Philadelphia Phillies Owners: An Overview
The Philadelphia Phillies baseball team have a long and storied history, dating back to 1883 when they first joined the National League as the Quakers. While the team has gone through many changes over the years, one thing has remained constant: the ownership of the team. The Phillies have been owned by a small number of families, individuals, and corporations since their inception.
The Early Days: The Phillies and the Quakers
The Phillies, formerly the Quakers, were founded in 1883. The team was originally owned by Al Reach and John Rogers, two Philadelphia businessmen. The team was successful in its early years, winning the National League pennant in 1883 and 1884. In 1890, Reach and Rogers sold the team to John Potter and William Baker for $100,000. Potter and Baker were two wealthy Philadelphia businessmen who would go on to become two of the most influential owners in the team’s history.
The Potter and Baker Era
John Potter and William Baker took over ownership of the Phillies in 1890 and remained in control of the team until 1915. During their tenure, the team enjoyed success both on and off the field. They signed several star players, including Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, and won three pennants. They also moved the team to the Baker Bowl, a new ballpark that became the Phillies’ home until 1938.
The Shibe Era
In 1915, Potter and Baker sold the team to William F. Shibe and his brother-in-law, William D. Baker. Shibe was a wealthy businessman and had previously owned the Philadelphia Athletics. Under the Shibe family, the Phillies won their first World Series title in 1980. The Shibe family remained in control of the team until 1943, when the team was sold to Robert Carpenter.
The Carpenter Era
Robert Carpenter was the owner of the Phillies from 1943 until 1972. He was a wealthy businessman who had made his fortune in the automobile industry. Under Carpenter, the Phillies enjoyed their most successful period in franchise history. The team won two World Series titles, in 1980 and 2008, and made several trips to the playoffs.
The Galbreath Era
In 1972, Robert Carpenter sold the team to John Galbreath, a wealthy real estate developer. Galbreath was the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and had previously been involved in the ownership of the New York Yankees. Under Galbreath, the Phillies made several trips to the playoffs and won the National League pennant in 1993. Galbreath remained in control of the team until 1981, when he sold the team to Bill Giles.
The Giles Era
Bill Giles was the owner of the Phillies from 1981 until 1997. He was a former baseball executive who had previously served as the president of the Houston Astros. Under Giles, the Phillies won two World Series titles, in 1980 and 2008, and made several trips to the playoffs. Giles remained in control of the team until 1998, when he sold the team to a group of investors.
The Investors Group
From 1998 until 2017, the Phillies were owned by a group of investors. The group was led by David Montgomery and included prominent Philadelphia businessmen such as Gerry Lenfest, Bill Hankowsky, and Ed Snider. The group enjoyed success on the field, winning the National League pennant in 2008 and making several trips to the playoffs.
The Present Day Ownership
In 2017, the ownership of the Phillies changed hands. The team was purchased by a group of investors led by John Middleton. Middleton is a longtime Phillies fan and a prominent Philadelphia businessman. He is joined in the ownership group by his son, David, as well as other prominent Philadelphia businesspeople.
The ownership of the Philadelphia Phillies has changed hands several times over the years, but the team has always been owned by a small number of families, individuals, and corporations. From their founding in 1883 to the present day, the Phillies have been owned by a select few, including Al Reach and John Rogers, John Potter and William Baker, William F. Shibe and William D. Baker, Robert Carpenter, John Galbreath, Bill Giles, and a group of investors. Today, the team is owned by a group of investors led by John Middleton.
From their inception to the present day, the Philadelphia Phillies have been owned by a select few people and corporations, each contributing to the team’s storied history.