Meet the Ricketts: Taking over the Team

December 1, 2009 11:02:45 AM PST
There are three brothers and one sister in the Ricketts family, which now runs the Chicago Cubs.The four- three of whom have advance degrees and one who didn't finish college- will sit on the Cubs board of directors. One is a conservative Republican, the other a liberal Democrat. But they have a common goal- winning a World Series.

Pete, the conservative Republican, lives in Omaha and made an unsuccessful attempt for the U.S. Senate seat there. Tom, a North Shore resident and successful investment banker, will serve as the chairman of the board for the Cubs. He is the only one who did not work for their father's company, T.D. Ameritrade. Laura lives in Chicago and serves on the board of Lambda Legal, an organization that fights for gay rights including same sex marriage. And, finally, Todd, the youngest sibling, who attended Loyola but left college a few hour short of a degree.

The new family business is baseball.

"When Tom brought the idea up to me I was in the car with my dad and Tom and we were driving to a Nebraska football game and my dad and (my) reaction was like, 'Ha. Go ahead crazy man. Knock yourself out,'" said Pete.

"I think that when it first came up and like Pete said, go ahead and start down that path and hire the bankers and the lawyers that we need to investigate this. I think that we all thought it was kind of 'one in a million,'" said Todd.

But the one in a million turned out to be a winning ticket. How will the Ricketts manage the Cubs?

"It's a different type of ownership we have here. It's not a corporate owner. We're able to focus on one goal, which is the World Series. We're able to reinvest the profits that we make from the team to fix up the stadium and improve the team," said Tom.

"We all want to win the world series," said Pete.

"That's the goal," said Todd.

"That's why we're doing this really. We all want it. The city deserves it. We're tired of being the lovable losers. We want to be the loveable winners," said Laura.

Are they ready for the criticism that is sure to come from fans who want immediate success?

"Who would want a team where the fans didn't care? Who would want a team where the fans don't think they can do a better job. That's kind of the excitement and that's part of the challenge too, but it's because everybody loves the Cubs so much that everybody thinks they can do better," said Todd.

"And I think for all the fans out there who have suggestions and believe me there are fans with suggestions? I think they, no matter what the suggestion is, or no matter the specific item they want to discuss is we all have the same goal. There really is no confusion on that," said Tom.

"There is not a greater name in sports than the Cubs and this opportunity is really once in a lifetime and we were lucky just to be there that once," said Todd.

"I think as a business deal there's a couple of things. One is it is a good business deal but you don't just do it for the business. It's really about do you love the team, do you want to save the stadium, do you care about the fans, do you understand the vibe of Wrigley?" said Tom.

"So it's a good business deal but really it's about having a family business in something that we love."


Load Comments