Former Wal­mart exec, Roy­als owner David Glass dies at 84

Antelope Valley Press - - WEATHER / OBITUARIES - By DAVE SKRETTA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Wal­mart Inc. chief ex­ec­u­tive David Glass, who owned the Kansas City Roy­als for nearly two decades be­fore sell­ing the fran­chise last fall, died last week of com­pli­ca­tions form pneu­mo­nia. He was 84.

The Glass fam­ily said the busi­ness­man died Jan. 9. He had been deal­ing with health is­sues for some time.

Glass be­gan ne­go­ti­a­tions early last year to sell the Roy­als, who reached the World Se­ries twice un­der his own­er­ship and won the ti­tle in 2015. The deal val­ued at about $1 bil­lion with a group led by Kansas City busi­ness­man John Sher­man was com­pleted Nov. 26 af­ter Ma­jor League Base­ball own­ers voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove it.

“I am deeply sad­dened by the news of David’s pass­ing,”

Sher­man said in a state­ment. “His voice among other own­ers was so re­spected. He served on and led sev­eral Ma­jor League Base­ball com­mit­tees to bet­ter our game. His pas­sion for base­ball and love for Kansas City was the driv­ing force in bring­ing suc­cess on the field for this fran­chise.

“Per­son­ally, I will be for­ever in­debted to David for reach­ing out to of­fer the gen­er­a­tional op­por­tu­nity to be part of this proud and sto­ried fran­chise,” Sher­man added. “On be­half of the en­tire own­er­ship group, I want to ex­press deep­est grat­i­tude to the heart of a man who care­fully placed a trea­sure in the hands of Kansas Ci­tians. We pledge to carry it for­ward with his pas­sion­ate com­mit­ment and self­less spirit.”

Glass was born in Moun­tain, View, Mis­souri, and joined the U.S. Army af­ter he was grad­u­ated from high school. He earned a de­gree from Mis­souri State be­fore be­gin­ning his business ca­reer at Crank Drug Com­pany in 1960.

Glass left the com­pany in 1968 and worked for two other com­pa­nies un­til 1976, when Wal­mart founder Sam Walter re­cruited him to be his com­pany’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer. Glass con­tin­ued to take on a big­ger role with the com­pany un­til 1988, when he was named pres­i­dent and CEO of the re­tail gi­ant. Over the en­su­ing 12 years, he led the com­pany through a pe­riod of dra­matic growth and ex­pan­sions in­ter­na­tion­ally and into new re­tail for­mats.

“”When we lost my dad, David pro­vided a steady, vi­sion­ary hand the com­pany needed to lead it for­ward. He did so with a deep sense of hu­mil­ity while main­tain­ing the values and prin­ci­ples dad founded the com­pany on,” former Wal­mart chair­man

Rob Wal­ton said. “More than any­one be­yond Sam Wal­ton, David Glass is re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing Wal­mart the com­pany it is to­day. On be­half of the en­tire Wal­ton fam­ily, I want to ex­press our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for David as a leader and as a friend. He will be deeply missed.”

He also will be missed in Kansas City, his home-awayfrom home due to his own­er­ship of the Roy­als.

Glass helped to keep the fran­chise in Kansas City fol­low­ing the death of found­ing owner Ewing Kauff­man in 1993. He served as care­taker of the organizati­on un­til April 2000, when he pur­chased sole own­er­ship for $96 mil­lion — a strong bid at the time. And while his own­er­ship will be re­mem­bered for two Amer­i­can League pen­nants and a World Se­ries tro­phy, for many years he was con­sid­ered a pariah among fans for his no­to­ri­ously fru­gal ways.

The Roy­als en­dured many 100-loss sea­sons, and they be­came known for trad­ing top tal­ent while re­fus­ing to sign no­table free agents. Many fans also viewed him as an ab­sen­tee owner more com­mit­ted to Arkansas than Kansas City.

But most of those opin­ions changed when Glass hired Day­ton Moore as gen­eral man­ager in 2006. Glass vowed to build the organizati­on the right way, and he gave Moore the re­sources and re­spon­si­bil­ity to ac­com­plish that ob­jec­tive.

“When I sat down across the ta­ble from Mr. Glass, as he be­gan to share his vi­sion for the Kansas City Roy­als, it was all about want­ing to cre­ate a model organizati­on,” Moore said Friday. “It was all about putting a com­pet­i­tive team on the field for our fans and our city. I came to un­der­stand he owner a base­ball team for all the right rea­sons. It wasn’t about him as an owner, it was about be­ing a great stew­ard of the fran­chise and pre­serv­ing the great game he en­joyed as a lit­tle boy.”

Glass con­tin­ued that en­joy­ment even af­ter he agreed to sell the fran­chise. He showed up to Kauff­man Sta­dium sev­eral times late in the sea­son, watch­ing the Roy­als with the same boy­hood fas­ci­na­tion as al­ways.

“I’m here be­cause where else would you want to be on a Satur­day evening but the ball­park?” Glass said told The Associated Press one Septem­ber af­ter­noon, lean­ing over the dugout dur­ing bat­ting prac­tice. “I’m not go­ing to stop en­joy­ing base­ball. I went to my first game in 1946 and I’ve been a base­ball junkie ever since.”

Glass had been in de­clin­ing health, in­creas­ing his ur­gency to sell the club. But he had called Moore on Christ­mas Day and later said he was look­ing for­ward to at­tend­ing spring train­ing with a group of his friends.

“We weren’t ex­pect­ing to get this news this early in 2020, that’s for sure,” Moore said.

Re­gard­less of how he was per­ceived by the pub­lic, Glass al­ways had the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of Moore and Ned Yost, his long­time man­ager. Yost even called watch­ing Glass raise the World Se­ries tro­phy at Citi Field in 2015 “one of the top three high­lights of my base­ball ca­reer, be­cause we had ac­com­plished it for him.”

“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.,” Glass said upon an­nounc­ing the sale of the fran­chise, “and I want to thank our great fans for sup­port­ing us through the years..”

Dur­ing his own­er­ship of the Roy­als, Glass served on key MLB com­mit­tees. He was the chair­man of MLB Ad­vanced Me­dia, a mem­ber of Ma­jor League Base­ball’s ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil and — not sur­pris­ing, given his back­ground — an in­te­gral part of the fi­nance com­mit­tee.

Glass was elected to the Board of the Hall of Fame, too.

Glass and his wife, Ruth, have three chil­dren, six grand­chil­dren and seven great-grand­chil­dren. They also were ac­tively in­volved in sev­eral phil­an­thropic en­deav­ors, and Mis­souri State named its business hall in his honor.

ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES

Kansas City Roy­als owner David Glass (right) and man­ager Ned Yost cel­e­brate af­ter Game 5 of the 2015 World Se­ries against the New York Mets in New York. Glass, also a former Wal­mart Inc. chief ex­ec­u­tive, died last week of com­pli­ca­tions form pneu­mo­nia. He was 84.

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