The Philadelphia Phillies organization has announced this afternoon that club president David Montgomery, serving in that post since 1997, is stepping down temporarily due to medical reasons. The 68-year old who also serves as the Phillies CEO is a part-owner and general partner, and recently underwent surgery in relation to cancer of the jaw.
It was further announced that Baseball Hall of Famer and former club GM Pat Gillick will serve in Montgomery’s post during his recuperation period. It is hoped that Montgomery will be able to return actively to the team presidency once he is fully recovered.
Last night, Montgomery was one of the first in line to congratulate the local Taney Dragons, the team that won the hearts of Philadelphians with their advancement to the 2014 Little League World Series earlier this month. CSN’s Phillies “insider” Jim Salisbury on Twitter (@jsalisburycsn): “Dave Montgomery was the first guy in line to congratulate the Taney kids last night. The guy is all-Philly first team and a warrior.“
Montgomery grew up in Philly, attending numerous games at Connie Mack Stadium during the 1950′s and 60′s. He graduated from Penn Charter high school and then from the University of Pennsylvania. He continued with his Penn education at the Wharton Business School, graduating in 1970, the Phils final season at Connie Mack.
In 1971, Montgomery was hired as a member of the Phillies sales department with some intervention from organizational legend Robin Roberts. He spent some time as the scoreboard operator at Veteran’s Stadium, and then quickly rose through the organization, becoming the head of sales and marketing, and by the end of the 70′s had become the head of the business department.
In 1981, Montgomery became part of the team put together by Bill Giles to purchase the Phillies from Ruly Carpenter. With Giles as the principle owner, Montgomery became the executive vice-president. He would serve in this post, helping run the team and make numerous important decisions, for the next 16 seasons.
In 1997, Montgomery ascended to the club presidency when Giles took on the position of Chairman and began the fight for a new ballpark. This made Montgomery the first Philadelphian to head the organization in six decades. He has been active in numerous Philadelphia civic ventures, for his University of Pennsylvania alma mater, and has served Major League Baseball in a number of roles.