WISSAHICKON >> The former Daisy Field in Wissahickon was formally renamed for the Philadelphia Phillies Chairman David P. Montgomery Sunday.
The event, originally scheduled for Saturday, was pushed to Sunday because of weather concerns.
Mayor Jim Kenney, one of the many dignitaries in attendance, remarked at the podium to the large gathering that surrounded the field,“This is a beautiful day in a beautiful place honoring a beautiful person.”
The 72-year-old Montgomery began his Little League playing days at this very “field of dreams” 61 years ago in the spring of 1957 during the inaugural season of the Andorra A’s.
Montgomery, who grew up on Pembrook Road, is a Penn Charter and University of Pennsylvania grad. He used his coaching ties at Germantown Academy to help land him a job in the Phillies’ sales and marketing office in 1971.
By 1980, Montgomery had worked his way up to the head of the Phillies business department. During his front office tenure, he also managed to pitch in as a scoreboard operator.
In 1981, he and Bill Giles purchased the Phillies for $30 million, with Montgomery assuming the role of executive vice president. By 1997, Montgomery had inherited the title of team president from Bill Giles, who took on the role of chairman to allow him time to devote to helping the Phillies secure a new stadium. Montgomery is currently the chairman of the Phillies organization, allowing him to carry on a close relationship with Philly fans, customers and sponsors. He also and remains active in civic, charitable and sports endeavors like the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative, which has the goal to give youngsters an opportunity to participate in after-school sports programs.
A long list of local luminaries came to participate in the celebration. Phillies PA announcer Dan Baker used his iconic voice to emcee the event. Making appearances at the podium were Kenney, former Gov. Ed Rendell, Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, city Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis and Phillies legend Larry Bowa.
All spoke of their various alliances with Montgomery over the years, the many examples of his commitment to the integrity of the Phillies organization, his deep sense of caring for family and friends, his acts of kindness to those who crossed his path, his “never say die” attitude and his generosity when it comes to making a difference in the lives of youths in the Philadelphia community.
Other notables in attendance included many former Phillies players and associates, such as Larry Christenson, Milt Thompson, Mickey Morandini, Larry Andersen, Chris Wheeler, Cole Hamels and, of course, the Phillie Phanatic.
Before a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the field, Montgomery reminisced about his younger days and the fond memories he had playing sports in Roxborough community. He attested to the support he received from his parents growing up and his deep devotion to wife Lynn and his entire family, many of whom came out to be by his side. Three of his grandchildren threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
As Montgomery returned to his proverbial “field Of dreams,” he couldn’t help but notice the many upgrades that had recently been installed in the field with his namesake. As he mingled with friends and well-wishers following the ceremony, he admiringly took in the new overhead lighting, an upgraded field surface, stylish retaining walls, new steps to the field and a top-notch dugout . And the one that brought a tear to his eye: the large banner bearing his name for posterity, “David P. Montgomery Field.”