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David Glass, Royals Owner Who Brought World Series Crown Back To Kansas City, Dies

Colin Braley
Glass, 84, was team owner from 2000 until last year, when he sold it to Kansas City businessman John Sherman.

David Glass, the former owner of the Kansas City Royals who sold the club late last year, has died.

The team announced his death Friday, saying he "passed away last week." Glass was 84 years old.

Glass bought the Royals in 2000. Before that, he had served as the team's chairman of the board after the death in 1993 of the team's founder, Ewing Kauffman.

In two decades under his ownership, the club struggled most of the time on the field.  But it also reached new heights, making consecutive World Series appearances for the first time in franchise history, in 2014 and 2015.

The team's World Series win in 2015 over the New York Mets was the franchise's first title in 30 years. 

"Like so many Kansas Citians, I am deeply saddened by the news of David's passing," John Sherman, the Royals' new owner, said in a statement. Sherman, a Kansas City-area businessman, bought the Royals from Glass in November.

"His voice among other owners was so respected. His passion for baseball and love for Kansas City was the driving force in bringing success on the field for this franchise," Sherman said.

After the sale of the team was officially approved by Major League Baseball last November, commissioner Rob Manfred said there was a moving moment during the meetings when the other team owners saluted Glass.

"The clubs thanked David Glass for the amazing service that he has done for the industry over the last 25 years, for his stewardship over the Kansas City franchise," Manfred said.

While MLB prepared to formally introduce Sherman as the new owner, Glass quietly made his way toward the exit of the hotel in Arlington, Texas.  But when he was asked to reflect on his years as chairman and owner of the team, Glass responded, "I wouldn't trade our experience for anything.  Doing it (selling the team) is, I think, one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made, but there comes a time for everything."

One of the most significant moves during the Glass era was his recruitment of Dayton Moore as general manager in 2006 from the Atlanta Braves organization.

"Mr. Glass loved this game, this team, and our city with all his heart," Moore said in a statement issued by the team. "He cared deeply for our fans and the future of baseball."

Jackson County Executive and Royals Hall of Famer Frank White also offered his condolences Friday.

"We are grateful that his final gift to us was ensuring that the Royals remained in Kansas City," White said in a joint statement with his wife, Teres. "He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Glass family during this difficult time.”

Though Glass was known in Kansas City primarily for his connection to the Royals, he spent a career as an executive at retail giant Walmart before buying the team.
He served as the company's CEO for more than a decade, stepping down shortly before purchasing the tea, but maintaining his residence in northwest Arkansas.

Kyle Palmer is KCUR's interim news director. Follow him on Twitter at @kcurkyle.

Greg Echlin is a freelance sports reporter for KCUR 89.3. Find him on Twitter at @GregEchlin

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