San Diego Padres

Fans near and far pay tribute to San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler

Seidler was a two-time cancer survivor who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

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Padres owner Peter Seidler, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to bring a long-elusive World Series championship to San Diego, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 63.

A cause of death wasn't disclosed. Seidler, a third-generation member of the O'Malley family that used to own the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, was a two-time cancer survivor. The team announced in mid-September that Seidler had an unspecified medical procedure in August and wouldn't be back at the ballpark the rest of the year.

Petco Park's scoreboard was emblazoned with Padres owner Peter Seidler's legacy after announcements of his death on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. (San Diego Padres)

Seidler was part of a group that purchased the Padres in 2012 and bought out Ron Fowler’s majority stake in November 2020. Seidler also bought Rawlings in conjunction with MLB in 2018.

It was with Seidler’s blessing that the Padres boosted their payroll to about $258 million on opening day, third-highest in the majors, after making a stirring run to the NL Championship Series the previous fall.

In 2022, his bold leadership resulted in the team’s third-ever trip to the NL Championship Series.

Seidler also helped Petco Park become one of the greatest destinations in baseball. His imprint on the city extended beyond the stadium’s gates. Seidler’s efforts to help the homeless are well documented. He worked with local leaders, and helped develop best practices in assisting vulnerable individuals throughout the city. The time and energy Seidler committed to the cause earned him numerous accolades, including 2022 San Diegan of the Year by the Union Tribune.

The Padres Foundation increased annual donations by more than 10%, while building relationships with Rady Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Clubs and Veterans Village of San Diego, among other local organizations.

Seidler often shrugged off questions about whether the Padres' big spending on players like Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts was sustainable and mentioned how badly he wanted a championship parade for a city that has never had one.

“Do I believe our parade is going to be on land or on water or on both?” he said.

As a two-time survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Seidler's philanthropic efforts have benefited organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Mayo Clinic and the Stand Up to Cancer Legacy Endowment Circle.

Ground Floor Murals, a group of artists behind Padres murals that have sprung up all over San Diego County, got to work Tuesday night on a piece honoring Seidler at the intersection of Kettner and B streets in Little Italy.

A mural in Little Italy honoring Peter Seidler.

Seidler graduated from the University of Virginia and earned his Master of Business Administration from UCLA, before going on to co-found and become Managing Partner of Seidler Equity Partners. He and his wife Sheel had three children.

NBC 7's Joe Little spoke with two people who say we are all better because of what he did for San Diego.

The Friars released a statement on Tuesday morning, which read, in part:

“The Padres organization mourns the passing of our beloved chairman and owner, Peter Seidler,” said Padres CEO Erik Greupner. “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.” 

The Padres will open the Home Plate Gate at Petco Park beginning this afternoon for those who wish to gather to pay their respects. Free parking will be available at Tailgate Lot.  

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria issued the statement below on the passing of Padres Chairman Peter Seidler:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Seidler."

“Peter was a true visionary leader who had a deep love for the game of baseball and the San Diego 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. 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."

“San Diego lost a truly special person today, but our city is a better place because of him. Our entire city mourns his passing, and we extend our hearts to his family and the entire Padres organization," Gloria said.

San Diego County Chairwoman Nora Vargas issued the following statement:

“Peter Seidler was a pillar of our community, a generous soul, and a visionary leader. His spirit and dedication to the Padres community and his profound impact on San Diego will forever be cherished. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues during this heartbreaking time," Vargas said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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