suntimes
SCATTERED 
Weather Updates

Cicero making its own pitch for for the Cubs

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: June 9, 2013 6:44AM



Cicero Town President Larry Dominick wants us to take seriously his invitation to Tom Ricketts to move the Cubs to his west suburban community best known for its sordid political history.

That’s not going to happen, but you can never blame a diehard Cubs fan for trying.

It is said that Dominick would do most anything for a chance to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch for his beloved Cubs.

Offering to build a taxpayer-subsidized baseball stadium would certainly qualify.

Night games? Dominick promises no restrictions. After all, Cicero for many years was the land of the all-night liquor license.

Electronic scoreboard? As long as it doesn’t interfere with FAA restrictions on flights from Midway or block the view of the Stickney sewage plant, the Cubs could make it as big as they want.

Advertising? Dominick will gladly tattoo a Cubs logo on the forehead of all town employees. He already has one on his own beefy left arm.

Locations? The site of Al Capone’s former dog track (later known as Sportsman’s Park) has been taken, but Cicero has plenty of other vacant and blighted property that Dominick promises to assemble for a stadium site.

Parking? He’s got nephew who could help with that.

Among its many assets, “The Town has a built in work force available through its hard-working residents,” Dominick says in his letter to Ricketts.

And for no extra charge, Dominick will let the Cubs know know which of those residents are related to him either by blood or marriage.

If the Cubs want to re-create the famed bathroom troughs in the men’s rooms at the new stadium, Dominick knows an unlicensed plumber he could recommend. The plumber already gets plenty of Cicero government business, the Sun-Times has reported.

I even read recently about a town employee living in Germany. For a small additional stipend, he could surely act as a Cubs goodwill ambassador, considering Major League Baseball’s interest in growing the game overseas.

I’m actually quite fond of Cicero, a gritty town with vibrant commercial districts and a never-ending supply of corruption news and taquerias.

And when it comes right down to it, there is no reason to take Cicero any less seriously than Rosemont or any other suburb that would like to lure the Cubs to abandon Wrigley Field — other than the fact the jokes would never stop.

“Given Cicero’s reputation, they’d have to call it the Unfriendly Confines,” suggested a wag on the city desk, getting it started. “The seventh-inning stretch would be five to ten with time off for good behavior.”

Personally, I would never engage in such talk given my deep and abiding respect for the long-suffering people of Cicero — along with the fact I seem to have lost my sense of humor lately.

But I know how those people in “the media” can be.

“Like many fans…, I believe that it is disgraceful that your team and Cub fans find themselves being forced to accept a stadium that was built to accommodate the game and fan of 100 years past,” wrote Dominick.

I tried to get Dominick to the phone to discuss just how desperately he wants this, but he didn’t return my call.

Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania assured me Dominick, who collects Cubs’ memorabilia and counts Ron Santo as his favorite player, “knows more about the Cubs than any elected official in Cook County.”

I think they used to say the same thing about Rod Blagojevich, but he doesn’t count any more.

Even Blagojevich could tell you this Cubs’ management’s bottom line is the bottom line, not Cubs’ trivia or nostalgia, so how far would Dominick go in committing Cicero taxpayer dollars to this project?

“We would do almost anything we need to do to bring them here,” Hanania said.

Perhaps landing the Cubs could once and for all free Cicero from the taint of Capone.

After all, they say he was a Sox fan.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.