Phillies announce the passing of chairman David Montgomery at age 72

Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, (left) hands the championship trophy to David Montgomery, chairman of the Philadelphia Phillies, after the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the World Series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia in 2008. (Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — David Montgomery, chairman of the Philadelphia Phillies, has died after a battle with cancer, the team announced Wednesday morning.

He was 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’s statement reads, in part. “In his nearly half century in the game, one of Montgomery’s greatest legacies was his unwavering civic-minded approach to the business of baseball. He was also widely admired for his fierce loyalty to fans, players and front office staff. That loyalty was on par with his passion for the game.”

Montgomery joined the Phillies organization in 1971, working in the ticket office by day and as a scoreboard operator at night. He served as marketing director and director of sales before being promoted to the position of executive vice president in 1981, after Bill Giles and a group of investors purchased the team.

He became chief operating officer in 1992 and was named general partner, president, and chief executive officer in 1997. Under his tenure, the Phillies moved from Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park in 2004 and embarked on the most successful period in team history from 2007 through 2011, when the Phils won five straight National League East titles, two National League Championships, and the World Series title in 2008.

Montgomery took a leave of absence from the team in 2014 after being diagnosed with cancer, but returned to assume the position of team chairman in 2015. He remained active in that role until his passing, the Phillies said.

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