On Monday, sad news surfaced that former Phillies owner and president Ruly Carpenter had passed away. He was 81 years old.
On Tuesday, the Phillies released a statement, remembering his leadership from 1972-1981, a span which included the team's first World Series championship in 1980 along with three straight division titles from 1976-1978.
"Ruly Carpenter was a consummate professional sports team owner," said Phillies Managing Partner John Middleton (via MLB.com). "A third-generation local businessman, he believed in developing not just your players from within, but also your front office. Ruly was the driving force in promoting both Paul Owens and Dallas Green, and collectively, the three oversaw one of the greatest eras in Phillies history. They built a team anchored by the greatest player and pitcher in Phillies history, Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, that won four NL East division titles and Philadelphia’s first World Series championship in 1980. Ruly’s influence has been and will continue to be felt for decades in the Delaware Valley. On behalf of the Buck and Middleton families, I extend my deepest condolences to the Carpenters."
A number of Phillies greats and longtime media members took to social media to share their stories and remembrances of the charismatic executive.
Carpenter also had a profound impact on the University of Delaware, serving on the board of trustees and chairing the committee on student life and athletics.
"Ruly was always supportive of everything we did," former UD athletic director Edgar Johnson told Delaware Online's Kevin Tresolini. "He was supportive intellectually with his ideas. He was supportive with his money, as was the entire Carpenter family.
"The thing that I think made Ruly special is that he was always here. He came to football games. He came to basketball games. I enjoyed baseball games, getting to sit with him and talk Delaware baseball, Phillies baseball, Kansas City baseball, anything. He had so many stories.
"...He was a regular Joe. He didn’t put on airs. He was a regular human being. He loved sports and he liked people."