In San Diego, baseball is as much a part of the culture as surfing and Seaworld. The San Diego Padres are hometown heroes, known for their amazing plays and rabid fan base. But with the Padres having failed to secure the National League pennant since 1998, it is no secret that a regime change was greatly needed over at Petco Park.
In August 2012, the Padres gained a new ownership group, one heralded for bringing new life into the team during the preseason. It is still unknown at this point if their guidance and leadership will have any effect on the Padres during this current season, but it will be exciting to find out. With former figureheads John Moores and Jeff Moorad out of the picture, there was room to move in a whole new board of members. Let’s take a look at the men and their wallets calling the shots in San Diego this season:
Ron Fowler is serving as the team’s executive chairman, and has previously served as the chair of the executive committee of the San Diego Sports Commission/Hall of Champions. He also once owned the San Diego Sockers, a professional arena soccer team.
Kevin and Brian O’Malley are the sons of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley. Kevin co-founded Top of the Third Inc., which owns the Single-A minor league team, Visalia Rawhide. Brian followed in his dad’s footsteps and worked for the Dodgers, as well as for several minor league teams. Before taking on the Padres, Brian assisted with the development of the Vero Beach Sports Village in Florida, the spring training site for the Dodgers.
Tom and Peter Seidler are the nephews of Peter O’Malley. While Peter is the managing partner of the investment firm Seidler Equity Partners, Tom has served as both the president and general manager of the Visalia Rawhide for the last six seasons. Tom co-founded Top of the Third Inc. with his cousin Kevin O’Malley.
It seems as if the Padres are in good hands, if not experienced ones. These men know their baseball, but can that expertise translate to great playing? Fowler has already expressed to local media that he is reluctant to make ballplayer trades for the time being. As for staff, he says he trusts Josh Byrnes and Bud Black, the general managers he inherited in the turnover.
So what’s the game plan? Treat the Padres like they’re any one of the new owners’ highly successful businesses. By making smart decisions and thinking like businessmen, Fowler and company are hoping that they can help the Padres can turn things around and make it to the playoffs. Here’s to a fresh start, San Diego.