Ron Costello

Friday, May 22, 2015

With Little Ole' Me

There we were face to face.

The Chairman and  former President...and little ole' me.

Under him, the Phillies won five division titles, plus two pennants and the 2008 World Series.

Under me, well, let's face it, the Phillies never heard of me. I know Wheels. Wait, I once met Bowa in the King of Prussia movies and we chatted for 10 or 15 seconds.

He spearheaded the construction of Citizens Bank Park, arguably the best baseball park in the nation.

I attend about 10 games a year. But, we do go to road games in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore every third lunar eclipse.

And maybe, most impressive of all, he was hired by the Phillies in 1971 in an entry-level position in sales. He rose up to executive vice president and then CEO. Became President in 1997. Talking about working your way up!

I write a  blog hardly anyone reads.  I ain't working my way up to nowhere.

Nonetheless, I stuck out my hand: "Mr. Montgomery, very nice to meet you, Sir."

"Very  nice to meet you, Ron," he said "is that a Phillies pin you have there?"

"Yes, Sir," I replied, "got it in the early seventies but I can't remember how. I knew I might be meeting you tonight so I stuck it in my lapel."

"Very nice," he said, smiling.

My first impression was how nice the man is. Friendly, sincere. No airs. I was at a Chestnut Hill College dinner. My wife Denise  works at the college and knows Mrs. Montgomery — who was receiving a Libris Society award that evening. Denise took me to their table for the introduction.

He rose from his seat and we stood talking about the Phillies for maybe ten minutes.

So, face to face with the Chairman, what did I say?

I mean, here I am, blog writing extraordinaire, and lifetime Phillies' fan with a moment in time to register a blockbuster question or statement.

Here's my blockbuster: "I think they need to cut salary, and we know how they can do that, play the younger players and when they have the money, sign key free agents and win again."


"I couldn't agree more," he said.

I also said this: "You know, Sir, a lot of fans miss Chris Wheeler in the booth and think Wheels was a terrific broadcaster."

Another duhhhh!

"Yes, I agree," the Chariman replied, "Chris and I started with the Phillies at about the same time and are very close. It wasn't the Phillies who made that move."

Father Comcast, right? The Chairman just smiled.

So there you go. My moment of fame. My colossal walk in time with the Phillies' Chairman. And what did I do?

I went respectful and appreciative. Made a statement of information that the homeless  guy at 13th and Market knows. I know because I go by there a lot and I've asked him.

Here's the thing, I don't know about any blog Mr. Montgomery writes. At least he didn't mention any.

And besides, he doesn't have the pin I have!

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