West News Wire: Peter Seidler would often fantasize aloud about a procession for the World Series, honoring his beloved San Diego Padres and their enduring supporters. He also recklessly spent hundreds of millions of dollars seeking to win the first major championship for his chosen homeland.
Owner and club chairman Seidler consistently sidestepped queries about how the Padres could continue to fund stars such as Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and Manny Machado, despite San Diego being a small market.
He was confident that San Diego would eventually experience a championship parade and a grin from the baseball gods, despite having only two World Series appearances the last one occurring in 1998.
“Do I believe our parade is going to be on land or on water or on both?” Seidler said earlier this year. “Putting a great and winning team on the field in San Diego year after year is sustainable.”
Seidler, who grew up around the game as a third-generation member of the O’Malley family that used to own the Dodgers, died on Tuesday, the Padres announced. He was 63.
It was not stated what caused the death. Seidler had survived cancer twice. The team declared in the middle of September that Seidler would miss the remainder of the season at the stadium due to an undisclosed medical procedure that he underwent in August.
Seidler’s uncle, Peter O’Malley, sent an email to The Associated Press stating, “Peter was an extraordinary leader and had the confidence and support of everyone in the Padre organization and the San Diego community.” “He was fully devoted to winning San Diego its first World Championship when he relocated there to take the helm of the Padres. The Padres have never had a more ardent supporter than him. We will all miss his enthusiasm, upbeat outlook, and friendship.
Peter Seidler and his brother Tom, as well as cousins Kevin and Brian O’Malley, bought into the Padres in 2012 with advice and support from Peter O’Malley, who owned the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1979-1998. Peter O’Malley’s father, Walter, moved the franchise from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.
Seidler had said any affinity for the Dodgers was in his past. During the 2022 season, he said the Dodgers were “the dragon up the freeway that we’re trying to slay.” The Padres did just that, beating the Dodgers in the division series to reach their first NL Championship Series since 1998.
The Padres opened Petco Park on Tuesday afternoon for fans who wished to gather and pay respects.
“Today, our love and prayers encircle Peter’s family as they grieve the loss of an extraordinary husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend,” Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement. “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,” Greupner said. “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 loved his players, and they loved him back.
“My heart hurts with the unfortunate news of Peter Seidler’s passing,” right-hander Yu Darvish posted on X, formerly Twitter. “I’m sure everyone that knew him would agree with me when I say Peter was a truly wonderful human being, and being in his presence was always a blessing. He was a teacher of life, and taught me countless lessons from all the interactions we had. May his beautiful soul rest in peace.”
Late in the afternoon, Darvish and his wife, Seiko Yamamoto, both wearing No. 11 Darvish home jerseys, left a bouquet of flowers at a memorial to Seidler and bowed their heads.
Last December, the Padres offered Bogaerts an 11-year contract worth $280 million. Tatis signed a $140-year contract worth $340 million with the Padres in 2021. They made a trade at the 2022 deadline to acquire Juan Soto, a young star.
The passing of Seidler occurs at a pivotal moment for the franchise. The Padres will put off hiring a manager until next week, but they are very close to doing so. Bob Melvin, who left for San Francisco last month due to a falling out with general manager A.J. Preller, is leaving. Soto, who is under control for just one more season, is another player the Padres are considering trading or keeping.
Seidler leaves behind his mother Terry, nine brothers and sisters, his wife Sheel, and their three children.