SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres offered their remembrance of Bob Breitbard, the 91-year-old San Diego sports icon who died Monday.
"What a great man, very instrumental in sports here in San Diego. It's a loss," said Padres manager Bud Black. "What he's done with the Hall of Champions, what he's done to bring a lot of great athletes and San Diegans to the forefront in the sports world, should be really commended. A fabulous man, great to be around and I loved being in his office."
"The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the loss of San Diego Hall of Champions founder Bob Breitbard," said Padres vice chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Moorad in a statement.
"Bob was a proud San Diegan who dedicated his life to being a champion for San Diego sports. He was instrumental in bringing the Padres and the Chargers to 'America's Finest City,' and he worked tirelessly to fulfill his vision of San Diego as a big league community. Our hearts and prayers go out to Bob's family."
"With the passing of Bob Breitbard, San Diego has lost an icon and true civic leader," said Padres president and chief operating officer Tom Garfinkel. "Bob and the San Diego Hall of Champions have been loyal partners of the San Diego Padres for many years. His commitment to San Diego sports and the greater community was evident to everyone who met him, and his dedication will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob's loved ones as we all remember and celebrate his life and the legacy he left behind."
"Bob was a grand guy," Padres chairman John Moores said. "He is part of a vanishing breed, who like the late Herb Klein, put community first. I will miss him."
Breitbard was noted for his longtime friendship with Ted Williams; both men went to school at San Diego's Hoover High. In Williams' final days, he went to Breitbard with memorabilia that is now part of the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park, Calif., including bats used in Williams' legendary .406 season in 1941, as well as his Red Sox uniforms.