Results tagged ‘ Tom Ricketts ’
12:30 PM: It might have been raining cats and dogs outside, but there was no raining on this Cubs parade.
Five or six photographers stood outside the Captain Morgan Club in the Wrigley Field concourse awaiting the Ricketts arrival to the press conference.
If Quentin Tarantino had captured the moment, it surely would have been in slow motion. The four Ricketts–Peter, Todd, Laura and Tom–did their best “Reservoir Dogs” impersonation walking side by side, looking like a quartet of gunslingers.
They just bought the Chicago Cubs. They should feel confident!
Tom discussed everything from payroll, tickets, the “Triangle” Building, Wrigley Field, naming rights, Lou Piniella….The entire press conference went off without a hitch. Well, almost.
As she started to add to a comment made by Tom, Laura Ricketts’ microphone shut down. Being the nice brother that he is, Tom–who was wearing a clip on mic–snuggled up next to his sister, who used the clip-on to finish her statement, to the laughter of the media and ancillary audience. I was standing next to Comcast SportsNet producer Bob Albrecht and I remarked:
“Wouldn’t it be great if she planted a nice kiss right on her brother’s face right now?”
“I was thinking the exact same thing,” Bob said.
Though she didn’t, the moment made for a very good photo-op.
The siblings discussed how each had come to be a Cubs fan, despite growing up in Omaha.
All had gone to school in Chicago and found themselves caught up into Cubs mania. Peter, who currently is the only sibling living in Omaha, recalled his college days.
“I came to Chicago in 1982 to attend the University of Chicago,” said Peter, who lived above Sports Corner on the corner of Addison and Sheffield. His brother Tom came to live with him. “By 1984, it was hard not to get into the Cubs. I lived with my brother, and he slept overnight in line to get bleacher tickets.”
Sister Laura came and stayed with her brothers one summer and got hooked as well.
“I became immersed in the culture of Wrigleyville,” Laura said.
After the press conference and an interview immediately following, Tom is whisked away for even more appointments. He still looks relaxed and poised.
“How are you holding up,” Cubs President Crane Kenney asks.
“Good. Real good,” Tom replies.
“Well, hang in there. It’s a marathon.” In baseball, no truer words have been spoken
That’s probably good considering the Ricketts family have said on numerous occassions that they are in it for the long haul. That’s good news.
Hey, Cubs fans! Welcome to the family.
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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.