The Ricketts Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Todd Ricketts’ brother, Tom Ricketts, is the owner and charirman the Chicago Cubs. (Getty)

The Chicago Cubs ownership team, the Ricketts family, will cap their championship experience by visiting President
Barack Obama on January 16.

The Cubs celebrated breaking their 108-year drought and joined President Barack Obama, a Chicago native, in the White House with four days left in office before President-elect Donald Trump takes over.

The Chicago baseball franchise is has numerous people with ownership stake in the team, but none more than chairman Tom Ricketts, who is also the CEO of Incapital LLC. an investment bank. The four children of Joe Ricketts, the founder, former CEO and chairman of TD Ameritrade, are all part owners of the Cubs.

Here’s all you need to know about the family:

1. The Ricketts Family Was The Highest Bidder an Auction For Ownership

The Ricketts family first rose to sports stardom in the spring of 2007, when Sam Zell acquired Tribune Company but desired to sell the Cubs and its assets. The family’s bid for Zell’s share of the team included Pete (from Omaha, Nebraska), Tom, Laura and Todd — the latter residing in the Chicago area.

The Rickettses bought the Cubs for $845 million in 2009.

It proved to be a solid investment for the Ricketts, as Forbes reported the team is worth 160 percent more than it was when they purchased it.

Prior to owning the team, Tom Ricketts told Forbes:

My family and I are Cubs fans. We share the goal of Cubs fans everywhere: to win a World Series.

The sale from Tribune Co. included all but a 5 percent of the company’s ownership and included the sale of historic Wrigley Field.

2. Todd Ricketts Was Nominated To Donald Trump’s Commerce Department

Despite any past turmoil between Trump and the family, he met with and later nominated Todd Ricketts as the deputy secretary of the Commerce Department, the Trump administration announced in late November 2016.

Todd Ricketts helped raise money for the group Future 45, which produced pro-Trump advertisements during the election cycle. In addition to that, he donated large sums to Republican Senate candidates Mark Kirk, Kelly Ayotte and Joe Heck and also the Illinois Republican Party, CNBC reported. It’s a turnaround from when Ricketts had raised money against Trump prior to him being elected as the GOP’s candidate for president.

Of the nomination, Trump said in a statement:

Todd Ricketts is an immensely successful businessman with unparalleled knowledge of the finance industry. As Deputy Commerce Secretary he will help us cut waste and streamline government so that it works for the people of America. The incredible job he and the Ricketts family did in the purchase and turnaround of the Chicago Cubs — one perfect step after another, leading to the World Championship, is what I want representing our people. I am very proud to have him on our team.</blockquote

Todd Ricketts was selected to be second in line to Trump's choice for secretary of the department, Wilbur Ross. Steven Mnuchin, who spent time with Goldman Sachs, was nominated as the Treasury secretary.

3. The Family Is Valued At $1 Billion

The six members of the family were ranked No. 66 on Forbes’ list of America’s Richest Families.

The four kids’ father, Joe, merged his stock brokerage into an online firm, which became Ameritrade in 1995. The Forbes articles says that Joe later acquired Waterhouse for $1.7 billion before renaming it to what it’s known as today, TD Ameritrade. In 2008, he stepped down as the company’s CEO.

After retirement, it was reported that the remainder of his family owns 12 percent of the company, with Cubs leads owner Todd Ricketts sitting on the company’s board.

But the Rickettses agreed to relinquish their board seats in TD Ameritrade in 2016, ending the family’s direct business ties with the online stock brokerage and wealth management company. However, the family reportedly still owns 67 million shares in the company.

4. The Family Remains Very Active In Politics

The parents of the Ricketts family, Joe and Marlene, as well as their kids have grown to be big players in the American political system and large contributors to candidates for office.

The family has been known to host fundraisers and solicit money for the 2016 presidential election.

While most of the family supported President-elect Trump in the November 8, 2016 election, the Joe and Marlene were outspoken on twitter prior to the general election.

Once Trump was selected as the GOP candidate, however, the parents donated at least $1 million to support him.

Pete Ricketts is the conservative governor of Nebraska and has became noteworthy because of a controversy involve Obama.

Laura Ricketts, however, is a top Democrat who contributed and hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. However, when she found out that her dad played a role in funding a super PAC to assist Trump, she was seen at Wrigley Field with a Clinton hat on.

Joe Ricketts of the family continues to be a large donor to the GOP, who according the NBC Chicago, spent $15 million on anti-Clinton advertisements.

The Cubs owners’ political leanings don’t necessarily vibe with team president Theo Epstein, either. Epstein notably supported Hillary Clinton during the presidential election. Epstein showed up at a Clinton fundraiser in September 2016 and announced his support and contributed to her campaign.

5. The Ricketts Family Visited Obama at The White House On January 16

The Cubs team and staff joined President Obama in one of his last days in office January 16 to celebrate the team’s World Series victory.

The team opted to bypass Trump and meet Obama before he leaves partly because of Laura Ricketts’ plea, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Laura told the Tribune:

It’s no surprise that I support President Obama, but he invited us right away and I think everyone wanted to make it work. It was just a matter of getting the guys together after a very long season, and finding a time when we can get all the guys together, and a time when the president was available. He’s very busy trying to wrap up his term and get out of office.

The family joined the team at the White House with Obama, even Todd and Tom.