Phil Mickelson, winner of four major PGA tournaments including the Masters and perhaps the most well-known left handed golfer in the world, has joined a group of investors interested in purchasing the San Diego Padres baseball team.
The group includes four grandchildren of Walter O’Malley, a former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are Kevin and Brian O’Malley and their cousins Peter and Tom Seidler.
Mickelson, a San Diego native and true local sports hero, passed on an opportunity three years ago to invest in the Padres but didn’t feel right about the deal at that time. This time, not only is Mickelson, known on the PGA Tour as “Lefty,” comfortable with the O’Malley and Seidler families, they’re also comfortable with him.
”When we met with Phil we were inspired by his commitment to San Diego and his passion for the Padres,” Kevin O’Malley said in a statement to the Union-Tribune, the local daily newspaper in San Diego.
Mickelson has long been a Padres fan and has been involved in local charities and other community events. ”I think it’s a very good investment opportunity,” said Mickelson. “More than that, it’s an opportunity to be involved in the community in San Diego, with something that gives the community a sense of pride.”
Current majority owner of the Padres, John Moores, has at least five different investment groups interested in purchasing the team, including one with former Padres superstar Tony Gwynn. Gwynn joined the team headed up by Legendary Entertainment CEO, Thomas Tull.
John Moores currently owns 51 percent of the team with Jeff Moorad owning the other 49 percent. In March, a deal tentatively struck between the two for Moores to sell his controlling interest to Moorad fell through when Major League Baseball would not approve Moorad as a majority owner. That deal had an estimated worth of $500 million.
It’s unknown how much the Padres might sell for when and if it finally happens, but Moores could be the beneficiary of an uptick in the market based on the Dodgers recent sale to a group including Magic Johnson for $2 billion, the largest deal in sports history.
When asked about his personal cash investment, Mickelson would only say that “it would be a lot,” and that it represented a “significant investment opportunity.”
As for his day-to-day role with the team? Mickelson said, ”I want to have a personal relationship with the players and find ways to get them tied to the community, things of that nature.”
No deadline has been set, but there’s no question an ownership group that includes Mickelson will be appealing to the current owners.
Do you think this is a wise investment for Mickelson?