Phillies chairman David Montgomery dies at 72

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Philadelphia Phillies chairman David Montgomery died this morning at 72 years of age after a five-year battle with cancer.

Montgomery, who turned his Phillies fandom into a job with the team’s sales department in 1971, worked his way up through the Phillies organization and ultimately bought the club along with co-owner Bill Giles in 1981. He became team president in 1997 and held that position until his initial cancer diagnosis in 2014.

Montgomery was a nearly universally-respected owner and executive about whom countless testimonials have been written. NBC Sports Philly’s Jim Salisbury has one you should read this morning.

Commissioner Rob Manfred, issued the following statement on Montgomery’s passing:

“I am deeply saddened on the passing of my dear friend David Montgomery. David was a first-class representative of his hometown team, the Philadelphia Phillies, for nearly half a century. He never forgot his days as a fan at Connie Mack Stadium, and he carried those lessons to Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park. David’s approach to running the franchise and serving its fans was to treat everyone like family. He set an outstanding example in Philadelphia and throughout our game.

“David was one of my mentors in baseball and was universally regarded as an industry expert and leader. In recent years, I marveled at his courage as he battled cancer and through it all his amazing ability to think of others.

“I will remember David Montgomery as a gentleman and a man of great integrity. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest sympathy to David’s wife Lyn, their children and grandchildren and the entire Phillies organization.”