Peter Seidler, the businessman and civic leader who was part of a group that bought the San Diego Padres in 2012 and later became the franchise’s chairman and control owner, died Tuesday morning. He was 63.
Seidler had been dealing with an undisclosed illness for months. His family requested that the cause of death remain private.
“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.”
Seidler was the grandson of former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, and the nephew of Peter O’Malley, who owned the Dodgers after his father’s death and oversaw World Series titles in 1981 and 1988. Peter Seidler, who was named after his uncle, made his fortune in the private equity business and eventually ingrained himself in San Diego.
In the summer of 2012, Seidler and San Diego businessman Ron Fowler led a group that purchased the Padres. Seidler, the group’s lead investor at the time, rose to the position of Padres chairman after Fowler stepped down as executive chairman following the 2020 season.
Under Seidler and Fowler, the Padres attracted national attention through unprecedented investments and other bold maneuvers. In 2014, the duo hired general manager A.J. Preller, who repeatedly and aggressively reshaped the roster and signed Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. to the team’s first nine-figure contracts. The Padres, after an extended rebuilding period and high-profile disappointment, broke through during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, advancing to their first postseason since 2006. In 2022, with Seidler as control owner, the Padres went to their first National League Championship Series since 1998.
Seidler, a two-time survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, issued a statement in September announcing that he had undergone an unspecified medical procedure the previous month. He had spoken in recent months of intending for the Padres to remain in his family for decades to come.
Seidler is survived by his wife, Sheel; three young children; his mother, Terry Seidler, and nine siblings.
(Photo: Denis Poroy / Getty Images)