“PADRES GREATEST FAN-MAN PASSES”
How do you evaluate greatness in a man.
Is it his collective wealth?
Is it his accomplishment in his chosen field?
Is it the legacy he leaves behind?
Is it his personality traits and relationships built and fostered?
Peter Seidler and Ron Fowler headed a group that purchased the Padres from caretaker Jeff Moorad, who had run the club after John Moores opted out as owner in 2012.
Seidler became the lead owner in 2018, believing the ‘skies the limit’ for Padres baseball in this community.
He gave us a record (253M) payroll, a roster full of star players, and a pennant race that led to beating the ‘dragons up the road’, the Dodgers in the playoffs. Yes the team fell apart in 2021 and underachieved in 2023, but Seidler unlocked fans support like never seen before.
His investment in the franchise led to a record 3.23M fans in attendance. It led to 61-sellouts on the season. It was a prime example of the way to embrace the community, which in turn embraced the franchise.
But Seidler was more than just a baseball owner who wanted a winner. He was dedicated to his adopted community too.
He might be the only Dodger-Blue and bred person fully accepted in San Diego. A grandson of Walter O’Malley, who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958, Seidler became Senior Padres upon moving to San Diego, second only to Mr Padre-Tony Gwynn in terms of popularity.
But a man’s life is more than just what he did for the baseball team. and its fans.
Peter Seidler’s involvement in the community is of staggering dimensions. He formed the Tuesday Club, a weekly meeting of civic leaders, on how to deal with the homeless. His fund raising to build 3-tents for the homeless and raising some 800,000-dollars in funds, equally impressive.
His work to help battered women with shelters, important too.
All this while he battled health issues for more than a decade. His strength to come to work was spectacular considering he fought back from cancer twice before it returned again.
He was a common man with exceptional accomplishments. I ran into him in the library downtown-when no one else recognized him walking on the street, just blocks from Petco. I ran into him in a CVS drug store. I went to his office upstairs at the stadium after he saw me talking to a crossing guard outside the ballyard.
He was unassuming, intellectual, charming and just plain old simple.
If Mr Padre was a near .400-hitter in the sport, then Seidler hit near .500 in sports and society.
A heartbreaking day in our community with his passing.
I see his smile, feel his handshake, and hope people remember him for being a great sportsman, fan, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
I hope too everyone will remember him for being a greater man too.
How do you evaluate greatness? He checked off every box I could think of.
Senior Padre…sounds good to me. He will be missed.