Charlie Monfort: Winning Isn't Everything
By Will Dawson
The 700 Club
He’s the Colorado Rockies’ biggest fan. You won’t see him wearing his favorite player’s jersey at the games, but winning is just as special to Colorado Rockies' owner, Charlie Montfort.
“This is work for you, but you’re really passionate about baseball,” commented 700 Club’s Will Dawson.
“Yeah, you know I’ve learned to love baseball,” Charlie said. “It’s work in the sense that you got to do the budgets and we have a bottom line every day, 162 bottom lines. I really enjoy it. I love the game and just sitting there and taking in the sport itself.”
Charlie is a third generation businessman. His grandfather owned a successful cattle business in Colorado; and just like his father before him, Charlie joined the family business. Nine to five wasn’t in his vocabulary.
“I’d want to out sell the competition; I’d want to make the biggest deal. I don’t know if it’s ego or not, but you always want to be the best,” Charlie said.
Charlie bought into the Colorado franchise as a limited partner and in 1992 the Rockies became baseball’s newest team.
“It was a big responsibility all of a sudden. The beef business also doesn’t quite garner the headlines that a sports or entertainment organization does,” Charlie said.
Critics said baseball would never fly in a town where most fans’ hearts belong to the Denver Broncos. But the Rockies were an overnight success!
The Rockies sold out every home game their first season, drawing nearly four and a half-million fans. From a success standpoint, Charlie Montfort was on top. But he admits something was missing.
“I partied a lot. You’d get up and you’d go to work, and then you’d go out with friends. It was just the same old routine over and over; and you know, drank excessively and had a pretty good night life. So that was the basis of Charlie Montfort. There was nothing else there,” Charlie said.
Then in 1999 Charlie met Vanessa, a Christian. Although he had no interest in spiritual things, he was very interested in her.
“When she first met me she said, ‘I only date Christians.’ And I said, ‘hey! I’m a Christian. I’m there with you; I agree,’” Charlie said.
Vanessa had a gradual, yet profound impact on Charlie.
“I slowed down. I slowed way down the first couple years with her, because I found somebody stable and we spent all the time together; so I wasn’t doing all the party stuff. I was still drinking quite a bit, but wasn’t doing all the partying, wasn’t going out,” Charlie said.
Charlie eventually quit drinking and married Vanessa in 2001. But it wasn’t until he attended a men’s conference that he noticed a true change.
“I don’t even remember walking down there. I just picked up and moved down there. I just got on my knees and started bawling. Guys got behind me and put their hands on me and were praying. It seemed like minutes, but we were down there for about an hour,” Charlie said, “just on my knees bawling and asking for God in my life in a stronger way. It was powerful.”
In 2003, Charlie took over as CEO of the Rockies. Three years later, he and his brother Dick bought out the majority owners; and just last season the Colorado Rockies hit the mountain top, the World Series.
“It was special, special for our family, special for the organization for all the difficult times we had gone through. It was special for the community. But really, I remember certain bits and pieces from the game: Todd Helton raising his arms up, Matt Holliday, just bits and pieces, like a movie you might remember; but it was definitely special,” Charlie said.
The Rockies eventually lost the World Series to the Red Sox. But, Charlie’s hopes hinge on something bigger than the outcome of a baseball game.
“We would have loved to have won, but that’s not our pinnacle, that’s not my pinnacle,” Charlie said. “Winning the World Series would have been great. But you start over again the next day, you’re still the same person; you still have the same goals, still have the same plans, still have the same things you want to achieve.”
“If I wasn’t saved, I know I wouldn’t be here and I shudder to think where I would be,” Charlie said. “And that’s why being saved is not only life changing, but it’s how you go about dealing with everyday life. You can tell me that the guy with the best, most everything in the world, if he doesn’t have Christ - he still has that big hole, so he doesn’t have anything. He doesn’t have it all.”
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