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O'Malley family considering pursuit of San Diego Padres

April 17, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Peter O'Malley and his wife, Annette, stand in the Dodger dugout prior to this season's home opener.
Peter O'Malley and his wife, Annette, stand in the Dodger dugout prior… (Harry How / Getty Images )

For close to half a century, the O'Malley name was synonymous with the Dodgers. As the Dodgers prepare to welcome new owners, Peter O'Malley and his family are considering whether to try to buy the San Diego Padres.

"We are thinking about it," O'Malley told The Times on Tuesday.

O'Malley sold the Dodgers in 1998, followed into ownership by News Corp. and Frank McCourt. When McCourt put the team up for sale last year, O'Malley unsuccessfully tried to buy it back.

"Our family gave the Dodger pursuit everything we had," O'Malley said. "We were serious suitors. It didn't happen. I support the new owners, and I want them to do well."

Guggenheim Baseball, fronted by Magic Johnson and incoming team president Stan Kasten, agreed to buy the Dodgers for $2.15 billion, a world record price for a sports franchise. The sale was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court last Friday, and the transaction is scheduled to close April 30.

Peter O'Malley declined to discuss any details about his role should his family succeed in buying the Padres. But it appears unlikely that he would be a full-time chief executive, as he would have been had the Dodgers bid been successful.

His nephew, Tom Seidler, and his son, Kevin O'Malley, lead a family partnership that owns the Visalia Rawhide of the Class A California League. Seidler has revitalized the Rawhide, working with the city on ballpark renovations and posting three consecutive years of record attendance.

Seidler grew up at Dodger Stadium, as the grandson of Walter O'Malley, who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. In his first job, at age 16, Seidler was a parking lot attendant at Dodger Stadium.

"During the Dodger pursuit, the next generation of family got quite engaged about the opportunity," Peter O'Malley said. "It brought back all positive memories.

"The Padres have only been on the market a number of days. I have not talked to [Padres owner] John Moores. We're considering it."

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O'Malley family considering pursuit of San Diego Padres 

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