Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
O'Malley Family Buys Padres, Announces Team Move to Los Angeles
Longtime Owners of Los Angeles Dodgers Ease the Pain of Failed Bid for Reacquisition by Buying Small-Market Neighbor and Moving it Right Next Door.
"Hey, we did it to Brooklyn; why should San Diego be any different?"
Commissioner Selig: "Maybe San Diego can make a play for the Angels? They're not doing so hot right now, and Los Angeles probably doesn't need three Major League teams."
It took longer than expected, but the sale of the Padres to a group headed by heirs of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, San Diego business and civic leader Ron Fowler and professional golfer Phil Mickelson was completed Monday night. The O’Malley Group purchased the Padres from majority owner John Moores and a group of minority owners formed by Jeff Moorad in 2009 to buy the Padres. Immediately following the sale, the group announced its intention to move the team north to Los Angeles.
“Earlier today, our group signed the purchase agreement,” said Peter Seidler, the spokesman for the new Padres owners. “Assuming we receive approval, there will be a prompt, efficient and smooth transition to Los Angeles. For decades the Padres have been an exciting and entertaining part of San Diego, but now it's time to take things to the next level, and also to the next town. We will field exciting and winning teams, thanks largely to our new, larger market. We will reserve comment on the sale of Petco Park until the proper time.”
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig last month seemed to endorse the O’Malley Group as owners of the Padres even before the final details of the sale were completed. “Padres fans deserve great ownership and I think the O’Malley tradition in Los Angeles baseball is remarkable,” Selig said. “This would be an excellent development for baseball. Plus the San Diego club’s minority partners in the last deal were a very solid group and all San Diego people eager to move to Los Angeles themselves, which means a great deal to us.”
"I think it's great," Padres manager Bud Black said of the sale after the Padres defeated the Cubs 2-0 at Petco Park Monday night. "Everything I've heard about Los Angeles is positive. I'm looking forward to a smooth transition, maybe a couple of league titles, plus a house in Pasadena. Everyone, the players are excited about the transition to a city that cares about its hometown teams even when they aren't winning."
The O’Malleys’ ties to MLB date to 1950 when Walter O’Malley purchased the Brooklyn Dodgers. The O’Malley family owned the Dodgers from 1950-98. Walter O’Malley moved the franchise from Brooklyn to Los Angeles after the 1957 season and eventually turned the team over to son Peter. Peter put together a group that was among the failed bidders for the Dodgers this year, when they sold for $2.15 billion. Said Seidler, "The O'Malley family has a proud tradition of buying baseball teams and moving them to Los Angeles, and they are eager to carry on that tradition."