A day in the life of the Ricketts
Gosh, I’m knackered.
You know that all-over body ache that you get after pushing yourself an extra few miles on a run? (No? Well, I don’t really, either, but can glimpse the day-after pain nonetheless.)
Capturing video of the Ricketts family’s first home opener has left me similarly exhausted but also buzzing from seeing the hands-on tour the team’s new owners took in and around Wrigley Field. Team photographer Stephen Green and I started at 6 a.m., when we gathered our gear for the first stop, Harry Caray’s Tavern. Tom and Laura Ricketts kicked off the family’s media tour there in front of a raucous, packed house on the Eric & Kathy Morning Show. Next were WGN Radio, ESPN’s Mike and Mike, as well as an appearance by Todd and Pete Ricketts on Lin Brehmer’s WXRT morning radio program. Total, there were about 10 interviews, all before 10 a.m.
The most frequently asked question went something like this: “Now, if I owned the Cubs, I’d be saying this guy is batting fourth and jumping out there to make pitching changes. So as Cubs fans, how are you going to handle daily operations?”
All of the Ricketts siblings laughed and then replied that, while it was a dream to own the team, they have developed a lot of trust in the people in charge and won’t be exerting any direct control over baseball operations.
That said, their fingerprints were all over the stadium on Opening Day. From the renovated stadium exterior and bathrooms to the expanded food options, there was a lot new and improved to the familiar “Friendly Confines.”
The Ricketts family also put a personal face to the team’s win, walking around during the middle innings to hand out autographed balls, shake hands, take photos and get first-hand impressions from fans. Steve and I followed Tom and Laura, as they split up the lower and upper decks and bleachers with Todd and Pete.
But after rushing through all the back alleys of Wrigley Field to get to the press box in time for the family to conduct the seventh-inning stretch, it hit us just how neat this day was. We got to trail four big Cubs fans throughout a day that amounted to the celebration of another spring, a Cubs win and a new era in the team’s storied history.
And it’s pretty amazing that they seemed to have enough energy to “play two.”
— Sean Ahmed