GUEST BLOG / By Kevin Acee, San Diego Union-Tribune Sports Writer--Padres Chairman Peter Seidler died Tuesday morning. Seidler, who turned 63 earlier this month, had been battling an illness for months. His wife and children were with him as he passed away peacefully. The family has requested the cause of death remain private at this time.
“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.”
No public memorial has been announced, though the Padres do plan to honor Seidler during the 2024 season. The Padres have taken this week to grieve as an organization, setting aside all non-essential business activity.
The manager search will be halted temporarily, with a source saying the new manager will be named next week before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Seidler is survived by his wife, Sheel, and three young children, his mother, Terry Seidler, and nine siblings. His brother, Tom Seidler, is the organization’s Senior Vice President for Community and Military Affairs.
Seidler’s grandfather, Walter O’Malley, moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958, and his mother and uncle, Peter O’Malley, owned the team until 1998. Seidler was part of the group that bought the Padres in August 2012, moved to San Diego and quickly became active in philanthropic and causes such as homelessness.
He became Padres Chairman in November 2021 with the retirement of Ron Fowler.
Seidler, who exuded joy in virtually every encounter, whether with media or players or people he met at the ballpark, became a hero to Padres fans both for his commitment to record payrolls and his enthusiasm. He once declared the 2020s would be “The Padres decade.”
Two days after the Padres lost to the Phillies in the 2022 National League Championship Series, the franchise’s first time advancing that far in 24 seasons, Seidler was asked about the Padres’ payroll for ’23. “I kind of like spending money,” Seidler said with a grin. “You can’t take it with you.”
The team’s $256 million commitment to players in 2023 was third-highest in the major leagues. Seidler, a two-time survivor of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma who has battled health issues for years, said in a July conversation with The Union-Tribune that he intended for the Padres to remain in his family for generations after he died. A source confirmed Tuesday that is the plan.
--MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement: "I am deeply saddened by the news of Peter's passing. Peter grew up in a baseball family, and his love of the game was evident throughout his life. He was passionate about owning the Padres and bringing the fans of San Diego a team in which they could always take pride. Peter made sure the Padres were part of community solutions in San Diego, particularly with the homeless community. He was an enthusiastic supporter of using the Padres and Major League Baseball to bring people together and help others."
--Ted Leitner, San Diego Broadaster: For the rest of my days when I think of the joy of my #padres beating the Dodgers in the ‘22 playoffs I will think of him. And the happiness he brought to San Diego. How much he wanted to win for our city that he loved and that loved him. Thank you Peter Seidler. Rest my friend.
-- CBS News correspondent Major Garrett, a San Diego native and lifelong Padres fan, said he counts himself “among the lucky to come to know Peter…“He was generous, curious and smart in all matters,” Garrett posted. “I will miss him. All of San Diego will miss him. For many reasons. Yes, the Padres. But for so much more. Thank you. RIP.”
Bob Scanlan, Padres Broadcaster: “…Absolutely heartbroken about the passing of Peter Seidler. One of most positive spirits I've ever encountered. Always concerned about helping others & making world better place for humanity. San Diego, Padres fans, MLB lost a great & beloved man. Prayers with the Seidler family.
--San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria shared that he is “deeply saddened,” calling Seidler a “true visionary leader who had a deep love for the game of baseball and the Padres, and also an unwavering commitment to our city.” “As Chairman of the Padres, he made the organization about so much more than baseball; he made the team an incredible community partner,” Gloria said in a statement. “Peter was perhaps best known for his great compassion for people experiencing homelessness, and everyone who worked with him will remember him for his kind and humble spirit.”
Note: PillartoPost.org blog (since 2011) appreciates and thanks the Union-Tribune for sharing selected articles with responsible, independent local, non-profit journalism.