Iowa Cubs' employees get holiday surprise

December 31st, 2021

A number of Iowa Cubs employees received quite the surprise earlier this week.

During a staff-wide celebration prior to the New Year, outgoing principal owner Michael Gartner handed out inauspicious envelopes to each of the Triple-A Cubs' 23 full-time employees. He joked that the envelopes had each employee's new business cards inside.

Instead, each person received a cut of the profits from the team’s recent sale -- a sum totaling approximately $600,000 -- based on their tenure with the Triple-A club.

“It was the single most genuine gesture I've ever seen,” I-Cubs radio broadcaster Alex Cohen told Yahoo Sports.

Gartner and his group purchased the Iowa Cubs in 1999, and in early December 2021, they agreed to sell the club to Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company (which also purchased eight other Minor League teams).

When he approached minority owner and club president Sam Bernabe about including full-time staffers in the proceeds from the sale, the conversation was simple. “Everyone said, ‘Great, let's do that,'” Bernabe said. “It was that easy.”

“[Gartner] was infamous for saying to me all the time, ‘Let's do the right thing,’” Bernabe added. “That's how we operated the business. It was my charge and my challenge to do all the things that he thought were right.”