Michael Gartner surprised team employees by distributing $600,000 in staff bonuses after the sale of his Iowa Cubs (Triple-A East) to Diamond Baseball Holdings.
The bonuses to the 23 full-time staff members of the team from the five owners of the I-Cubs were based on the length of employment–$2,000 per year, including internships–with the largest check clocking in at $70,000. From the Des Moines Register:
Everyone got something from the sale.
“It’s a fantastic gesture, no matter what business you’re in, but to be in minor league baseball with a lot of long days, a lot of long hours and a lot of hard work, it was really nice and appreciated,” said Scott Sailor, the team’s former director of communications.
It was a surprising move but not entirely shocking. The 83-year-old Gartner was popular among fans and employees ever since he and a group of associates purchased the Triple-A team and top affiliate of the Chicago Cubs back in 1999. Gartner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former president of NBC News and editor of the Des Moines Register, added bleachers in right field, LED lights around the park and a fountain for kids to play in.
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