08/21/09 9:10 PM ET
Kauffmans greet fans at stadium again
Sculpture of Royals' founders unveiled on Walk of Fame
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
The founders and owners of the Kansas City franchise for a quarter-century are celebrated in an uplifting work of art on the Walk of Fame that rims the outfield.
"I can tell all of you that they loved Kansas City, and they loved the Kansas City Royals," present owner David Glass told the fans.
"They took this franchise and made it into something that Kansas City could be proud of. No one has been more important from the inception of this team until today than Ewing and Muriel Kauffman."
Their daughter, Julia Irene Kauffman, a member of the Royals board of directors, initiated the sculpting of the new piece. It replaces a smaller statue that formerly stood in front of the stadium.
"Mr. Harry Weber, our sculptor, had great ideas for this sculpture, and his ideas captured Mr. and Mrs. Kauffman completely -- their love of Kansas City, their love of the Royals and their love of the fans," Kauffman said.
She said the two Kauffman foundations named for her parents shared the cost. The statue joins those of George Brett, Dick Howser and Frank White on the walkway.
Weber, who also did statues for Busch Stadium in St. Louis, said he worked from several photographs of the Kauffmans, who were known for happily waving to fans in the stadium.
"I wanted to capture the same spirit of the former statue with their activity and enthusiasm and that these two people loved each other a lot," Weber said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.