Everyone who comes to Cubs Insider does so because they love the Chicago Cubs. Except for you, I don’t know what you’re doing here. I love what we’ve got going on in our little corner of the world, and it’s the Cubs that bring us all together. That’s important to note.
Not long ago, in January of 2017 to be exact, I joined up with Evan Altman — the Editor-in-Chief of Cubs Insider — who was gracious enough to allow me to be his business partner and help run this website. Our motto, if you will, is “Bringing you serious Chicago Cubs news, commentary, and analysis without taking ourselves too seriously.”
The beauty of what we do at Cubs Insider is that, thanks in large part to Evan’s approach, we really don’t take ourselves too seriously. Well, I do sometimes, but Evan keeps things in perspective. We love for our writers to write what they feel about the Cubs. We want our writers to feel at home here. We hope they do.
No matter what you do, it’s important to always keep perspective while you’re doing it. Sometimes, understandably so, that’s not easy. I can only imagine all the challenges the Cubs — or any professional sports franchise, for that matter — face on a daily basis. From running a baseball team to running a business, it’s got to be incredibly complex.
When I met with Tom Ricketts Monday, he said, “This is a family business.” I think what he really meant was that the Cubs are a business that’s built around families. There’s a certain responsibility that comes with running a business like that, and it’s clear that Ricketts gets it.
My kids were out of school today, so I decided to take my eldest son, who’s 5 now, to watch the Cubs practice at the Sloan backfields. Because I contribute to this website and happen to live in the area, I’m at Sloan most days of the week during spring training. I’m used to the goings-on, whether it’s impromptu workouts or actual games. But today was different.
We walked up to Field 6 (northeast field) and settled along the fence. As soon as we arrived, one of the coaches spotted my son and called him to the end of the fence. He handed him a ball and just smiled. The look on my son’s face was priceless. He could have just won a million dollars, except I think that would’ve been far less exciting.
As we stood there, my son said “Hi” to Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Joe Maddon, Ryne Sandberg, and Anthony Rizzo; not all at once, mind you. And wouldn’t you know it, each and every one of them said “Hi” right back, with most waving to him as well. All he wanted to do was to say “Hi,” so getting a response just blew his mind.
Like I said, I spend a lot of time at the fields watching things, taking photos and shooting videos of the Cubs, and I notice a lot while I’m there. There are always people — some of them grown men — trying to get autographs from players, many of which are strictly for commercial purposes. I can only imagine how tough it must be for the players dealing with that every day.
That brings me back to what Ricketts said. As hard as it is, this is a family business and being a part of it means that you have to respect that. For the most part, the players do a fantastic job. But seeing them interact with my son gave me a whole new perspective that, admittedly, I lose sometimes amidst all the chaos of the backfields and the bleachers and the overall big-ness of it.
Every single player seemed genuinely thrilled to say “Hi” back to my son. They were so nice about it, and you could see it every single time. And that’s really what makes the Cubs such an incredible organization. It’s why the Cubs have always been loved, win or lose, by millions of fans. They do family well.
— Jon Strong (@CubsKingdom) February 20, 2018
Wrigley Field is an amazing place. It oozes history and aura and all the things that make you feel like you’re a kid again. The Cubs have that and no one, not even Boston, can come close. Being a kid at Wrigley, whether you really are a kid or not, is what being there is all about.
Though the names and faces change with each new season, the Cubs have always been family for their fans. So I can’t think of a more appropriate slogan for this season than #EverybodyIn. And if you asked my son, I’m sure he’d agree.
As we walked away from the field, just after Willson Contreras stopped to give him a high-five, he looked up to me and said, “Dad, this was better than eating ice cream.”