If you’ve been around Wrigley Field the past few years, you’ve probably seen one of the characters that goes by the name of Billy Cub. There actually were five, one wearing a home uniform and one a road uniform. You often would see two Billy Cubs in one day, confusing fans as they pretended to represent the Cubs. But Billy Cub was never part of the Cubs organization, never had a license to sell anything or collect tips on the street and basically was a panhandler.
According to an article by Bleed Cubbie Blue’s Al Yellon, who broke the story of a court settlement with with John Paul and Patrick Weier and three other unnamed defendants who were the faces behind Billy Cub, the character originally was designed in the hopes the Cubs would use Billy Cub as their mascot. When the Cubs introduced “Clark” last January as their mascot, the Weier brothers were not happy. It was obvious the Cubs did not want a mascot that offended people, though a mascot with no pants is offensive to some people. Billy Cub was not the type of character the Cubs needed or wanted, especially after one of the Billy Cub characters, got into a fist fight in a Wrigleyville bar when the head was torn off his costume. That’s not good PR for anyone. According to the Weiers, all Billy Cub did was pose for photos with unsuspecting visitors to Wrigley Field and then ask for “tips” after the photos were taken. Not everyone obliged.
The story of Billy Cub goes back to 2007 and Tribune Co. ownership. In 2007, according to John Paul Weier, Tribune Co. gave him permission to pose as Billy Cub, but made him take down a website he had created and told him not to do any parties. Weier says when the Ricketts took ownership of the Cubs, the rules changed.
According to one article, the Cubs began receiving complaints about Billy Cub, in the mistaken belief that he represented the Cubs. Of those complaints, according to the article, one was said to have been racially motivated and another entailed a long “verbal altercation” both presumably over the size of the tips the character was given. And then there was the now infamous bar fight.
When Major League Baseball got wind of Billy Cub, the League sent the Weiers a letter of more than 100 pages telling him to stop his actions due to primarily to trademark infringement. Weier and his brother ignored the order, which eventually led to the Cubs filing a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division. A ruling was handed down on September 29, 2014, by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur that ordered the Weier brothers to “immediately and forever cease and desist all activities relating to the Weier Character or otherwise using the Weier character costume whether or not featuring the Cubs marks and shall prohibit all third parties from using the Weier Character costumes.”
The Weiers were ordered to turn over all bear costumes used by the Weiers and all third parties working for or with them. They were further ordered to stop all activities that even remotely resemble Billy Cub, used Cubs logos or colors or that would otherwise serve to confuse people about who the real mascot is.
This should make it clear that Clark is the official mascot of the Chicago Cubs, and you will never see Clark panhandling outside Wrigley Field.