Tag Archives: David Montgomery

RIP David Montgomery, Phillies minority owner and club chairman

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David Montgomery was a Phillies driving force for nearly five decades

The Philadelphia Phillies announced this morning that club chairman and minority owner David Montgomery has passed away at the age of 72 years. Montgomery had battled cancer for more than five years.

In an official release from the team (see below Twitter link), majority owner John Middleton stated the following:
David was one of Philadelphia’s most influential business and civic leaders in his generation. For 25 years, he has been an invaluable business partner and, more importantly, an invaluable friend. He was beloved by everyone at the Phillies. Leigh and I are saddened beyond words at David’s passing and extend our love and sympathy to Lyn, his children and grandchildren.
Born and raised on Pembrook Road in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia, Montgomery graduated from both William Penn Charter High School and the University of Pennsylvania. He then continued his education at The Wharton School, where he graduated in 1970.
While at Penn, Montgomery was a classmate and friend of future Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. The two would attend Phillies games together at old Connie Mack Stadium, and per a 2008 piece by Tyler Kepner in the New York Times, they were typical Philly fans. Kepner wrote:
“They would try to eat all the food that $5 could buy — back when hot dogs cost 50 cents — as they shared their thoughts with the players. “I remember one time riding Turk Farrell,” Rendell said, referring to a Phillies reliever of the 1960s. “He got so mad he looked like he was going to throw a ball at us, and Turk could really hum the ball. We were scared to death.””
After they graduated, Rendell tried to get Montgomery to apply for a job with basketball’s Philadelphia 76ers franchise. Instead, in 1971 Montgomery got a job in the sales office of baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies through a connection with the club’s former pitching great, Robin Roberts, as well as through his connections made while coaching with the Germantown Academy football team.

Phillies chairman and minority owner David Montgomery passed away earlier today after a six-year battle with cancer. (Centpacrr)
In that first job with the team he sold season and group ticket packages. Montgomery was also briefly the scoreboard operator at Veteran’s Stadium in the early years of that facility.
Within a few years he became the Phillies director of sales and marketing, and then in 1980 became the head of the Phillies business department. That same year, the franchise celebrated the first World Series victory in its then 97-year history.
In 1981, Montgomery joined a group headed by Bill Giles to organize the purchase of the Phillies from the Carpenter family. Montgomery was named as the executive vice-president following that purchase, and then was elevated to the role of chief operating officer in 1992.
In 1994, Montgomery acquired an even greater ownership interest in the team. Then in 1997 he was named to replace Giles as the 14th team president in franchise history. He was the first Philly native to run the club in six decades.
In the club’s official release (below Twitter link), Giles stated the following:
David was truly a great man. I have never known a person with more integrity or who truly cared so much about everyone who worked for the Phillies. He and I worked hand-in-hand for over 30 years. During that time, I saw his unparalleled love for his family, the Phillies and the team’s fans, and of course, the City of Philadelphia…He will be tremendously missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Cancer first affected Montgomery in the operation of the team when he left on an interim basis for treatment of jaw cancer in August 2014. After returning in January 2015, Montgomery took on the title of chairman, which he held until his passing, with Pat Gillick replacing him as the club president.
During his long career in baseball, Montgomery also served as the vice chair of the Board of Directors of Major League Baseball Enterprises (formerly MLB Properties) and was a member of the MLB Executive Council. He was a member of the MLB Schedule Committee, the Labor Policy Committee, and the Commissioner’s Special Committee for On-Field Matters.
Last March, the Phillies named their new indoor facility at the Carpenter Complex, their spring training home in Clearwater, Florida, as the “David P. Montgomery Baseball Performance Center” in his honor. On the occasion of that honor, Montgomery was quoted as follows in a piece by Matt Breen for Philly.com:
The word is overwhelmed but the reality is that it was special that the whole organization was here because, as you know, that’s what I believe in. I believe that in whatever capacity you work for us, you determine the Phillies family. I believe that.”
This past November, the former ‘Daisy Field’ ball fields on which Montgomery played during his Little League days with the Andorra A’s out in Wissahickon were re-named in his honor as well.

Montgomery is survived by his wife Lyn; their three children, and three grandchildren. Memorial services are pending, and we will pass those along at our social media sites when available. Our entire staff joins with all of Phillies Nation in mourning the passing of not just a great baseball man, but an outstanding Philadelphian.

Phillies will try to take the series with Fish on Sunday

Phillies wrap Marlins series in South Philly
After the first-place Philadelphia Phillies (15-12) dropped the opener of this four-game series with the last-place Miami Marlins (8-19), an unlikely and troubling scenario was presenting itself.
The Phillies roster was noticeably improved this past off-season by an influx of free agents and trade acquisitions. Much was expected of a team that was viewed as a legitimate contender, and they got off to a hot start.
But that loss in the series opener left the Phillies just a game over the .500 mark and struggling. They had lost six of their previous eight games and had suffered a series of recent injuries that seemed to sap the life out of the squad.
In order to win a division crown or a Wildcard playoff berth, teams are going to need to find a way to overcome injuries and other challenges. They are going to have to win series. And they are especially going to have to win the series that they are supposed to win.
This series against a bottom-dweller team at home was one that the Phillies needed to win, injuries or not. Losing the opener meant that in order to accomplish that, the club would have to capture three straight.
Well, we are almost there. The Phillies have recovered to win on Friday and Saturday nights, setting up the chance to win the series with a Sunday afternoon victory.
They won on Saturday night after building up what seemed to be an insurmountable 10-1 lead after five innings. But the Marlins, who have made an early-season habit of playing their best baseball on Saturdays, roared back to cut the deficit to just 10-9. 
Rhys Hoskins stepped up with a huge two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning to clinch a 12-9 victory, setting up this Sunday opportunity.
Phillies shortstop Jean Segura, playing in his first game since being activated from the Injured List, was literally knocked out of the game on Saturday night when he was hit in the head by a pitch from Marlins starter Trevor Richards. His initial concussion examination came back negative, and after a re-evaluation this morning, Segura was cleared to play.
Phillies Nation wishes public address announcer Dan Baker well. An undisclosed illness caused Baker to miss his first game since Citizens Bank Park opened back in 2004. Generations of fans have listened as he introduced lineups, served as emcee for many events, and made numerous other announcements both at Veteran’s Stadium and CBP since 1972.
The Phillies currently are the only team in the National League East Division standings with a winning record. They hold a 1.5 game lead on the New York Mets, one game in the loss column. The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are both two games back in the loss column.

SUNDAY STARTING LINEUPS

PHILLIES LINEUP

  1. Andrew McCutchen CF
  2. Jean Segura SS
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  5. Nick Williams LF
  6. Cesar Hernandez 2B
  7. Andrew Knapp C
  8. Maikel Franco 3B
  9. Zach Eflin P

MARLINS LINEUP

  1. Jon Berti 3B
  2. Martin Prado 1B
  3. Brian Anderson RF
  4. Starlin Castro 2B
  5. Miguel Rojas SS
  6. Isaac Galloway LF
  7. Chad Wallach C
  8. Lewis Brinson CF
  9. Pablo Lopez P

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

  • Zach Eflin: 2-3, 4.15 ERA, 1.346 WHIP, 30 hits allowed over 26 IP (5 starts) with a 23/5 K:BB
  • In his only other appearance at Citizens Bank Park this season, Eflin went 7 innings to beat the Twins
  • Eflin has five career starts against Miami: 2-2, 5.52 ERA, 31 hits including eight home runs over 29.1 IP
  • Pablo Lopez: 2-3, 4.44 ERA, 1.177 WHIP, 26 hits allowed over 26.1 IP (5 starts) with a 29/5 K:BB
  • Lopez registered his best start of the season thus far in his last outing. Went 6.1 IP at Cleveland allowing just two hits and no earned runs to the host Indians with six strikeouts and two walks.
  • Lopez has one career start at Citizens Bank Park and it was a good one. Last August 2 he allowed just five hits over six innings, one of those a solo home run from Hoskins, in a 5-2 loss to the Phillies.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

  • With a win today it would be the first time that the Phillies have won five straight home series against any team since they defeated the Padres in six straight over 2011-16. The Phillies are 13-3 against the Marlins over these last five series, outscoring the Fish by 118-49.
  • Per Elias, Hoskins 60th career home run in his 229th game made him the second-fastest Phillies player ever to reach the 60-homer plateau behind Ryan Howard, who did it in 209 games. Since his MLB debut on 8/10/17, Hoskins leads the National League in home runs. He and Mike Trout are the only big-leaguers with at least 50 homers and 140 walks in that time period.
  • The Phillies now have 96 extra-base hits, tying the franchise record prior to May. They now have a combined 38 home runs, the most prior to May since the 2008 club banged out 41.
  • Both Hoskins and Maikel Franco have 22 RBIs, five behind Howard’s pre-May club record. The Phillies have one remaining April game after Sunday. If Bryce Harper (19 RBI) drives in another run on Sunday or Tuesday it would mark the first time in team history that three players drove in 20+ prior to May.
  • Cesar Hernandez has hit safely in eight straight games and 13 of his last 14. Over the last 76 plate appearances he is hitting .333 with a .395 on-base percentage.
  • The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and its PHL Sports division have announced that Phillies Chairman David Montgomery would receive its Lifetime Achievement Award during a ceremony on June 11.

SUNDAY PROGRAMMING INFORMATION

  • Sunday April 28 at 1:05 pm vs. the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park
  • This will be the Phillie Phanatic birthday celebration: hooded towels to kids 14 and under
  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)


In Hall of Fame acceptance speech, Thome thanks Manuel, recalls time with Phillies

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Thome (R) recognized contributions of his mentor Manuel (L) at the Hall of Fame

When the time came this afternoon for Jim Thome‘s turn to be formally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, it was no surprise to learn that it would his mentor, friend, and former manager Charlie Manuel who would be doing the introductions.

By way of a pre-recorded video, the now 74-year-old former skipper heaped praise on the man whom he managed with both the Cleveland Indians and the Phillies.
Every time he walked up to the plate he was dangerous,” began Manuel. The two are both Phillies Wall of Famers. Now the pupil has surpassed the teacher and reached the pinnacle of individual achievement in his profession.
Manuel went on to recall the circumstances when they first met, and the characteristics that attracted him to the young power hitter.

“As far as meeting him the first time, I wanta say it was in spring of ’89. Jimmy was young. He was shy. He was really tentative about what he did, ya know. He wanted to do the right thing. Jimmy was one of the most dedicated guys as far as listenin’. And coachable? I tell people all the time, with Jimmy Thome, he really thinks that you helped him. But Jimmy Thome helped me too. You know, just bein’ who he was, and bein’ dedicated like he was.”


“He hit so much, I don’t think I can explain to you how much he hit.”

Manager Charlie Manuel reflects on the career of ‘s own Jim Thome, ahead of his speech.

There has clearly always been a special bond between the two men. In Cleveland, Manuel was the hitting coach as the Indians won the AL Central Division crown in each of Thome’s first five full seasons from 1995-99.
Manuel would become the manager of the Indians in 2000 but was fired in July of 2002 over a contract dispute. Thome would leave as a free agent that following off-season, signing with the Phillies.
In 2005, the two men would experience an all-too-short reunion when Manuel was hired as the Phillies new skipper. However, Thome would suffer through an injury-marred first half. By June 30, his season was over. Into the breach would stop a new slugger, Ryan Howard, who would win the NL Rookie of the Year Award that season. Thome’s days in Philly were numbered.
Following that 2005 campaign, Thome was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand and two pitchers, one of whom would be Gio Gonzalez.
Manuel would go on to guide the Phillies to five consecutive NL East crowns, back-to-back National League pennants, and the 2008 World Series championship.

In his acceptance speech, Thome remembered

“When I was writing my speech, I was overwhelmed as I reflected on the number of people who have helped shape my career. The first person will come as no surprise. From the moment I met Charlie Manuel as a wide-eyed kid in the Gulf Coast League, I knew this was someone I could connect with instantly. Charlie took a scrappy young kid who was anxious to hit a million home runs, and actually encouraged those dreams. He told me that I could hit as many home runs as I wanted to. From day one in that dugout in Kissimmee, he always believed in me. Chuck, I’ll never forget the day you called me into your office in Scranton. You had this idea that I could benefit from what Roy Hobbs was doing. Little did I know, that day in Pennsylvania would change everything for me. From that day on, all we did was work, work, and work some more.”

Thome’s voice then began to crack and tremble perceptibly as he finished his thanks to his mentor. “You know that I wouldn’t be standing here today without you. Thank you for everything.
Thome then pointed a finger at Manuel adding “But most of all, thank you for your loyalty.” The skipper returned the gesture with a nod, clearly emotional behind dark black sunglasses.
After Thome had recounted his days in Cleveland, he quickly moved to his time in Philadelphia.

“Cleveland is where my career was born, but Philadelphia is where I had to grow up fast. I needed every single tool in my toolbox in Philly. The city welcomed me with open arms from the moment the electricians met us, wearing our hard hats. The fans couldn’t have been better. Larry Bowa was the manager and he was tough as nails. He pushed me and our team to a whole new level. Thanks Bo, and the front office in Philly, first class all the way. David Montgomery, Bill Giles, alongside of Ed Wade and Ruben Amaro Jr. They made my time there so meaningful.”

Thome also gave a special shout out to former Phillies trainer Jeff Cooper for a program that helped Thome manage a recurring back problem.
There was a large contingent of Phillies fans on hand in the crowd, an acknowledgment that his affection for the City of Brotherly Love is fully reciprocated.
Jim Thome is a class act, and he demonstrated that again today at Cooperstown. His special relationship with both Manuel and the Phillies organization was on full display as he joined the pantheon of the game’s greats.

Phillies Are Billion Dollar Losers

Forbes magazine has released it’s annual appraisal of Major League Baseball, and they have valued the Philadelphia Phillies franchise at more than $1 billion for the first time ever.
The Phils are the 10th-most valuable franchise in MLB this year, down from their 6th place ranking a year ago. A lot of that drop in value comes due to the loss of star players, the repeated losses on the field, and the loss of fan support as a result.
Still, the Phillies as a whole rose from a valuation in the Forbes 2014 evaluations at $975 million to their current $1.25 billion ranking. 
Major League Baseball overall is now a $36 billion entity, one of the largest and strongest sporting groups on the planet.
Back in December, I looked at the current situation in which the team has found itself, dumping high-salaried and aging veterans for young prospects as the on-field losses mount, and the team plummets in both the standings and the eyes and wallets of the wider fan base beyond the most hardcore.
The problem with the Philadelphia Phillies clearly is not a financial one. They are not restricted in any way by finances in improving their organization. 
They have the money to put together an industry-leading analytics department, scouting and development department, and to make whatever outlays are needed in salary, bonuses, and inducements to acquire both amateur and big league talent.
What Forbes does not address is key to the club’s ability to bounce-back, not only to respectability, but to regularly winning. 
That key is not the increased money coming in 2016 from a massive new Comcast broadcasting rights contract. The key remains a change in the decision-makers themselves.
Also back in December, I gave fans a look into a possible brighter future, with a possible future change in the Phillies power structure under John Middleton, a longtime member of the team’s ownership group.
The youngest of those with an ownership stake in the Phillies, Middleton may be positioning himself to take over a majority share of that ownership in the coming months. That would have to be considered an improvement in the on-field and organization-wide competitive outlook for the franchise.
Phillies Gillick
Gillick had an “interim” tag removed, and is now the officially the team President of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)
As long as Bill Giles and David Montgomery continue to make decisions at the top of the organization, Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro will remain in charge of personnel. 
As long as Gillick and Amaro remain in charge of personnel, the team will flounder.
That is a difficult truth for some to swallow, but there is no other conclusion that any logical person who actually examines the organization over the last 10-12 years can draw. 
The vast majority of the 2008 championship pieces, and the decade-long 2001-11 great run, were put together by people other than Gillick and Amaro.
It has been pointed out here numerous times, but is worth stating once more. The Phillies bottom line since Amaro took over as GM is as follows: lost 2009 World Series, lost 2010 NLCS, lost 2011 NLDS, finished .500 in 2012, losing record in 2013, last place finish in 2014. There is no escaping that steady downward progression.
Click into the link provided in the middle of this article, and read the December piece again. The monetary value of the Philadelphia Phillies is strong, and is likely to only get stronger, more valuable, in the coming years. 
But unless there is change in ownership and decision-making, a billion or two in value is not going to matter on the field.

Could Phils’ Middleton Become "Steinbrenner South"?

John S. Middleton may soon be Phillies majority owner
In bits and pieces, CSN Philly is rolling out an exclusive interview conducted by insider Jim Salisbury with departing franchise icon Jimmy Rollins.

In one of the segments, JRoll refers to a member of the Phillies ownership group, John S. Middleton, as wanting to become “Steinbrenner South” in building a consistent winner.

For most Phillies fans, ownership of the team is nebulous at best. So a bit of a primer is in order to let you know who owns the team, who is in control, and who exactly is John S. Middleton. 
In 1981, a group of investors was put together by Bill Giles to purchase the Phillies from Ruly Carpenter, whose family had owned the team for more than a half-century.
This limited partnership, in which no one owned a majority of the club, included Giles, Middleton, current ailing club president David Montgomery, and members of the Buck and Betz families.
Events in recent years and months have sent this ownership group reeling. Giles is aging (80) and has already taken a back seat. Montgomery battled cancer this year, and at age 68 may be ready to slow down his close involvement. Clair Betz passed away in February at age 93, predeceased by husband John. Finally, 2 of the 3 Buck brothers involved have also passed, with remaining brother from their “Tri-Play Associates” share of the ownership group, William, now 83 years old.
For the time being, former GM Pat Gillick has been named as the interim president as Montgomery recovers, and he controls the operation of the club on all matters. There is a feeling that Montgomery will be replaced permanently in 2015, or at least will have a lesser role. 
“…IF HE HAD IT HIS WAY HE’D BE MAJORITY OWNER AND BE DOING A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS WITH THE TEAM I THINK” ~ JIMMY ROLLINS, ON JOHN S. MIDDLETON
In the interview with Salisbury, Rollins has been quoted as referring to Middleton, who is in his upper-50’s and the youngest person in the ownership group, as having ambitions “to be Steinbrenner South“, referring to the late New York Yankees take-charge owner George Steinbrenner.
You can feel it when you meet the guy, he wants to put a winner out there…I know he would like to have more influence…if he had it his way he’d be majority owner and be doing a lot of different things with the team I think.”
Rollins clearly thinks this would be a good thing, hoping that Middleton gets the chance, believing that the man who sold his father’s cigar business for an estimated $2.9 billion in 2007, has been called “the richest man in Pennsylvania” by CNN, and has managed to accumulate a 48% interest in team ownership would drive the team forward into a consistently winning era.