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Tom Ricketts Says 'Thank You' To Cubs Season-Ticket Holders

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It's a sales pitch, but I thought you'd want to see it anyway.

Al Yellon

Tuesday, I received an email signed by Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, summarizing the progress the organization has made on and off the field. I thought you'd like to see the entire text, so here it is:

Dear Cubs Fans -

Over the past few years, the Chicago Cubs have embarked on a journey unlike any other in sports. With the support of our loyal fans and partners, we intend to build the best organization in baseball. I believe the 2014 season will be viewed as a critical turning point for the franchise and am excited to share an update on our progress.

Talent acquisition. Player development. Facility improvements. The 2014 season has served as an inflection point for each of these crucial elements toward our primary goal of winning a World Series. Our baseball operations department has assembled a farm system recently ranked as the best in the league by Baseball America, ESPN and others. That system is led by three of the top seven prospects in baseball, according to Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, including Kris Bryant, who was selected as this season's Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America, MLB.com, USA Today, Yahoo Sports and others.

Of course, these prospect rankings aren't the end game. However, this national validation suggests our plan to acquire and develop young, talented players who can make a long-term impact is coming together. You've seen several of these prospects gain valuable experience in the majors this season, joining players like All-Stars Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, who have been among the best at their positions in the National League.

>From the day a player walks into this organization until they step onto Wrigley Field, our family has committed to delivering the best facilities in baseball. Our new Spring Training facility, Cubs Park, debuted in Mesa this spring and broke the all-time Cactus League Spring Training attendance record. We're thankful to everyone who helped set that record and invite you to join us next year if you haven't had a chance to see the ballpark. In addition to Cubs Park, we now operate a state-of-the-art baseball academy in the Dominican Republic that is the largest in baseball. And recently, we transitioned three of our Minor League affiliate player development contracts to Myrtle Beach (S.C.), South Bend (Ind.) and Eugene (Ore.) to ensure our Minor Leaguers are training and playing in world-class facilities.

After celebrating Wrigley Field's 100th birthday this season, we're excited to move forward with our $575 million restoration and expansion project that will save and improve this century-old landmark while developing the surrounding neighborhood. Construction is underway and we plan to complete the Budweiser Bleacher expansion for the 2015 season. The elements of Wrigley Field you know and love will remain, while much-needed improvements will make the ballpark a better place to play and watch baseball. For periodic updates on the status of Wrigley Field's restoration and expansion, please register at www.wrigleyfield.com.

In addition to winning a World Series and saving Wrigley Field, our third ownership goal is to be a good neighbor. Cubs associates successfully spearheaded 100 Gifts of Service to integrate our community activities into Wrigley Field's 100th birthday celebration. The team committed $250,000 to the City of Chicago's overall $6.5 million investment in youth baseball fields and programming, as well as $1 million toward a new playlot on School Street near Wrigley Field, to be named after pioneer Cubs executive Margaret Donahue.

Cubs Charities also took tremendous steps in 2014, continuing the Cubs Scholars and Cubs on the Move Fitness Trolley signature programs while launching the Diamond Project, which awarded more than $330,000 in grants to improve the quality and safety of local baseball fields. Your support of these programs through attending Cubs Charities events, 50/50 raffle ticket purchases and personal donations helped Cubs Charities donate a record $4 million this year.

It has been an encouraging year as we progress on our long-term plan, but there is still much work to be done. We feel and appreciate your shared enthusiasm. We also realize this exciting journey wouldn't be possible without your support. We're building something special from top to bottom and the plan is starting to unfold at the Major League level. Competitive baseball is back on the North Side.

Let's Go Cubs,

Tom Ricketts 

Of course, this is part of a sales pitch the Cubs are making to season-ticket holders, along with sessions in downtown Chicago at the Oriental Theater with Theo Epstein and Crane Kenney this Friday and Saturday. I'll be at the noon session Friday and will report on what I see and hear there. The deadline to put a deposit down for existing season-ticket holders to renew for 2015 is next Monday.

Along with the email came this video with thanks from various Cubs employees, many of whom you will recognize: