Success in professional baseball is often analyzed in terms of sabermetrics, starting lineups, injury status reports, trade rumors and questionable coaching decisions.
The story of the Philadelphia Phillies success must also include a trip down a road less traveled. That circuitous road begins and ends at the doorstep of David Montgomery. Because of his efforts, the Phillies have built an organization that is the envy of many other MLB franchises.
Montgomery is General Partner, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Phillies. A Wharton Business School graduate, Montgomery’s love of the Phillies was nurtured during college when he attended games with ex-Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.
His official entree into the Phillies came about during his tenure coaching varsity football at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, PA. It was there he coached the son of Phillie pitching great, Robin Roberts.
Roberts made the introductions and Montgomery was hired as an employee of the Phillies sales department in 1971 at a salary of $150 per week. He continued to progress within the organization and was named head of the business department by 1980.
That year provided achievement of another kind as the Phillies claimed their first ever World Series championship.
True to his introverted nature, Montgomery watched the deciding game of that series from the Veteran’s Stadium scoreboard control room. His job was updating statistics as the game progressed.
Truth be known, he probably sang along with the ballpark organ which was located in the same room.
The following year, Montgomery was named Executive Vice President. In 1997, he was selected to replace Bill Giles as President of the team.
To his credit, Montgomery has been instrumental not only within the Phillies brain trust, but within the workings of MLB.
He’s openly acknowledged for his efforts to help create the wild card playoff system and revenue-sharing system. He’s been a member of the labor policy committee, the scheduling committee and the enterprises committee.
In his role for the Philllies, Montgomery has also focused on Phillies brand development. He understands the importance of creating and promoting the Phillies as a unique product, a key factor in attracting major sponsors and providing fans with plenty of desirable branded merchandise.
In turn, this has allowed the Phillies to sign successful players to long-term contracts evidenced by the mega-deal signings of Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels.
Montgomery is a Phillies fan to his core. From sitting in the upper deck of Connie Mack Stadium as a child to his position as team president, he has desired only two things – for the Phillies to win and for Phillie fans to enjoy the experience.