Many men have led the Phillies in their 136-year existence, few as long or as successfully as David Montgomery.

The roster of owners who have operated the team is filled with those doomed by ailing health or bank accounts -- and sometimes both. It included the brother of a U.S. president and a shoe salesman, a sportswriter and a former police commissioner.

One of them lost the Phillies when he derided the league, another when he bet on his team. Some served a year or less.

Here’s a look at the Phillies’ colorful leaders:

AL REACH (1883-1899)

A star player in baseball’s early days and later a successful businessman, the English-born Reach purchased the rights to the National League’s bankrupt Worcester franchise in 1883 and relocated it to Philadelphia. The team’s first owner became an influential member of baseball’s rules committee, published the first magazine devoted to the game and founded a successful sporting goods manufacturing firm that at one point produced most of the balls used in both leagues.

JOHN ROGERS (1899-1902)

An early partner of Reach’s, Rogers played a major role in getting the ballpark that would later be known as Baker Bowl built. A native Philadelphian and Penn-educated lawyer, he assumed control of the team in 1899. In 1902, Rogers also started a Phillies football team in the first iteration of the National Football League, a venture that folded after a single season.

JAMES POTTER (1903-04)

A Rittenhouse Square stockbroker, Potter purchased the Phils as an investment. That strategy faltered when, during his brief stewardship, a grandstand collapsed at the Broad and Lehigh ballpark, killing 12 fans. He sold the club soon thereafter.


A former Phillies manager and Delaware County native, he was appointed team president by the remaining shareholders in Potter’s group. His 1908 Phillies drew a then record 420,660 despite finishing in fourth place.


Now begins the most chaotic and complex era in Phillies history. Durham, a Philadelphia ward boss, succeeded Shettsline in February 1909, but died in June.

CHARLES TAFT (1909-13)

The politically well-connected brother of President William Taft, he assumed control of the team after Durham’s death. But since he also, in violation of baseball rules, held a stake in the Chicago Cubs, he needed a front man. Enter Horace Fogel.

HORACE FOGEL (1909-12)

A glad-handing sportswriter with “the reputation of a poker player who’s always willing to bet the house,” Fogel was essentially a cover for Taft. He did find Grover Cleveland Alexander, but in 1912, after drunkenly claiming that the NL race was fixed, was stripped of his ownership by the league.

ALBERT WILER (1912-13)

An interim president after Fogel’s ouster, his role was to find a new ownership group to take the foundering team off Taft’s hands.


A former assistant to Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss, Locke put together a group to purchase the Phillies, then quickly turned over control to the principal investor, William Baker.


A former New York City police commissioner, Baker brought some stability to a club that would capture its first pennant in 1915. But the New Yorker soon proved to be meddlesome and incompetent, trading away stars for much needed cash and permitting the ballpark and the team’s fan base to deteriorate. Soon, the Phillies were the worst franchise in baseball.

LEWIS RUCH (1930-32)

A self-made man and a friend of Baker’s, Ruch devoted himself tirelessly to the Phillies in his short reign. He moved here from Brooklyn, showed up in the front office each morning and managed to find the money to re-sign Triple Crown winner Chuck Klein. But after two seasons, in failing health at 71, he too walked away.

GERRY NUGENT (1932-43)

A shoe salesman who’d married Baker’s secretary, Nugent presided over some of the darkest days in franchise history. Without the money to update a dilapidated stadium -- or invest in talent -- he abandoned Baker Bowl in 1938 and made the Phillies tenants of Shibe Park, home of the American League A’s. By 1942, his team compiled a franchise-worst 43-111 record and ran out of money, forcing yet another change of ownership.


A Yale alum who made a small fortune in lumber, Cox found his Philadelphia stay to be brief. He assumed ownership at the age of 33 and immediately upgraded the payroll. But a dispute with fired manager Bucky Harris resulted in charges that Cox was betting on his team. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended him for life -- the first non-player so penalized -- and a sale of the woeful Phillies was arranged.


With DuPont money, patience and business acumen, Carpenter rebuilt the woebegone franchise, bolstering its minor-league and development programs, investing in talent, and bringing some stability to a front office that had been run like a bankrupt banana republic. By 1950, his Whiz Kids had won the team’s first pennant since 1915. That success helped them remain viable in a two-team baseball town, and when the A’s left for Kansas City, his Phils had the city to themselves. His last major task was presiding over their move to Veterans Stadium in 1971.


Carpenter’s son, who had been schooled in everything from scouting to budgeting, assumed control just as the most successful era in club history was dawning. With homegrown stars like Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa and Greg Luzinski, his Phillies would win four of five NL East titles and the franchise’s first world championship in 1980. But free agency and the game’s changing financial climate clouded his outlook and in 1981 he unloaded the successful team.

BILL GILES (1981-97)

The team’s publicity director and the son of a former NL president, Giles was named Phils president by the large and disparate group that purchased the team from Carpenter for $30 million. He brought an unprecedented level of enthusiasm and public visibility to the position. But the Phillies’ downturn in the 1990s eventually cost him. He was bumped up to chairman in 1997 as Montgomery took the reins.


A Harvard Business School grad who made a fortune selling his family’s cigar business, Middleton, who owns 48 percent of the team, took control the Phillies when Montgomery was struck by cancer in 2014. More aggressive than Montgomery, more likely to stay out of the headlines than Giles, he engineered one of the biggest transactions in club history in the spring, signing free agent Bryce Harper to a $330 million deal.