‘Beloved by Everyone': Phillies Chairman David Montgomery Dies After 5-Year Battle With Cancer

Montgomery's decades of leadership included the Phillies' 2008 World Series win and numerous NL East crowns

What to Know

  • David Montgomery, the Phillies' chairman and longtime front office fixture, died from cancer Wednesday. He was 72.
  • Montgomery worked his way up within the Phillies front office.
  • David Montgomery's leadership included the Phillies' 2008 World Series win.

David Montgomery, a fixture in the Phillies' front office for decades who was team president when they won the 2008 World Series, has died from cancer at the age of 72.

“One of the most respected and admired executives in baseball, David P. Montgomery passed away this morning at the age of 72 after a courageous five-year battle against cancer,” the team said in a news release Wednesday.

Montgomery spent near a half century involved in baseball. First and foremost a Phillies fan, he began his career with the Phillies in their ticket office in 1971. He worked his way up in the organization, becoming executive vice president in 1981 when Bill Giles put together a group to purchase the team. Montgomery later became chief operating officer in 1992 before ascending to general partner, president and chief executive officer in 1997, while owning a stake in the team.

"I join all Philadelphians in mourning the loss of Dave Montgomery, who helped build the Phillies into one of the preeminent sports franchises in the nation," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. "Dave was a true local success story, a Philly native who worked his way up from the team’s sales department to become president, co-owner, and later, chairman."

As team president, Montgomery led the team in its move from Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park in 2004 and oversaw the club's run of division crowns from 2007 to 2011, including the 2008 World Series win.

"David was truly a great man," the team’s chairman emeritus Bill Giles said. "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. David was a big reason why the Phillies won 12 division championships, five National League championships and two World Series championships in that time."

The Phillies' new indoor training facility at the Carpenter Complex at the Phillies' spring training home in Clearwater was named for Montgomery in 2018.

He also received numerous baseball and civic awards, including the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Executive Leadership Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation. He also did work with Phillies charities in the fight against ALS.

Montgomery grew up a Phillies fan in the city's Roxborough neighborhood. He later attended William Penn Charter School.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Montgomery sat on Penn's Board of Trustees. He also served on board for WXPN and the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. He volunteered time for other sports and civic causes in the Philadelphia community and to promote tourism.

Kenney announced that all Philadelphia flags will be flown at half-staff for one week in Montgomery's memory.

Montgomery's influence went far beyond Philadelphia, the team said. At one point, Montgomery was even being considered to be commissioner of baseball.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark called Montgomery "one of the kindest men you could ever meet."

In August 2014 Montgomery took a leave of absence from his role as team president and CEO to receive treatment for jaw cancer. He returned as chairman in January 2015 and remained active with the team up until his death, the team said.

Starting with the next home stand Monday, the Phillies will wear a "DPM" patch in Montgomery's memory for the rest of the season, the team said.

“David was one of Philadelphia’s most influential business and civic leaders in his generation,” Phillies managing partner John Middleton said. “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.”

Montgomery is survived by his wife, Lyn; three children, Harry, Sam and Susan; and three grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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