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What Cubs fans should know about Tom Ricketts
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Published: 1/24/2009 12:01 AM

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The Ricketts file

Age: 43

Currently: Chairman and CEO of Incapital LLC, a technology-oriented investment bank he co-founded in 1999.

Education: Holds bachelor's degree and MBA from University of Chicago.

Family: Married with children and lives in Wilmette. Second-oldest son of J. Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. According to Forbes, Joe Ricketts has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. Forbes estimated family's holdings at $2.3 billion in 2007.

Ricketts and Chicago:

• The Ricketts siblings grew up in Omaha watching the Cubs on WGN-TV.

• Tom Ricketts moved to Chicago from Omaha when he was 17 to attend University of Chicago. Later worked as pit trader at Chicago Board of Options Exchange.

• Met his wife-to-be, Cecilia, in the bleachers during a Cubs game.

• Brothers Tom and Pete Ricketts got hooked on the Cubs when they lived together across the street from Wrigley during graduate school. Together they watched the 1984 Cubs take first in the National League East.

• His brother, Pete, lost a U.S. Senate race in Nebraska.

The deal with Tribune Co.:

• Reportedly worth $900 million, with half in cash; sale includes Cubs, Wrigley Field and 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

• Deal could be completed in 60-90 days, but it could take longer to secure financing. Tribune Co. could go back to other investment groups at any time.

• Final approval likely needed by federal bankruptcy court in Delaware as well as Major League Baseball owners (75 percent).

Speaking to Cubs Nation

"My family and I are Cubs fans. We share the goal of Cubs fans everywhere to win a World Series and build the consistent championship tradition that the fans deserve." - Tom Ricketts.

What friends say he'll do as owner:

• Respect the tradition of Wrigley Field.

• Use the Boston Red Sox' success as a barometer (small park, large payroll, playoff success).

• Look for untapped potential revenues that won't upset fans.

• Consider new TV and marketing deals.

What friends say he probably won't do:

• Overload Wrigley Field with advertising signage

• Be an absentee owner. Friends say he is a die-hard Cubs fan and views Wrigley Field as a "sacred" place. Any renovation to the park would be done in a "respectful" way, according to former co-worker Larry Berlin.

What his former Wrigleyville and college roommate says:

"He's really smart, he really loves baseball and he really loves the Cubs," said Curt Conklin, who has worked at TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., and Incapital LLC.

"The success of his life is that he has done this (built his company) 100 percent on his own," said Conklin

What our readers say about Ricketts:

• "Well, I am cautiously excited. I will wait until this deal goes through, as I am sure (Sam) Zell will try everything in his power to milk every penny out of Ricketts. This is far from over."

• "- if the owner-elected Ricketts family, which was the preferred bidder by MLB, is given a thumbs-up now then I don't anticipate (Jim) Hendry twiddling his thumbs until the owner inauguration day commences. The Ricketts family would love to be the owners that win big time in their initial ownership flight."

Sources: Compiled by Mike Spellman with news reports including, Omaha World-Herald, Associated Press, Crain's Chicago Business