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Businessman who might buy Royals is known for philanthropic impact in KC

Posted: 5:30 PM, Aug 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-28 19:26:55-04
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You would be hard-pressed to find someone who knows John Sherman and doesn't have a glowing opinion of him.

"John is a wonderful supporter of everything Kansas City," Alex Burden, executive director of the Truman Library Institute, said.

Sherman could be the next owner of the Royals.

The Athletic and ESPN reported Tuesday Sherman is in negotiations to buy the team for $1 billion. He's heading up a group that would take on ownership.

Sherman himself hasn't publicly confirmed it yet, but the news has leaders at influential KC organizations buzzing.

"I'm very excited," Barbara Bichelmeyer, provost at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, said. "Excited for Kansas City."

Mark Donovan, president of the Chiefs, said he's not going to comment on if the rumors are true, but said Sherman represents the city well.

"If a transition is going to happen, to have a true Kansas Citian be part of that and lead that, I think it's good for the city," Donovan said.

Sherman and his wife Marny live in Kansas City.

They are far-reaching in their community involvement and philanthropic work.

"John is a member of our [Entrepreneur] Hall of Fame," Bichelmeyer said. "What people may not know about the Shermans is that they have been incredibly committed to the urban education experience and they provide foundational gifts to our Urban Education Research Center."

Sherman has also been involved in boosting UMKC's athletics program, Bichelmeyer says, particularly in the past year as the school switched leagues.

Both John and Marny served on UMKC's board.

John was chairman at the Truman Library Institute and served on its board for nine years. Marny is a current member.

"John initiated a really incredible strategic plan for the Truman Library's 75th anniversary, which is next year," Burden said. "We're in the middle of a massive renovation at the Truman Library and a huge capital campaign, $30 million. We've raised $26 million dollars so far, and John cued that up with his vision."

And possibly the most pressing question - will the Royals stay in KC? - is already being put to rest.

"I think they would be here to stay," Burden said.

Sherman is a minority owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. His role in keeping the team competitive and successful over the years creates an exciting prospect for Royals fans, who want to see another return to the World Series.

"I do think they are really representative of the next generation of the Kauffman legacy and the Kauffman mindset," Bichemeyer said.

Sherman would have to sell his stake in the Indians before buying the Royals.