The Bleacher Aristocrat

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, May 16, 2010

Len Kasper and Bob Brenly called Sunday's WGN telecast of the Cubs-Pirates game from front-row seats in the left field bleachers and Cubs chairman and "bleacher veteran" Tom Ricketts, sporting a white Cubs polo shirt, stopped by to once again demonstrate to the fans that he is a man of the people.

Whether it's because Kasper is instructed to stick to talking points during an interview with The Boss or because Len becomes nervous when in the presence of authority, his chat with Ricketts once again covered a variety of tired topics that included the chairman's days as a regular bleacher patron, the story of how he met his wife, Cecelia, in the center field bleachers, and how he mixes the responsibility of running the ballclub with the frivolity of being a fan.

Some highlights of the interview with my commentary in parentheses:

Kasper: You get recognized a lot everywhere you go in Chicago in general. You come to the ballpark and you enjoy talking to the fans every day. You get a lot of advice, unsolicited I'm sure, but it's nice to talk to fans and hear what they have to say, isn't it?

Ricketts: There's obviously some advice that you can't do anything with, but people have suggestions. There's little things, that maybe we miss, that people can talk to us about and give us ideas on.

(Len missed the opportunity to ask Ricketts for an example of a fan's idea he has used to improve the Wrigley experience.)

Kasper: Fans don't see it (nor do they care), but the press box is really spruced up. Little things that keep this ballpark as modern as possible while remaining that charming ballpark that everybody loves.

Ricketts: This is a national treasure (but it's not a museum!). Wrigley Field is special. The game you see here is a lot like the game your grandfather saw here. And we're not going to do anything to change that. That's a mission of the family, to preserve the field, to make it better, and have it here for the next generation.

(Len should have asked if the mission of the family will change if the city government, neighborhood groups, and landmark commission continue to mettle with revenue streams.)

Kasper: And remember, tickets are still available in the bleachers (Len, it's The Bud Light Bleachers!) in the spot where we're sitting now. Thanks for the visit, Tom.

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