A Message From Tom Ricketts
As part of the Cubs' ongoing efforts to engage and communicate with their fans, Chairman Tom Ricketts wrote the following letter to Cubs Season Ticket Holders:
Dear Season Ticket Holder -
With the 2012 season having drawn to a close, it's time for all of us at the Chicago Cubs to thank you for your support and provide an update on the progress we've made toward building a championship-caliber organization. You are a vital stakeholder to this franchise and an important partner in our transformation.
Despite this year's results in the standings, we are confident the Chicago Cubs are heading in the right direction. Our players, coaches, management and front office have approached their jobs with professionalism, effort and unity, which has created a winning atmosphere inside the organization. It's our responsibility to turn that effort into additional wins on the field. Our number one goal is to reward loyal generations of Cubs fans with a World Series and we're reinvesting every dollar spent by our fans into the franchise to achieve that goal.
To achieve our goal, it was clear the team needed a long-term strategy. Over the past year, we recruited new baseball leadership to create and execute a plan for building a consistently-competitive ballclub. We now have a long-term strategy in place and a baseball organization focused on delivering a championship to Wrigley Field. That team is communicating openly and honestly about implementing a proven model for sustained success.
As part of that strategy, we are developing a core of young players at the major league level. This season provided an opportunity for homegrown and acquired players to gain valuable experience and establish themselves as potential long-term contributors to the club.
Our minor league system improved in 2012, as the Cubs acquired, drafted or signed a significant wave of new talent into the organization. We welcomed a strong 2012 first-year player draft class into the system, building on a franchise-record investment in draft signings in 2011. Many of these players made immediate positive contributions. In fact, five Cubs prospects were included in MLB's recently-released Top 100 Prospects list; a total topped by only three other teams in the league. A number of our newly-acquired players excelled in both the minor and major leagues and look to contribute further in 2013 and beyond.
We've welcomed new talent in the front office as well. Perhaps no operation bears more responsibility for advancing our organizational plan than scouting and player development. After a season of evaluation, our scouting and development teams have been reorganized to procure and develop the best amateur, professional and international talent available. Our scouts and coaches have been equipped with state-of-the-art analysis tools and equipment to enhance the club's analytical capabilities.
In addition to personnel investments, we've made significant upgrades to our facilities. We are currently building a new baseball academy to serve our Latin American players in the Dominican Republic. The facility, open year-round, will span 50 acres with baseball fields, training facilities, player housing and an education center, making it the largest academy in the country. Additionally, we broke ground this season on a new Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., that will be one of the premier training facilities in baseball, as well as a more enjoyable venue for watching a Spring Training game. We continue to make improvements to Wrigley Field's facilities for our players and fans, with larger scale investments coming down the road. All of these improvements will enhance your fan experience and bolster the club's ability to attract and develop elite players throughout the world.
Lastly, we continue to invest in the Chicago community to help deserving children and families. The Cubs and Chicago Cubs Charities will support a team-record $4.5 million of donations to worthwhile nonprofits and programs across Chicagoland this year. We're honored to support the people and organizations that make our city a great place to work, live and play baseball.
In the end, we are fans and our goal is to win. We're committed to building an organization you can be proud of and we're committed to building a champion the right way. This franchise has embarked on a path that will present challenges along the way, but the destination is promising.
We deeply and sincerely appreciate your ongoing support.
Chairman, Chicago Cubs