Leaving a legacy: Remembering former Padres owner Peter Seidler

Seidler's love of San Diego extended beyond baseball.
Posted at 12:00 PM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 15:45:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) —  While fans knew former Padres owner Peter Seidler for the brown and gold, his work extended off the field.

He passed away in November at the age of 63.

“He was involved with a lot of efforts to improve the community,” said Peter’s younger brother, Tom Seidler.

Tom is about eight and a half years younger than Peter. There were ten children in the Seidler family—a family deeply rooted in baseball. Tom said Peter even coached his Little League team when he was younger.

“We won our league,” Tom recalled fondly.

Those who knew him said sports was only one side of a man who truly loved San Diego.

“He was one of a kind,” said Drew Moser, the CEO of the Lucky Duck Foundation. It’s an organization that aims to help the homelessness situation in the county. It’s a group that Peter, a longtime board member, held dear to his heart.

“I think it was the humanity of it,” Moser said. “He also saw… the good in everyone and trying to help them find a brighter pathway.”

Peter was a runner and saw for himself the juxtaposition of a beautiful downtown with hardship that couldn't be avoided.

“There are children on the street. There are people with all kinds of mental and physical diseases and disabilities that just need a helping hand from society,” Peter said in a 2018 interview.

“He'd run in all kinds of places and meet homeless people, stop and talk to them, just trying to get their sense of things,” Shea said.

They were part of a group Peter helped form called The Tuesday Group. They met every Tuesday to talk about potential solutions and how to move forward.

“He had a real sense of compassion for people and other things,” Shea said. He wanted to incorporate that into who he was [and] how he was going to operate in San Diego,” Shea said.

While Peter is no longer here, his family and friends are here to carry the torch.

The Padres Foundation launched the Peter Seidler Legacy Fund.

“We hope it's a perennial program where we can make big impact grants,” Tom Seidler said. He hopes to focus in the areas of homelessness, health and wellness, education and youth sports.

As of earlier this month, Tom said the fund has received $4 million in matching funds.

“We're exploring projects now in the community that Peter would be proud,” Tom said.

Peter set an example on selflessness, something his friends hope his children will see as they get older.

“He was very down to earth. He was soft spoken but didn't mince any words about anything. We want to make sure his legacy of compassion lives on way beyond his time here,” Shea said.

“I don't know what I want people to remember him by, but what I do want people to do is still to follow his lead,” Moser added, as he held back tears remembering his close friend. “Even though he's no longer with us, he's set a path that every San Diego can follow.”