MLB owners approve sale of Padres

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DENVER (AP) - The O’Malleys are back in the baseball business.

Back in Southern California, too, just down the road in San Diego instead of Los Angeles.

In a quick vote Thursday, Major League Baseball owners approved the sale of the Padres to a group that includes Kevin and Brian O’Malley, the sons of former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley.

Commissioner Bud Selig announced the endorsement after the conclusion of the owners meetings in Denver.

Under the deal, the group will buy the franchise from owner John Moores for around $800 million. The final closing of the sale will be on or before Aug. 31.

Ron Fowler, a local businessman in San Diego, will become the executive chairman. The new ownership group also consists of Peter and Tom Seidler, the nephews of Peter O’Malley, along with golfer Phil Mickelson.

This is a group of heavy hitters, especially given the pedigree of the O’Malley family. The late Walter O’Malley bought the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 and moved them to Los Angeles before the 1958 season.

Peter O’Malley eventually took over for his father and all told under the family’s ownership, the Dodgers won six World Series and 13 NL championships before being sold in 1998.

In comparison, the Padres have been to two World Series, losing in 1984 and 1998.

This is an organization once owned by the late Ray Kroc, who helped build McDonald’s into a household name, and also Tom Werner, the producer of Roseanne Barr’s television show.

However, the franchise is probably better known for wearing distinctive brown-and-gold uniforms decades ago. Some fans are even clamoring to bring those jerseys back.

The ownership group didn’t address the uniform issue Thursday.

What they did do is give a vote of confidence to CEO Tom Garfinkel and general manager Josh Byrnes.

“We’re looking for a long, consistent ownership group here,” Fowler said. “As a San Diegan _ I’ve been there for 30-plus years now _ I think it’s great for baseball in San Diego, that the O’Malley family and the Seidler family are going to be the owners. I’m looking forward to having some fun over the next five to 10 years.”

As for what name this new ownership group may operate under, Peter Seidler smiled and said, “The Padres.”

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