If you are a Cubs season-ticket holder, a Wrigleyville-area resident, or are on a number of other Cubs email lists, you received Friday an email signed by Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts thanking fans and summarizing the great 2015 season that fell short of the team's ultimate goal of winning a World Series.
Each of these groups got a slightly different email. If you're not on those lists, I thought you might like to read the complete text. Here's the email sent to season-ticket holders:
Dear Cubs Fans, Wow. What a season! A week later, it's still hard to put into words just how special this past year was for all of us. On behalf of my family and the entire Cubs organization, we want to thank you. Without your patience and support, we never would have been able to begin building a championship-caliber team the right way. From the many great team victories to some incredible individual performances, this team got us to believe in magic and showed us anything is possible when you set your mark high. Led by a dynamic, one-of-a-kind manager and fueled by youthful enthusiasm and remarkable talent, our team not only competed, but proved to be a real contender. With the third-best record in baseball, we experienced a 24-win turnaround from 2014 and our first postseason berth since 2008. None of us will ever forget our October games. The vibe in the ballpark was electric thanks to your constant energy. With every "Go Cubs Go" chorus and every W flag flown, the team felt your support. Defeating the Cardinals in our first-ever postseason matchup and clinching a series at Wrigley Field for the first time in franchise history was truly incredible. While we fell short against the Mets in the National League Championship Series, our ultimate goal remains - to win a World Series. Now more than ever, I believe we are in position to pursue and accomplish that goal. During this past year, we also made solid progress toward our second goal of preserving Wrigley Field. Again, thank you for your patience. The new video boards debuted to rave reviews, and the Budweiser Bleachers are back and better than ever with upgraded amenities and new group spaces. This offseason will be just as productive as we work to complete our new state-of-the-art clubhouse and Wrigley Field ticket office. Most importantly, the work you won't necessarily see is the continued replacement of the steel and concrete that will allow Wrigley Field to stand for the next generation of Cubs fans. In addition to the tremendous progress we made on the field this season, we also made great strides in the community. The generosity of our players, fans, partners and neighbors was felt far beyond the Friendly Confines and helped us further our third goal of being a good neighbor. Our team and Cubs Charities are on track to donate more than $1.5 million this year. Cubs Charities signature programs - Cubs Scholars, Cubs on the Move Fitness Program and the Diamond Project - continued to thrive as we welcomed our third class of scholars, launched an online fitness curriculum available to more than 1 million Chicago kids and awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to improve the quality and safety of local baseball fields. In 2015, we also saw past contributions come to life as we helped open Margaret Donahue Park and Kerry Wood Cubs Field. These wonderful community assets are enhancing the quality of life in our community and providing local athletes with a place to improve their skills while fostering their love of the game. It is certainly encouraging to take a minute to look back and celebrate what we were able to accomplish together on and off the field. Now that our 2015 season is in the record books, there is no need to worry about predictions and going "Back to the Future." The future is now. We are ready to carry the momentum into 2016 and continue this special journey with you. Let's Go Cubs, Tom Ricketts
The email sent to the general Cubs mailing list was identical; the one sent to Wrigleyville neighbors included this invitation:
We are replacing much of the Wrigley Field grass as we do each offseason. As it is removed from the ballpark, the sod is placed on Sheffield Avenue just north of Addison Street (near the “knothole gate”) and is cut into sections of approximately 18”x18” which are easy to grab and go. You are welcome to come by and take a square or two if you can use it to beautify a backyard or parkway in our neighborhood. Sod will be available through Tuesday, November 3, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note the sod may not be suitable for all environments. Among other things, the sod is sand based. Please check with a lawn care professional on how to adapt the sod to your soil environment before installing.
Coming up later today at 1 p.m. CT, we'll have a photoset from David Sameshima that shows some of the sod that's been removed from the ballpark.