KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals owner David Glass has agreed to sell the team to Kansas City businessman John Sherman.
The team and Major League Baseball announced Friday that Glass has reached an agreement with Sherman and a group of local investors.
Sherman and the other investors will be the third owners in franchise history after founding owner Ewing Kauffman and Glass.
The $1 billion deal was first reported Friday morning by USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale.
The sale will become official in November, according to Nightengale.
“The decision to sell the Royals was difficult for our family," Glass said in a statement from the team. "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."
Glass has served as the Royals' owner and CEO since purchasing the team for $96 million in April 2000. He was criticized early in his tenure and again recently of being too cheap with the team's payroll.
But the decision to hire Dayton Moore as general manager in 2006 paved the way to consecutive World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015, including the club's second championship after beating the New York Mets in five games in the 2015 World Series.
“John Sherman and his group far exceeded our hope for the next caretaker of Royals baseball," Glass said. "His love for Kansas City and the game of baseball is well documented as are his philanthropic endeavors in the surrounding communities. A native of this area, 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. 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.”
Sherman, a minority owner and the vice chairman of the Cleveland Indians, would need to sell his stake in the Indians before purchasing the Royals, but Glass believes he's the perfect steward to lead the team into the future.
Understandably, Sherman is excited about the acquisition.
“I am enormously grateful to David and the Glass Family for this extraordinary opportunity,” Sherman said in a statement, “and am humbled by the chance to team up with a distinguished group of local investors to carry forward and build on this rich Kansas City Royals legacy. 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.”
Glass, who will turn 84 on Monday, recently told those close to him that he wanted to sell the Royals due to health reasons, according to Nightengale.
Glass said he will miss being the Royals' owner "more than anyone realizes" and "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."
As for my family, it has been an amazing run since we gained control of the franchise in 2000,” Mr. Glass continued. “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. 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.
Sherman and his wife, Marny, live in Kansas City and have deep ties to community involvement and philanthropic work.
Sherman, the CEO of MLP Holdings LLC, made his fortune after starting up two energy companies. He's been active the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Truman Library Institute, the Kauffman Foundation, the National World War I Museum and Library and through The Sherman Family Foundation.