Tom Ricketts wants a repeat.
The Cubs owner talked to NBC 5 Monday in an exclusive interview about his goals for the team as it defends its World Series championship—and why he keeps a letter from a young fan on his desk.
He says he’s fine with everyone wanting a piece of him since the Cubs broke their 108-year drought last season. He says he wants more.
“There hasn’t been a team that repeated in 15 years,” he said. “And the teams that have won the World Series have only won their division the following year once in all that time.”
“But,” he adds. “You try to get to the playoffs every year because anything can happen.”
Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf knows all about what Ricketts is talking about—and he’s even shared some advice with his Cubs counterpart.
“I get along well with Jerry,” Ricketts said. “He was very helpful for me, in the very beginning of the process, he gave me some good advice that I stuck to, so he’s been pretty helpful.”
And while Ricketts has his sights set on another World Series championship, and fellow franchise owners to strategize with, he says his favorite memory of being the owner of the Cubs so far is a quiet one at Wrigley Field. He said he and his family pitched tents and camped out in the Friendly Confines, looked up at the night sky, and talked about what it meant to own a team that’s won the World Series.
“This is an intergenerational family adventure—and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
Asked how long he thought the Ricketts family might own the Cubs, the team owner's answer was succinct.
“After my death,” he said.
When the Cubs owner sits in his rooftop office he is reminded, by a letter from a young fan he keeps framed on his desk, losing is no longer standard operating procedure at Clark and Addison.
“It’s OK to lose, don’t cry,” the letter reads. “Go, Cubs, go! Don’t go away, you are the best team ever in history. Go, Cubs, go!”