Get to Know Pro Baseball's Gay Pioneers

Don't think baseball's so gay? Think again.



Laura Ricketts, co-owner, Chicago Cubs

In the sale of the Chicago Cubs franchise for $845 million in 2009, Major League Baseball gained its first openly gay team owner in Laura Ricketts, a member of the highest bidder's family.

Laura Ricketts and her three siblings, Pete, Tom, and Todd, control the team as its board of directors. They act alongside former owner Tribune Co., which retained a 5 percent stake in the ball club. The acquisition included the team, Wrigley Field, and 25 percent of Comcast Sportsnet, which broadcasts many of the Cubs games.

Ricketts is also on the board of gay rights organization Lambda Legal and a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

"I think for a long time I wasn't really out to myself growing up in Omaha, Neb., to a Catholic conservative family," Ricketts said at the time of the purchase. "It took me a while to come out to myself and not long after that I came out to them. I think that it really couldn't of been a better experience. They were all immediately supportive. ... I have been really really fortunate in that regard."

In 2012, Ricketts was one of the founders for a super PAC that specifically focused on the issues of lesbians and bisexual women, called LPAC. She said it was important to create such a PAC because lesbian and bisexual women were often shut out of the LGBT political conversation.

"Being a woman and being gay is really a unique position in our society," she told CBS Radio after the group was announced. "I know in my experience of activism, oftentimes it makes a difference if something is woman-focused. It's likely to get the attention of women much more easily."