Posted on August 30, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
Less than four years after winning their second World Series in franchise history, the Kansas City Royals are about to start a new chapter with a new owner. The club announced on Friday that current owner David Glass and his family have agreed to sell the Royals to Kansas City businessman John Sherman, among other investors. The price of the sale is reported to be $1 billion. Glass first bought the team in 2000 for $96 million and has enjoyed nearly 20 years of ownership.
“The decision to sell the Royals was difficult for our family,” Glass said in a statement. “Our goal, which I firmly believe we’ve achieved, was to have someone local, who truly loved the game of baseball and who would be a great steward for this franchise going forward. In John Sherman, we have found everything we were looking for in taking ownership of this franchise.”
The sale will not become official until the rest of the MLB owners approve it. That step is expected to happen at the Owners Meetings in November. Prior to that, Sherman will have to divest his ownership of the Cleveland Indians. The 64-year-old is a minority owner of the Indians and is willing to sell his roughly 30% stake in the Indians in order to take on full ownership of the Royals.
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Sherman is a longtime resident of Kansas City and a prominent businessman in the area. He has made much of his fortune founding multiple energy companies. More importantly, he is a big baseball fan and was even a Royals season ticket holder at one point.
“John has made a huge impact in our business community and is so passionate about baseball that he purchased an ownership stake in the Cleveland Indians three years ago to begin his relationship with this great game,” said Glass. “We are truly blessed to have someone of John’s stature and business acumen available to us from the metropolitan area to take the reins of this organization going forward.”
As mentioned, Glass took controlling interest of the Royals in 2000. He was just the second owner in franchise history after the original owner Ewing Kauffman, for whom the team’s current stadium is named. Glass inherited a franchise that hadn’t made the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series. He slowly rebuilt the Royals into a winning franchise, culminating in a World Series loss in 2014 and a world championship in 2015.
“I will miss this more than anyone realizes because I grew up loving this great game and was awarded a fantastic opportunity to own one of the 30 Major League clubs,” said Glass in his statement. We watched this club painfully come up 90-feet short in 2014 and then ultimately win that coveted World Series trophy in 2015. I will never forget the thrill of seeing over 800,000 people of this community come together on one sunny November day to salute the newly-crowned World Champions.
“It’s been a fantastic ride and I want to thank our great fans for supporting us through the years, but now it’s time for someone else to oversee this franchise into its next championship and in John Sherman, we’ve found the perfect individual.”
It’s now up to Sherman to create his own legacy as owner of the Royals. The team is once again in rebuilding mode, having finished last in the AL Central in 2018. Sherman has already said that he’s committed to fielding a championship-caliber team. However, that’s not always easy for the small-market Royals. Also, the club will soon face questions about the possibility of a new ballpark. He has much work ahead of him but appears ready for the challenge and grateful for the opportunity.
“I am enormously grateful to David and the Glass family for this extraordinary opportunity,” Sherman said in a statement. “Our goal will be threefold: To compete for a championship on behalf of our fans; to honor their passion, their experience and their unwavering commitment; and to carry their hopes and dreams forward in this great Kansas City region we all love — for decades to come.”