San Diego Padres owner and chairman Peter Seidler has died at 63 years old, according to a club announcement on Tuesday. The club did not offer a cause of death. Seidler, though, did go public on Sept. 18 that he’d undergone a medical procedure.
It would keep him from going to any Padres games, ESPN reported. Seidler was a two-time cancer survivor.
The Padres announced Tuesday that they will open the Home Plate Gate at Petco Park later that afternoon for fans who wish to gather and pay their respects.
Padres CEO Erik Greupner wrote in a statement, “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.”
Peter Seidler Was Grandson of Walter O’Malley
Seilder was the grandson of famed decorated Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley and a devoted baseball fan himself. He will be remembered as the man who lifted the Padres to unprecedented levels. He green-lighted major free agent contracts for Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts. Plus, also spending big to retain the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr., Joe Musgrove, and Yu Darvish.
Under Seidler’s watch, the Padres reached the postseason during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. That ends a 14-year drought. They went all the way to the National League Championship Series in 2022. It was a year highlighted by a division series-clinching victory over the rival Dodgers in front of a sold-out Petco Park.
The Padres operate within a bottom-third television market. It has a fan base nationally considered to be generally apathetic. But Seidler sternly believed the locals would rally around his team if an ownership group properly invested in it. Before his passing, Seidler saw that vision become a reality. Despite a disappointing, playoff-less finish, the Padres set a new attendance record in 2023, selling the second-most tickets in baseball and drawing more than 3 million fans for only the second time in their history. Record revenues came with it.
Their Opening Day payroll stood at nearly $250 million, the third highest in the sport — behind only the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. It is roughly 40% higher than the franchise-record-setting number they reached just two years earlier. Widespread reports were that the team was cutting costs this offseason, but the Padres were still expected to operate within the $200 million range, a sizeable commitment for a team that had been handled as a small-market franchise through its prior decades of existence.
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