World Series a unique experience for this Cubs fan, front office alum

  • Connie Kowal sits with Ryne Sandberg

    Connie Kowal sits with Ryne Sandberg Courtesy of Chicago Cubs photographer Stephen Green

  • Connie Kowal got to know many Cubs players during his time in the front office, including former catcher Jody Davis.

    Connie Kowal got to know many Cubs players during his time in the front office, including former catcher Jody Davis. Courtesy of Chicago Cubs photographer Stephen Green

  • Connie Kowal

    Connie Kowal

  • The folks at the Libertyville Sports Complex show their support of the Chicago Cubs.

    The folks at the Libertyville Sports Complex show their support of the Chicago Cubs. Courtesy of Connie Kowal

 
By Connie Kowal
Guest columnist
Updated 10/27/2016 8:37 PM

As a kid growing up in Glen Ellyn, playing baseball at Glenbard West High School and later at Western Illinois University, my dream was to wear the pinstripes and play for the Chicago Cubs. That didn't happen.

But I did get to wear a different kind of "pinstripes" for 14 years as a Cubs marketing executive, with an office at Wrigley Field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That's given me a unique "dual Cubs experience" -- lifetime fan and front office alum.

I've had the good fortune and the privilege to have worked with, and gotten to know, hundreds of Cubs players, dozens of legendary Cubs broadcasters, and hundreds of members of the Cubs front office staff. I'm so thrilled for everyone with the organization today. And I'm also thrilled for all those Cubs alums who played for and worked for the Cubs organization.

I've got a lifetime of stories and memories.

Since last Saturday night when the Cubs won the pennant, I've been able to enjoy and share the excitement with family, friends, former teammates, business associates and fans I know. I've connected, and in some cases, reconnected, with many friends who are fellow Cubs alums: players, broadcasters, front office execs and others who have worked for the organization. The list includes former Cubs TV broadcaster Chip Caray, longtime ticket director Frank Maloney and vocalist Wayne Messmer.

We've been able to go down memory lane and, most of all, enjoy these special Cubs World Series moments.

From sports front office experience, I have a great appreciation for what goes into each new season for a team. It takes a lot of hard work, long hours, dedication, sacrifices, commitment, hustle and needing to perform great to achieve success. It needs to be one organization working together -- the team on the field and the team off the field -- to achieve the ultimate goal, which in baseball is winning the World Series.

The 2016 Cubs players, coaches and manager Joe Maddon are doing their jobs on the field in a spectacular way. This team is special. The Cubs front office staff also is doing a spectacular job, much of it behind the scenes.

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And now it's happening.

So Cubs fans everywhere, phone someone, text someone, email someone, hug someone ... reconnect with someone. Enjoy it and share it.

The Cubs are coming home to Wrigley Field. Let's cheer on the Cubs! And when the Cubs do their job and win it all, it will give the front office execs one more job to do: plan a Cubs World Series parade in Chicago.

Go Cubs Go!

• Libertyville resident Conrad "Connie" Kowal is director of the Libertyville Sports Complex and has been a sports executive for more than 35 years, including in the front office of the Chicago Cubs from 1985 to 1998.

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