Sad day in town.
David Montgomery died this morning after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 72 years old.
The Roxborough native went to Penn Charter and later the University of Pennsylvania. He grew up watching the Phillies and landed a job in the ticket sales office back in the early seventies. About 25 years later he took over as a part owner and team president.
I didn’t know the man or work the Phillies beat, but one thing I continually heard and read about him is that he always valued his employees, top to bottom, and that was a recurring theme in the articles and social media messages shared this morning.
David Montgomery was one of the best men you could meet. He loved this city. He loved the Phillies. More importantly, he treated everyone who was in contact with him with dignity and respect. Philadelphia has suffered an enormous loss.
— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) May 8, 2019
The sadness across baseball, over the passing of one of its most beloved citizens, Phillies chairman David Montgomery, is almost indescribable
Baseball has never had a classier, more dignified, more respected, more upbeat ambassador than him. RIP, David. We’ll miss you every day
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) May 8, 2019
So sorry to hear of the passing of David Montgomery, who spent 48 years making the @Phillies an organization we could all respect. Class act who cared about the fans and the people who worked for him – from star players down to the vendors. RIP, David. pic.twitter.com/JjPEwUdtaL
— Glen Macnow (@RealGlenMacnow) May 8, 2019
Jim Salisbury wrote up a really nice piece on Montgomery over at NBC Sports Philadelphia, and I think this passage really stands out, after the jump:
Montgomery was always thinking about someone else and that showed in the way he ran the ball club. Yes, wins and losses mattered above all else. That’s why the championship of 2008 felt so good and the lean years hurt so badly. But Montgomery believed that the organization’s responsibility transcended what happened on the field. Maybe it was because he was a hometown kid in love with all things Philly. Maybe it was the way he was raised because he frequently mentioned the blessing of his parents and his upbringing. Whatever the reason — and thank God it existed — David Montgomery was supremely committed to the community, giving back to it, making it a little better. He made that a mandate for the organization and the Phillies’ role as a charitable giant in the community is a tribute to him and the people with whom he surrounded himself.
That’s a nice way to be remembered, isn’t it? As a person who was “always thinking about someone else.”
You’ll recall Montgomery took his leave of absence in 2014 to begin his cancer treatment. It was in his jaw bone. He did return to the team a year later, taking the title of chairman while Pat Gillick assumed the role of president while serving on an interim basis while Montgomery was gone.
Here’s a link to the Phils’ statement on David Montgomery, which is beautifully written:
RIP to a great man.
I’ll post more information and reaction as it comes in.