Montgomery awarded for serving community
PHILADELPHIA -- When Ed Rendell became mayor in 1992, Philadelphia was broke. Still, he says, he was determined to do something to give the citizens hope that better days were ahead.
The previous summer, only 10 of the 38 public swimming pools had been opened. And even then, the pools were available for only six weeks instead of the normal 10.
Rendell decided to open all the pools for the entire summer. But there was no money. The first call he placed was to the Phillies.
Shortly, starting pitcher Terry Mulholland announced that he would donate $1,000 for each win. The Phillies announced they would match that, and they invited others to join in. Soon enough, money had been raised to not only meet the goal, but also to open four more pools that had been closed for years.
Multiply that scenario over and over, and it explains why Phillies chairman David Montgomery received The Jamie Moyer Legends Award, as well as the Moyer Foundation's Community All-Star Award on Tuesday at the Crystal Tea Room.
Guests included former Phillies stars such as Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa and Greg Luzinski. Additionally, there was a video tribute that featured testimonials from Commissioner Rob Manfred, Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig, former Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter and former Phillies players like Jim Thome, Darren Daulton, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Doug Glanville.
Rendell, who went on to become governor of Pennsylvania, noted that the organization's commitment to charity began under Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles, and it continued and expanded during Montgomery's 17 years as club president.
"The Phillies are almost always there," Rendell said. "There are some businesses in town that almost always say no. The Phillies never say no. They pick out the charities that are most in need of help, that can have the most impact on people's lives, and they support them in so many different ways."
Montgomery turned his praise to Moyer and his wife, Karen, for their tireless efforts on behalf of their signature causes, Camp Erin and Camp Mariposa, which help children who have lost a loved one or who deal with parents who suffer from substance abuse.
Moyer, in turn, pointed out that the Phillies have long been one of baseball's most proactive organizations in terms of giving back.
"David has been a huge, positive role model. Not only in the Phillies organization, but in the community," the 269-game winner said. "I think he's set the bar high. He sets the example for executives and for athletes. But the cool thing is, and I don't know it's something I experienced anywhere else in my career, is the environment in the Philadelphia Phillies organization is very family-like. It's got to start somewhere."
Montgomery added: "The award is a team award. It always is. We both know what these wonderful non-profits do is try to get some people here that will fill the room a little bit. So I guess I take some pride that the organization was selected by Jamie and Karen to do that.
"There are things you can control and things you can't control. I've lived through all those cycles as far as winning and losing is concerned. But you can be consistent in one thing. You can be consistent in your commitment to the community. That's what we believe in. Our players have supported us to no end, and the Moyers are at the top of that list.
"You've heard me say it a hundred times. We're the Philadelphia Phillies, we're not just the Phillies. We get all this attention and sometimes we wonder why. We really do have an obligation to take that visibility and use it to shine a light on people who are doing good work in the community."