolences to Peter’s wife, Shel, and their family, his Padres colleagues, and the fans of San Diego. With my deepest condolences.”

Seidler is credited by many with his commitment to finding solutions to San Diego’s homeless problem. He served on the board of directors of the Lucky Duck Foundation, a San Diego nonprofit that supported various charitable causes before turning all its attention to homelessness in 2017 Millions of dollars were raised.

That year, Seidler and local businessman and restaurateur Dan Shea, who also serves on the foundation’s board of directors, spearheaded the installation of two large tents, each costing $800,000, on city property designed to temporarily house the homeless. while trying to find them permanent housing.

Later that year, the Lucky Duck Foundation followed up and funded the purchase and construction of two tents when an outbreak of hepatitis A in the homeless community killed 20 people and sickened hundreds more. The city funded a third tent.

Around the same time, Seidler initiated weekly meetings, held every Tuesday in his second-floor office in Petco Park, where San Diego’s leading lights would gather to discuss solutions to the growing problem of homelessness. . Meetings that came to be known as the “Tuesday Group” were held in Seidler’s office for many years.

Seidler is not a dispassionate observer of the issue — he is known to walk through the homeless encampment in the East Village near Petco Park and interact with the people who live there, as well as for his regular nightly walks on the beach homeless people encountered. neighborhood near his home.

In a wide-ranging interview in July in a suite at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, Seidler was asked how his team’s performance during the season affected him.

“These things don’t make me angry,” he said in his final public interview. “It pisses me off when people mistreat a homeless person when his or her problems are not his or her fault. It’s a joy. It really is. I read about Lost Cause because I Really want to turn it around. I want to learn as much as I can and ask the right questions. But these guys are giving it their all.”

Seidler is all about positivity. When he answers questions with negative connotations, he always acts as if he doesn’t notice and gives an answer filled with hope and belief, and a general feeling that anything is possible.

On the first day of spring training in February, Seidler was asked whether any team that didn’t reach the World Series would be considered a failure based on the team’s 2023 performance and salary investment. His answer was simple and delivered with his typical cheerfulness.

“One day soon,” he said, “the baseball gods will smile on the San Diego Padres and we’ll have a parade.”

Seidler has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma twice and has battled health issues for years. He said in a conversation in July that the priesthood would continue in his family for generations after his death. A source confirmed the plan on Tuesday.

Seidler is survived by his wife Shel and three young children, his mother Terry Seidler and nine brothers and sisters. His brother, Tom Seidler, is the organization’s senior vice president of community and military affairs.

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