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Peter Magowan, 76, was Giants fan who became team owner

  • NEW YORK Situations / 1983

    Peter Magowan, chairman of of Safeway Merchants, the nation’s most significant grocery store chain, at The New York Times’ office in New York, in 1983. Magowan, who in 1992 — many years soon after he had viewed the New York Giants play at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan as a boy — led a team that bought the workforce to hold them from relocating to Florida from San Francisco, where they had moved 35 several years earlier, died on Jan. 27, 2019, at his household in San Francisco. He was 76.

Peter Magowan, who in 1992 — many years soon after he had viewed the New York Giants play at the Polo Grounds as a boy — led a team that bought the workforce to hold it from relocating to Florida from San Francisco, died on Sunday at his household in San Francisco. He was 76.

His spouse, Deborah, verified his dying. Magowan had liver and prostate cancer and had had a liver transplant.

Magowan had been the main govt of Safeway Merchants, the nation’s most significant grocery store chain, when Bob Lurie, the Giants’ owner, designed a deal with investors in the St. Petersburg-Tampa space in August 1992 to shift the workforce there. Incredibly quickly, a team of neighborhood investors, led by Magowan, assembled a $100 million bid to hold the workforce in San Francisco, where the Giants had moved from New York 35 several years earlier.

To Magowan, the chance of the workforce fleeing his adopted hometown was as unfathomable as the departure of the Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, who moved to Los Angeles, had been.

“I really do not think Brooklyn has recovered to this working day,” Magowan informed The San Francisco Chronicle in 2000.

When Nationwide League proprietors voted, 9-4, to reject the Giants’ shift, Magowan’s team was free to get them.

Underneath Magowan, who was the team’s taking care of normal partner for virtually 16 several years, the Giants’ impression was recast. In late 1992 he signed superstar slugger Barry Bonds to a six-year, $43.75 million deal, then the richest in baseball background. He introduced back Willie Mays, the franchise’s incandescent superstar, in a life span part — he had not had a formal place with the workforce because before he retired in 1973 — and other former gamers returned in different capacities.

Magowan’s most significant achievement was creating Pacific Bell Park (now named Oracle Park), a waterfront stadium that changed windy, decrepit Candlestick Park, the team’s household because 1960. Most proprietors of sporting activities groups need public cash to finance their stadiums and arenas in contrast, Magowan made use of personal funds soon after neighborhood voters had turned down four referendums that would have offered public funding to the team’s prior owner, Lurie.

“We wanted to do it in San Francisco,” he informed The Chronicle in 2003. “The public had spoken four moments that they did not want a publicly financed stadium.”

Pacific Bell Park, which opened in 2000, has quirky proportions and unusual attributes like McCovey Cove, a physique of water over and above the right-field wall where boaters race to retrieve household run balls. It is named for Willie McCovey, the Giants’ longtime Corridor of Fame to start with baseman, who died final year.

The stadium has come to be a baseball mecca: Attendance peaked at 3.39 million in 2011 and has fallen under 3 million only 2 times in 19 seasons. The administration workforce Magowan oversaw before retiring in 2008 as taking care of normal partner assisted generate Globe Collection championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

“He had a excellent strategy to company and life: He’d say, ‘Let’s make 100 selections a 7 days and get 87 of them right,’” Laurence Baer, the team’s president and main govt, mentioned in a telephone interview Monday. “Everything he did — preserving the workforce from moving, the ballpark, signing Bonds — was about taking threats.”

Peter Alden Magowan was born on April 5, 1942, in New York. His mother, Doris (Merrill) Magowan, was a daughter of Charles Merrill, a founder of the Merrill Lynch brokerage agency. His father, Robert, labored at Merrill Lynch before he joined Safeway Merchants in the early 1950s and took in excess of as chairman in 1955. Merrill had been a significant trader in Safeway and encouraged that Robert Magowan come to be the chain’s main govt.

Peter was listening to the radio at school on Oct. 3, 1951, when Giants third baseman Bobby Thomson strike the ninth-inning household run in a playoff recreation against the Dodgers that propelled the Giants to the Globe Collection.

When he obtained household, his father had a improved tale to notify about Thomson’s household run, which arrived to be identified as “the Shot Heard Round the Globe.”

“Guess where I have been currently?” Robert Magowan mentioned, in accordance to an account offered by Peter Magowan to The Each day Information in 1993.

The elder Magowan had been to the recreation with a few businessmen, who left before the ninth inning had started out.

“Let that be a lesson to you,” he recalled his father telling him. “Don’t ever give up.”

Peter Magowan’s path to Safeway was oblique. He earned a bachelor’s degree in American literature at Stanford College and a master’s in politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford College in England before finishing two several years of undergraduate operate at the Johns Hopkins Faculty of Innovative Intercontinental Research in Baltimore. But his education, and two summers at the Condition Division, did not deliver the way he preferred.

So he went to operate for Safeway, where he was a checker, shelf stocker and generate clerk before currently being offered increased obligation as a store manager, district manager, retail operations manager and regional vice president. At 37, he turned Safeway’s chairman and main govt.

In an incident that turned central to Magowan’s tenure at Safeway, he fended off a hostile takeover bid in 1986 from Dart Group Corp. by agreeing to a $4.25 billion leveraged buyout from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. The buyout left Safeway’s administration in position but saddled the enterprise with huge credit card debt it eventually eliminated 63,000 careers.

“It was hard on all the workers, which include me,” he informed The Chronicle in 2003. “We went by way of a good deal of worry.”

Magowan is survived by his spouse, Deborah (Johnston) Magowan his daughters, Kimberley Wagner, Margot Garvin, Hilary Malko and Kristen Butt a son, Matthew Prepare dinner 13 grandchildren and his brothers, Robin, Merrill and Mark. His to start with relationship, to Jill Tarlau, finished in divorce.

Although Magowan explained the acquisition of Barry Bonds, who broke Major League Baseball’s job household run record as a Giant, as his finest company decision, suspicions that Bonds made use of steroids have shadowed him and the workforce for several years. When questioned by George J. Mitchell, the former senator who was investigating the use of functionality-enhancing prescription drugs for Major League Baseball, Magowan mentioned Bonds had informed him he had taken substances that he later on uncovered ended up unlawful.

But two times later on, a lawyer for Magowan informed Mitchell that he had misspoken and could remember only that Bonds had mentioned he had not knowingly taken steroids.

Magowan elaborated in 2016, telling The Chronicle: “I did not see what I was supposed to see, and I’m sorry for that. Folks say, ‘Why did not you know Barry was taking steroids?’ I say, ‘I really do not know. I continue to really do not know.’ What am I supposed to do, go in his locker and see if there is a steroid bottle?”

Like most wealthy businessmen who get sporting activities groups, Magowan turned identified additional for his possession of the Giants than for his administration of Safeway. His achievement in turning the Giants into a product franchise earned him induction into the Bay Space Sporting activities Corridor of Fame in 2016. Just final 7 days, the Giants introduced that he would be honored on Feb. 9 with a bronze plaque on the team’s Wall of Fame.

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