A family atmosphere
11:00 A.M.–It’s almost showtime. The Ricketts siblings have done just about every sort of media shoot and interview possible.
The weather didn’t cooperate with the day, so the press conference was moved into the Captain Morgan Club. Just outside the Club, the Ricketts family poses for photos for Michigan Avenue Magazine. They have been coached well, as Laura Ricketts remarks, and understand what the media requires. But Tom said this morning that if the media relations department does their job, fans won’t see the Ricketts in the newspapers. But he is realistic.
“It’s hard–you can’t have it both ways,” he said. “You can’t buy the team and become chairman without having a profile.”
Tom and his siblings often try to break the tension with jokes and self-effacing humor. The echo of laughter and jokes are a welcome addition to the halls of Wrigley Field. Not that the corporate ownership of the Tribune was bad or difficult, but Tom stressed that he would like to change the culture of the organization to turn to one of a family.
The family’s jocularity went a long way to the front office employees and those watching the Ricketts go through a photo shoot out in the rightfield stands.
Tom did draw a stark line in the sand between family ownership and corporate ownership, however.
“There are no other businesses for us to subsidize within the organization and we won’t be caught up in quarterly reports,” Tom said. “We have only one goal–and that is to win the World Series. We are going to reinvest every dollar into the team, Wrigley Field, and the facilities those people need to make us the best organization in baseball.”
As the press conference gets rolling, Tom Ricketts takes the stage with his three siblings. It is notable that during the front office breakfast, as well as the press conference, Tom refuses to use the podium. I asked one of our human resources people where the podium was during breakfast. She replied, “He didn’t want one.”
Tom is relaxed and informal, staying true to that very down-to-earth attitude. If there is any sort of new attitude on the North Side from this family from Omaha, Neb., to Cubs fans it is:
They are one of you.