|Don Mattingley and Peter O'Malley pose on opening day, April 2012 (photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US Presswire)|
Friday, July 6, 2012
Padres to the O'Malley Group? Tom Seidler Rumored to be their CEO
About a year ago at this time I made the trek to Visalia, CA to interview Tom Seidler, the nephew of Peter O’Malley, who is President/Co-Owner of the Visalia Rawhide. Visalia is the Single A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. I wanted to get a feel for where he was in the ownership mix and see if there was a possibility that he’d come to the Dodgers. Last year's post LINKED HERE
Seidler was extremely accommodating and friendly. He gave me an hour of his time in his air conditioned Stadium club on an extremely hot Central Valley day. We walked through his refurbished ballpark and he proudly pointed out the amenities and changes that had been made there. Tom spoke of the growth of minor league baseball in Visalia and his experiences in the Cal League with ownership of the Stockton club before he moved south to Visalia. When asked if he’d ever venture into Major League Baseball and possibly the Dodgers ownership, though he would never say never, he was quite insistent that he was happy and that he needed to be where he was. He also spoke positively of the future of the Dodgers and that he was confident that they would rise to the top again.
I was a nothing to him, but he reached out and showed me respect and attention. I was merely a blogger that showed some interest in him, sending him an email. He not only responded, but he invited me to meet with him. He comped me tickets to the game. He spoke about what it was like growing up in the O’Malley/Seidler clan. It was a day I’ll never forget. He treated me as a legitmate journalist, though he had to know I was far from it. I will forever be grateful to him for that. Tom Seidler is the definition of class.
Little was I to know that a year later, Tom, along with his uncle Peter, his cousins and brother appear to have been awarded the San Diego Padres ownership. Sources are indicating that Seidler will emerge as the CEO of the ball club. ESPN reported on the probable $800 million sale a few days ago. LINKED HERE
It couldn’t happen to a nicer man. Tom has paid his dues, dating back to his days taking tickets in the Dodger Stadium parking lot as a teenager. Since graduating from Notre Dame with a business degree, he has worked in the baseball business for over twenty years. He’s well groomed to take the reigns of a Major League Baseball franchise. Tom worked from the ground up. The O'Malley family didn't just hand him a position in the upper management ranks. He had to pay his dues and learn the business In the low minors, at Vero Beach, in Venezuela, all before he worked with the big club. This is a man extremely qualified to lead a Major League Franchise.
The Padres have landed a gem of an ownership group and will be in extremely good hands. I wish they weren’t in our division, because I’d like to wish them luck in the standings, but I unfortunately can’t do that. I think Tom would understand.