The San Diego Padres have announced the passing of team chairman and owner Peter Seidler at age 63. In an official statement, Padres CEO Erik Gruepner said:

“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 one of the founders of the O’Malley Group, which purchased the Padres franchise from John Moores in 2012. However, he became team chairman in 2020 after buying a portion of Ron Fowler’s ownership stake to become the majority owner.

It’s no accident that the Padres attained success when he took over. The team broke a 13-season playoff drought in his first year at the helm. After finishing the shortened 2020 season with a 37-23 record, they won their National League Wild Card series against the St. Louis Cardinals in three games. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers swept them in the Division Series.

Seidler’s takeover coincided with the Padres’ skyrocketing payroll, which increased from $214 million in 2022 to $237 in 2023. They used the money to acquire the services of Yu Darvish, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, Joe Musgrove, and Josh Hader, among others.

The increased spending sustained their success last year when the Padres finished with an 89-73 record. They defeated the New York Mets in the Wild Card Round and got their revenge against the Dodgers in the NLDS. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia Phillies beat them in five games during the NL Championship Series. The Padres finished the 2023 Major League Baseball season with an 82-80 mark.

Peter Seidler founded the private equity firm Seidler Equity Partners in 1992. His firm was managing assets worth $3.5 billion as of 2023. He had type 1 diabetes and survived two fights with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He hasn’t attended Padres games since September 2023 following a medical procedure.

-Lance Fernandez