His credentials for Cooperstown are plain to see.
• He turned the expansion Toronto Blue Jays into baseball's most dominant team of the early 1990s.
• With Gillick running the show, the Baltimore Orioles made the playoffs twice — and even won a division title in 1997 — when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were supposed to be ruling the AL East.
• For the Seattle Mariners in 2001, Gillick constructed the team with the most victories — 116 — in American League history.
• He transformed a franchise on the verge of greatness, the Philadelphia Phillies, and won a World Series in 2008.
Not many baseball executives can say they accomplished so much.
"I can't tell you what an honor this is," said Gillick, 73. "It's really on behalf of all the people I worked with over the years. That's who I feel this honor really is for."
Gillick was the lone inductee chosen by a 16-member Expansion Era Committee, a panel comprised of Hall of Fame players, major league executives and media.
Former New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and former players' union head Marvin Miller missed election — and Miller missed by one vote. Dave Concepcion, Tommy John, Steve Garvey and Ted Simmons were among former players who did not receive enough support, either.
"He brings out the best in everybody else," Montgomery said. "He's so inclusive; he empowered others within the organization and he listened. We're all taking great pride in his honor."
When he went looking for someone to run the Phillies, Montgomery wasn't even sure Gillick would listen to his pitch.
"We were just thrilled that he'd take our call," Montgomery said. "But he did and once we started to interview, I knew who it was who was sitting there."
Throughout the winter meetings, follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave
- Pat Gillick