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By Miriam Raftery

November 14, 2023 (San Diego) – San Diego Padres chairman and owner Pete Seidler, beloved by fans for investing in star players and bringing the team to the National League Championship playoffs last year, died today at age 63.

Asked by a reporter last year about the Padres’ 2023 payroll, Seidler replied with a smile, ”I kind of like spending money. You can’t take it with you." 

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the family’s plan is for the Padres to remain in Seidler’s family for generations.

Padres CEO Erik Greupner stated in a press release that the Padres are mourning the loss of their “beloved” chairman, whom he recalled as a “kind and generous man” devoted to his family as well as for having a “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.”

Fans are invited to pay their respects a Petco Park today, where the Home Plate Gate is open and free parking is available at Tailgate Park.

Seidler earned his fortune as founder and managing partner of Seidler Equity Partners, a private equity fund supporting entrepreneurial companies. In 2020, he bought a majority stake in the Padres and invested hundreds of millions of dollars, including five nine-figure deals to sign on star players including Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and hometown favorite Joe Musgrove of Alpine.  He also approved trades to acquire Juan Soto and Yu Darvish. The team, which had languished near the bottom of the league in payrolls for decades, suddenly rose to third by 2023.

The team made the postseason in 2020,  then advanced to the playoffs in 2022, narrowly missing the playoffs in 2023 but setting a franchise record for attendance, according to, which wrote, “In a few short years, he turned thePadres from a basement-dwelling afterthought into a star-laden club that gave the residents of San Diego pride and excitement.”

During spring training in February, Seidler remained buoyantly optimistic about the team’s chances of making the World  Series in the future. “One day soon,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune, ”the baseball gods will smile on the San Diego Padres, and we will have a parade.”

Seidler was also a leader in efforts to help San Diego’s homeless and to invest in causes helping children and medicine.  He worked with civic leaders to develop best practices for the homeless, donated over $1.6 million for large tents to serve as temporary  shelter for homeless people, and formed a Tuesday Group that met weekly to help these most vulnerable city residents. He was known to frequently walk through homeless encampments near Petco Park and in the beach areas near his home, talking with homeless people.

Mayor Todd Gloria today praised Seidler as 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.” The mayor said Seidler was known for his “great compassion for people experiencing homelessness” adding, “San Diego lost a truly special person today, but our city is a better place because of him.”

Nora Vargas,  Chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors called Seidler a “pillar of our community, a generous soul, and a visionary leader” whose “profound impact on San Diego will forever be cherished.”

Seidler received many awards for these efforts. He and his wife also supported many charities,  such as the American Cancer Foundation, the Mayo Clinic, and Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Locally he was a primary donor to the Lucky Duck Foundation helping homeless children, and served on the Board of Trustees for both the University of San Diego and Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla.

Media outlets including Associated Press and the San Diego Union-Tribune have reported that Seidler was a two-time survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer who underwent a medical procedure in September. The family has not released his cause of death.

He is survived by his wife, Sheel, three young children, his mother, Terry Seidller, and nine siblings including his brother, Tom Seidler, the Padres’ senior vice president for community and military affairs. 

His grandfather was once owner of the Dodgers, moving the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said growing up in a baseball family gave Seidler a life-long love of the game; Seidler would often travel to watch teams play in other cities,  a rarity for baseball owners.

“He was passionate about owning the Padres and bringing the fans of San Diego a team in which they could always take pride,” the MLB Commissioner concluded. ”He was an enthusiastic supporter of using the Padres and Major League Baseball to bring people together and help others. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Peter’s wife Sheel and their family, his Padres colleagues and the fans of San Diego.”


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