TBOX 2003-2004 (The 8th and 9th) – Growing and Growing…

And Why Steve Bartman is to thank for TBOX still being a thing…

TBOX8_TBOX9_Banner

Click here to View the Pictures from TBOX #8 and TBOX #9

TBOX 2003

Flush with the success of 2002, I began planning TBOX in the late summer of 2003. But as Cubs fans know, that was THE YEAR we were going to the World Series, until Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. How did that affect TBOX?

In May, again freshly unemployed, I started a t-shirt company, and by September, my bestseller, “IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY” had become THE rallying cry for the ’03 Cubs and new manager Dusty Baker. TBOX was on the back burner as we planned for a WORLD SERIES in WRIGLEYVILLE and I was selling shirts like CRAZY and blowing up all over the media. I was on top of the world… right up until the moment Steve Bartman’s infamous miscue sent the cursed Cubs careening toward disaster.

Steve Bartman Kills Cubs, Saves TBOX
Steve Bartman Kills Cubs, Saves TBOX

Rather than selling a million more t-shirts as I frolicked in a sweaty, ecstatic Wrigleyville lovepile, I mourned with the rest of Cubs Nation, and spent 3 weeks in bed with the shades drawn, unshaven, surrounded with empty pizza boxes,my business destroyed.  What now?!?! I had tasted the fruits of entrepreneurial success, then had them swatted away. I really didn’t want to get a “real job” again. And sometime before Thanksgiving I said, the words that changed my life popped into my head…

“What if I charged people something to come to TBOX?”

And from there forward, thanks to the engine of capitalism, TBOX really started to be on its way. As you are all now my customers, it is my sacred duty and job to serve you the best I can at all times!

Santas as TBOX #8 in 2003
Santas as TBOX #8 in 2003

TBOX #8 grew to nearly 2,000 people, and though there was no such thing yet as “The Royal Court” – it was our second year of badges, and I very stupidly decided to just make them full-page 8 1/2 by 11 inch card stock paper with a hole punched in it. That did not go well, and I was mocked for a long time afterwards, as almost everyone’s fell off.

TBOX #9 in 2004

I group TBOX in 2003 & 2004 together in my mind because they were my first two years of being in business for myself, and I was still working out of my living room in Wrigleyville. It was sometime in 2004 that we had the brilliant idea:“Why don’t we set up a desk at one of the bars and make that the TBOX HQ and Customer Service Desk?” That had never occurred to us before, but obviously, we have it to this day.

The Start of TBOX #9 in 2004
The Start of TBOX #9 in 2004

We grew to about 2,300 – and though I still consider it part of the “Middle Ages” or “Growing Pains” of TBOX, it really did go much smoother and more pleasantly. TBOX9 started at Sheffield’s, ended at the old Hi-Tops, and we had the Opening Ceremonies under the El Tracks on Newport, followed by the Tiki Torch procession. The Blarney Stone customer service desk was a revolution, the badges were back to being a normal, manageable size, the round robin was working like a charm, and… it was all really “Locking In”, but I still didn’t feel like it was “all there”. The future of TBOX, and what it would become, were still ahead of us…

Fun Times at TBOX #9 in 2004
Fun Times at TBOX #9 in 2004

TBOX 2003-2004 (The 8th and 9th) – Growing and Growing…

And Why Steve Bartman is to thank for TBOX still being a thing…

TBOX8_TBOX9_Banner

Click here to View the Pictures from TBOX #8 and TBOX #9

TBOX 2003

Flush with the success of 2002, I began planning TBOX in the late summer of 2003. But as Cubs fans know, that was THE YEAR we were going to the World Series, until Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. How did that affect TBOX?

In May, again freshly unemployed, I started a t-shirt company, and by September, my bestseller, “IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY” had become THE rallying cry for the ’03 Cubs and new manager Dusty Baker. TBOX was on the back burner as we planned for a WORLD SERIES in WRIGLEYVILLE and I was selling shirts like CRAZY and blowing up all over the media. I was on top of the world… right up until the moment Steve Bartman’s infamous miscue sent the cursed Cubs careening toward disaster.

Steve Bartman Kills Cubs, Saves TBOX
Steve Bartman Kills Cubs, Saves TBOX

Rather than selling a million more t-shirts as I frolicked in a sweaty, ecstatic Wrigleyville lovepile, I mourned with the rest of Cubs Nation, and spent 3 weeks in bed with the shades drawn, unshaven, surrounded with empty pizza boxes,my business destroyed.  What now?!?! I had tasted the fruits of entrepreneurial success, then had them swatted away. I really didn’t want to get a “real job” again. And sometime before Thanksgiving I said, the words that changed my life popped into my head…

“What if I charged people something to come to TBOX?”

And from there forward, thanks to the engine of capitalism, TBOX really started to be on its way. As you are all now my customers, it is my sacred duty and job to serve you the best I can at all times!

Santas as TBOX #8 in 2003
Santas as TBOX #8 in 2003

TBOX #8 grew to nearly 2,000 people, and though there was no such thing yet as “The Royal Court” – it was our second year of badges, and I very stupidly decided to just make them full-page 8 1/2 by 11 inch card stock paper with a hole punched in it. That did not go well, and I was mocked for a long time afterwards, as almost everyone’s fell off.

TBOX #9 in 2004

I group TBOX in 2003 & 2004 together in my mind because they were my first two years of being in business for myself, and I was still working out of my living room in Wrigleyville. It was sometime in 2004 that we had the brilliant idea:“Why don’t we set up a desk at one of the bars and make that the TBOX HQ and Customer Service Desk?” That had never occurred to us before, but obviously, we have it to this day.

The Start of TBOX #9 in 2004
The Start of TBOX #9 in 2004

We grew to about 2,300 – and though I still consider it part of the “Middle Ages” or “Growing Pains” of TBOX, it really did go much smoother and more pleasantly. TBOX9 started at Sheffield’s, ended at the old Hi-Tops, and we had the Opening Ceremonies under the El Tracks on Newport, followed by the Tiki Torch procession. The Blarney Stone customer service desk was a revolution, the badges were back to being a normal, manageable size, the round robin was working like a charm, and… it was all really “Locking In”, but I still didn’t feel like it was “all there”. The future of TBOX, and what it would become, were still ahead of us…

Fun Times at TBOX #9 in 2004
Fun Times at TBOX #9 in 2004

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