Sherman takes over as Kansas City Royals controlling owner

New Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman makes a brief statement to reporters after a baseball owners meeting in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
New Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman makes a brief statement to reporters after a baseball owners meeting in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/LM Otero) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

KANSAS CITY, MO – John Sherman had sold his successful energy company and embarked on a nine-month trip around the world with his wife, Marny. They had visited Africa and Asia and all points between, and had landed in Europe when the most incredible of things happened.

Sherman’s long-suffering but beloved Kansas City Royals reached the World Series.

It was Marny who, upon noticing her husband watching for updates on his phone, encouraged Sherman to return to Kansas City. So smack-dab in the midst of their global sojourn, the white-haired businessman with a bushy mustache and self-deprecating sense of humor hopped a jet home in time to watch Games 6 and 7 between the Royals and San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium.

Little did Sherman know, five years later he would be back in the ballpark, staring out a window from the club’s hall of fame Tuesday after being introduced as the team’s new controlling owner.

“The opportunity to do this in your hometown is very, very special,” said Sherman, who grew up an Army brat but ultimately settled in Kansas City, where he founded both of his energy businesses.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be sitting in this seat,” Sherman said, “but I also realize the privilege and responsibility that we have in this seat on behalf of our fans, our players and coaches, our associates and our community.”

The purchase of the Royals from David Glass for approximately $1 billion was approved unanimously by owners of the other big league clubs at their meeting last Thursday. The transfer closed Monday, and the full list of owners — primarily local businessman along with a few famous fans, such as actor Eric Stonestreet — was released prior to Sherman’s introductory news conference Tuesday.

His group is just the third owner of the Royals since their inception in 1969, when Ewing Kauffman established the team. The Glass family served as caretakers of the franchise following Kauffman’s death before purchasing it outright and retaining control until earlier this year.