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Phils' brass thrilled with team's success

Phils' brass thrilled with team's success

MILWAUKEE -- They've been here for the long ride, the Phillies brass, all of them -- Dave Montgomery, Bill Giles and Dallas Green.

Each man was here for the glory days: the World Series victory in 1980 and National League titles in 1983 and 1993. And they've been around to see the gap before the Phillies returned to the playoffs in 2007 and their advancement to the 2008 NL Championship Series.

That best-of-seven NLCS will begin at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night, when the Phillies open against the Dodgers, a team they'll face in the NLCS for the fourth time.

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"This is great," said Montgomery, the team's general partner and chief executive, in the din of the champagne-drenched Phillies clubhouse after they vanquished the Brewers, 6-2, on Sunday at Miller Park to win their NL Division Series in four games. "I'm thrilled for our club and, obviously, for our city. It's been a while for us."

Giles is the chairman now, and the honorary president of the NL. Green, who managed the Phillies to the only World Series title in the 126-year history of the franchise, is now a senior adviser to Pat Gillick, the general manager. Save for a short stint as GM of the Cubs during the mid-1980s, Green seems as much a part of the organization's fabric as the Rocky statue is part of Philadelphia history.

"It's great to get to the next level," Green said. "These kids have battled wonderfully all year."

Gillick, who said he'll retire after this season, said that winning for all the veteran executives is what makes this one singular.

"It's really special for all of them," said Gillick, who was GM of the Blue Jays team that defeated the Phillies in the six-game 1993 World Series, a hard-fought matchup that ended when Joe Carter hit a walk-off homer at SkyDome. "They came over after the 1993 World Series, when I was on the other side of the field. So I'm happy for the management of the club, because I've only been here for three years."

Giles, the son of the late NL president Warren Giles, was instrumental in putting together the deal to purchase the Phillies from the Carpenter family in 1981 just after a big World Series victory over the Kansas City Royals in a six-game series that ended at Veterans Stadium.

Giles has been with the franchise in some capacity since 1969, and he's been through all the ups and downs. This will be the team's seventh trip to the NLCS during his tenure, and he'll be in pursuit of the NL pennant-winning trophy that is named after his father.

"You know, I've been honorary president of the NL for a while, and I've always wanted to give my dad's trophy to my own team," Giles said. "Hopefully, that will happen."

The Phillies moved closer to that goal with Sunday's victory, which vaulted them to the NLCS, one step further than they reached last season.

"Yeah, we were in and out of it so quickly last year, it's nice to have a go at it for a while," said Montgomery, who was part of the Giles ownership group and replaced him as CEO in 1996. "When we got in, about a week ago, we went from being thrilled about getting in to this time really being eager to see how we could perform.

"There was a time when we weren't particularly good, and all we wanted to do was get to the point where we could play meaningful September baseball. We've done that, really, since 2001. But the reality is, we had to get back into the playoffs, which we did last year. So we're one step along the way, and we get the opportunity to go beyond that. And now, who knows where this year will take us?"

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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