Dan Glass 'proud' to see Royals back on top
Club president cites entire organization for championship commitment
KANSAS CITY -- For years, Royals president Dan Glass would hear the criticism, that the franchise would never return to its glorious past.
Those conversations, of course, are distant memory now, though Glass remembers them well.
"We're all human," Glass told MLB.com. "You hear them. But what made it easier [to withstand] is that we all believed in our direction. We all knew we would get there, but that it would just take time."
And now, one of the biggest cheers of the Royals' World Series parade went to the Glass family as 800,000 fans flooded downtown Kansas City last week. The Royals, once again, are a model organization and the envy of baseball.
"That was one of the most incredible gatherings I think any of us will see in our lifetime," Glass said. "It just made you proud to be part of this community, and proud to be part of this organization."
To get to this point -- back-to-back World Series appearances and a championship -- took a commitment from an entire organization from top to bottom.
"Scouts, coaches, the manager, the players, the training staff, the Minor League people," Glass said, "it was everyone."
And that included a dedicated front office, starting at the top with owner David Glass, to Dan, to general manager Dayton Moore, the architect of the team, and to senior vice president of business operations Kevin Uhlich.
"Don't forget the business side," David Glass said, "because without them, there is no baseball side."
Dan Glass monitors both the baseball and business side. He goes largely unnoticed -- mostly by choice -- but he remains an integral part of the team's day-to-day success.
Indeed, Dan rarely steps out into the public spotlight.
"I say it all the time," David Glass said, "but it's Dan and Dayton and Kevin who do all the work."
Dan Glass also has been conscious of his public image as the owner's son. In conversations around Kauffman Stadium, he only refers to his father as "the chairman."
Someday, though, it will be Dan who will be known as "the chairman."
"I don't even think about that, to be honest," Dan said.
The preparation for such a transition started over 20 years ago. When then owner Ewing Kauffman became more cognizant of his failing health, he began drawing up plans for a new owner and a succession plan that would keep his beloved Royals in Kansas City.
Kauffman turned to his good friend, David Glass, to monitor the transition. Dan Glass began working in the organization in 1993, learning the ropes from the bottom up as a baseball operations assistant.
"I think it's the same job that Chris Getz has now," Dan said.
One of Dan's first assignments, per Kauffman's instructions, was to investigate the Royals' presence in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Glass found the Royals facilities in the Dominican woefully inadequate compared to other teams and implored then general manager Herk Robinson to help with an upgrade. Robinson quickly obliged.
"We just weren't being competitive in signing Dominican players," Glass said.
Soon after, Dan began taking scouting trips with veteran scouts all over the country.
"It was just a great experience learning that side of the game," said Glass, who essentially maintained that role for the next six years.
In 1999, when David Glass bought the team, Dan was elevated to club president. David had no hesitations with the appointment.
"He's been a baseball junkie from the time he was four years old when he went to his first big league game," David said.
Through the down years of the franchise, Dan and his wife, Penny, maintained a home in the Olathe, Kan., area, effectively nullifying the notion that the entire Glass family was merely out-of-town owners.
"We've been here over 20 years," Dan said. "We love it here, always have. It's a great community. It's a great baseball town, and one of the things I was most proud of about the parade was that when it was over, with all those people, there were only like two or three arrests and no vandalism.
"How many cities or communities can say that about a parade that size? But it's typical of how this community cares."
And now that the parade is over, it's back to work for the front office and for Dan Glass, who splits his time overseeing the business and baseball side. He operates with the opposite of a heavy hand.
"Dan is very caring, trusting and supportive to not only Dayton and I as his direct reports but with the entire staff," Uhlich said. "He doesn't care to be out in front or in the limelight and has no ego whatsoever. He creates an environment where the associates feel important and all are treated with respect. We have an incredible staff and it all starts with him at the top."
"We are very fortunate to have an owner and a president who are very supportive of what we do," Moore said. "He has a great heart and passion for the community and he expects things to be done the right way."
And the right way is getting the Royals back into next year's World Series.
"That's the goal," Dan said. "And we've got the right people in place to accomplish that. It's a difficult task, but we have such a dedicated group of people that all have the same goals. And to me, we're all family. That's what makes it enjoyable and worthwhile."