Peter A. Magowan, the charismatic Safeway supermarket magnate and San Francisco Giants owner and executive who fought off relocation of the team and spearheaded construction of their waterfront ballpark, died Sunday afternoon at his home in Pacific Heights.
Magowan had been ill for several years, undergoing surgeries for prostate and liver cancer, and had recently gone into hospice care. He died surrounded by family and friends, according to his wife, Debby Magowan. He was 76.
Magowan was Safeway’s CEO from 1979 until April 1993, when he began a 15-year tenure as managing general partner of the Giants.
He hired the executives who built four World Series teams that garnered three championships, in 2010, ’12 and ’14, and led the franchise and its owners to significant financial success.
Magowan also OKd the signing of All-Star outfielder Barry Bonds after the 1992 season, a shocking entry into baseball’s free-agent marketplace by what had been a stingy franchise.
“Peter was a rare combination in life of a close friend and mentor,” said Larry Baer, president and CEO of the Giants. “We carried on that relationship for three decades. When you really got to know Peter you saw that he had a heart of gold.”
A prep school kid with a Stanford pedigree, Magowan brought a patrician elegance to Major League Baseball when his management group came to Candlestick Park in 1993. As opposed to tradition, which was for ownership to hide behind glass in a private suite at the ballpark, he sat with the fans in his business suit…