By Doug Miller / MLB.comHow big of a Phillies fan is David Montgomery?
Well, long before he escalated to his current role of general partner, CEO and team president, Montgomery was happy just to go to games.
"I felt fortunate just to walk in there and see that green grass in the late 1950s and mid-'50s and whatnot," said Montgomery, "and then the opportunity to work for the club, which for me began in 1971, it's a dream come true."
That first job included a heavy dose of phone calls in which he tried to get people to fill out forms for season tickets when the team moved from Connie Mack Stadium to Veterans Stadium.
And still to this day, with the lifelong fan in him responsible for his calendar, Montgomery takes in each and every game, whatever way available.
"He's a guy that keeps score of every game, and if he misses a game when the team is on the road, he'll tape it and keep score," said Larry Shenk, the team's vice president of alumni and senior advisor. "He doesn't miss a pitch. He's just a huge fan, first and foremost."
He's also about as down to earth as a high-ranking baseball executive can be.
"He's really living the ultimate boyhood dream," said Richard Deats, the vice president of Phillies Enterprises. "To grow up in Philly as a sports fan, go to Connie Mack and Franklin Field and the old Convention Center, it's just always been in his blood.
"It's a great story to have a guy who grew up in the city now running one of his favorite teams, and one of the nice things about him running the organization is that he's been through just about every level, so he has a very good handle on everybody's experience and can relate to them easily.'
Even before he attended the University of Pennsylvania and the prestigious Wharton School of Business, Montgomery was learning the ropes of how to run a ballclub.
"When he outgrew Little League and a field was opened a block from his house, he became the groundskeeper and scorekeeper," Deats said. "That was his first job in baseball. He got the field ready and put the numbers up on the scoreboard."
"He's extremely loyal," said Philadelphia 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski, a former Penn basketball player and a longtime friend of Montgomery's.
"I've always said he's a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. He's always caring for other people, and he carries himself in such a humble way that you'd never know he's achieved his stature."
Stefanski likes to talk about how the two are part of the relatively small fan base of Penn football, and how Montgomery often offers him unsolicited advice on how to run the Sixers.
"He's been talking to me all the time," Stefanski said. "Now that I'm here, he follows the Sixers much more closely. He wasn't much of a basketball payer, but he definitely has an opinion on what we should do basketball-wise."
But despite his Wharton pedigree and lofty title in Major League Baseball, you won't find Montgomery bragging about his financial expertise.
"I'm not a businessman at heart," he admitted.
"I think at this point, I'm a baseball fan at heart."
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.