David Montgomery Out as Phillies President
The Phillies announced today that David Montgomery has returned to the team as chairman. Pat Gillick, who had been interim president in Montgomery’s absence, will now assume the job full-time. Montgomery took a leave of absence this summer while recovering from cancer surgery. Bill Giles moves from chairman to chairman emeritus.
Although Gillick has had the interim removed from his designation as Phillies president, the team says he is only staying on as president “in the short term.”
“I am fortunate to be healthy enough now to resume some of my previous responsibilities,” Montgomery said in a statement. “I am very appreciative that Pat Gillick is willing and available to remain as the club’s President.”
Montgomery first joined the Phillies in 1971 in an entry-level position on the sales/marketing side of the organization. He became an EVP in 1982 and the Chief Operating Officer in 1991 before replacing Bill Giles as president in 1997. The Phillies won five division titles under his watch as president, plus two pennants and their 2008 World Series title win. Montgomery also oversaw the construction of Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004, and the overhaul of the Phillies’ spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida. Montgomery went to Penn for both his undergrad and graduate (Wharton) studies.
Gillick, 77, joined the Phillies as GM in 2005, and remained with the team as GM through their 2008 World Series win. He remained with the team as a senior advisor to GM Ruben Amaro and Montgomery before assuming the interim role of president. The year the Phillies won the World Series, Gillick was named King of Baseball.
Last year, Howard Eskin reported Montgomery was “forced out” and would not be returning to his role as president after his leave. The Phillies denied the story; Eskin also reported minority owner John Middleton was in the process of becoming a majority owner of the club. CSN’s Jim Salisbury reports Middleton has taken a bigger role in club affairs recently.
Gillick has been GM of four teams, and presided over the Blue Jays’ back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993, as well as the Seattle Mariners record-tying 116-win regular season in 2001. Perhaps Gillick’s biggest move as GM of the Phillies was not a major one. He acquired Matt Stairs on August 30th, 2008 — just a day before the waiver trade deadline. On October 13th, Stairs hit one of the biggest hits in Phillies history, a two-run pinch hit homer in the bottom of the 8th that gave the Phillies a 3-1 series lead in the NLCS. They’d clinch the pennant in Game 5.
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