Former Iowa Cubs owner surprises employees with $600k bonuses

Former Iowa Cubs owner Michael Gartner advised employees he was handing out new enterprise playing cards. Instead, they acquired bonus checks from the workforce’s sale final month.

DES MOINES, Iowa — After 22 years as chairman and principal owner of the Iowa Cubs, Michael Gartner gathered employees for one closing shock following the sale of the team.

The 83-year-old Gartner, his 4 associates, and the workforce’s 23 full-time employees met final week in Principal Park’s Betfred Sports lounge after he advised them he was handing out new enterprise playing cards. Each worker was given an envelope, however no card was inside.

“I feel the lead as much as the dialog was, ‘Hey we offered the workforce, listed here are your new enterprise playing cards.’,” mentioned Iowa Cubs broadcaster Alex Cohen who spoke with WOI Local 5. “Everyone simply began laughing…you knew one thing else. You may see Michael Gartner smile, then he advised all people what their plans had been. You may see jaws dropping, seen shaking tears. I imply it was a mixture of numerous completely different feelings.

Instead, they every pulled out a payroll verify, with all of the bonuses combining for a complete of $600,000.

According to Des Moines Register, all employees, together with the workforce’s custodian, acquired a verify based mostly off the variety of years they labored for the membership. They all obtained $2,000 per 12 months which additionally counted time spent as interns. The longest-tenured worker earned a $70,000 verify.

Cohen mentioned everybody within the room grew to become overjoyed and emotional.

“I feel it was a mixture of shock and pure gratitude,” Cohen mentioned. “There had been some usually stoic individuals who had been on the decision that had been visibly emotional.”

Gartner introduced the sale of the workforce early final month which grew to become finalized on Dec. 28. That’s the place the $600,000 in bonuses had got here from.

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Along with a bunch of associates, the previous ’97 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former president of NBC News and editor of the Des Moines Register bought the Triple-A Chicago Cubs affiliate in 1999.

Gartner was all the time identified for going out of his approach to get in contact with followers and employees all through the season. He could be seen strolling across the ballpark and handing out baseballs throughout gamedays.

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This wasn’t the case for Gartner and the Iowa Cubs. He stored them on the payroll and employed so they may proceed making ends meet.

“The shock was not that he was beneficiant as a result of that’s the best way he’s been,” said vice president and assistant general manager Randy Wehofer. activities/baseball/iowa-cubs-owner-bonus-checks/526-27b022cb-9179-4211-8c73-262a6ef8c9ca

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