Over the past five weeks, the discussions intensified, and on Tuesday a partnership between the highly successful franchises came to fruition.
The Eagles kicked off their 2009 Tackling Breast Cancer (TBC) initiative by announcing a partnership with the Phillies through which the franchises are teaming up to support the Jefferson Breast Care Center. The cornerstone of the partnership is a co-branded T-shirt that features the Philadelphia skyline and the logos for both teams. The T-shirt was unveiled at Tuesday's news conference at Jefferson and will be available for $20 through October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
All of the proceeds will be donated to the Jefferson Breast Care Center.
"It's a great thing for us to work with the Eagles and the Phillies," said Thomas Lewis, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to work with these two franchises in the city is great. It's a unique partnership, and I don't think it gets any better than this."
During the Eagles games at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 11 and Nov. 1, volunteer nurses and staff from Jefferson University Hospital will be selling TBC merchandise, including a pink hat, an original scarf and other items, throughout the stadium.
The T-shirt will also be available for $20 in both teams' stores -- the Lincoln Financial Field Pro Shop and the Citizens Bank Park Majestic Clubhouse Store -- as well as other in-park locations. Fans will be able to purchase the T-shirt through Phillies.com and Philadelphiaeagles.com through October or while supplies last. In addition, the T-shirt soon will be available for purchase at the hospital bookstore and gift shop.
"This is an opportunity that's so good for us," Montgomery said. "If we can join the Eagles for a good cause like this, we were going to do it. It's really an opportunity to take our support of breast cancer awareness, which is typically around Mother's Day, and to take it through October. We hope we can make a difference in partnering with the Eagles to fight as hard as we can against breast cancer."
After meeting with the Phillies and tossing around ideas to make this partnership work, Banner believed it was all positive. He was thrilled to help.
"Like the Phillies, we have a strong commitment to the community," Banner said. "We both work with Jefferson and have ties to Jefferson, so this was a natural partnership. The fans in this community have been extremely generous in helping to tackle breast cancer. This is another unique way and a great way to keep the momentum going."
The Phillie Phanatic and Swoop, the Eagles mascot, accompanied some of the Phillies ballgirls into the news conference as they modeled the T-shirt. Hospital staffers looked on and cheered.
But the biggest cheer will come when each T-shirt sells. That's because the more shirts sold means the more money donated.
"Anything we can do to help is what this is about," Montgomery said. "This benefits everyone involved, especially the breast care center. It was an easy decision for us to get involved in this great partnership. We're hoping for great sales of the T-shirts."
Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.