For the second straight year, after many years at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, the Cubs Convention will take place at the downtown Sheraton Chicago, east of Michigan Avenue. Highlighting the convention will be a sneak preview of a film about the 100 years of Wrigley Field. In addition, Cubs ownership, management, the entire coaching staff and many current and former players will have the usual sessions discussing various aspects of the team. If you can't make it, quite a number of the sessions will be broadcast live on WGN radio.
Here are some of the current Cubs who will be in attendance:
Jake Arrieta, Darwin Barney, Welington Castillo, Starlin Castro, Kyuji Fujikawa, Justin Grimm, Edwin Jackson, George Kottaras, Junior Lake, Donnie Murphy, Blake Parker, Brooks Raley, Anthony Rizzo, Hector Rondon, Justin Ruggiano, Chris Rusin, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Nate Schierholtz, Pedro Strop, Ryan Sweeney, Luis Valbuena, Carlos Villanueva, Jose Veras, Travis Wood, and Wesley Wright.
There will also be some Cubs minor-league players there:
Arismendy Alcantara, Albert Almora, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Eric Jokisch, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, Armando Rivero, Rubi Silva, Jorge Soler, Christian Villanueva and Arodys Vizcaino.
And, of course, former Cubs, many of whom attend the convention every year:
Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams, Randy Hundley, Ted Lilly, Milt Pappas, Mike Remlinger, Bobby Dernier, Jay Johnstone, Gary Matthews, Lee Smith, Rick Sutcliffe, Glenn Beckert, Jim Bullinger, Scott Eyre, Les Lancaster, Derrek Lee, Bill Madlock, Dave Otto, Mark Prior, Scott Sanderson, Dwight Smith, Tim Stoddard, Steve Trout and Kerry Wood.
Here's a complete list of all the sessions:
Friday, Jan. 17 6-7 p.m., Opening ceremony: Fans can welcome their favorite Cubs of the past, present and future into the 2014 season. 7-10 p.m., The David Kaplan Show: Join the broadcast as WGN Radio's David Kaplan interviews players and management. 7:15-8 p.m., Autograph Hunt Game: Study the map given out at the end of the Opening Ceremony and find the Cubs logos to start collecting. You never know who you'll find, from favorite Cubs alumni to future Cubs stars. 8-10 p.m., Film Premiere, "100 Years of Wrigley Field:" Get a sneak peek at MLB Productions' "100 Years of Wrigley Field." The movie takes a look back at Wrigley's history from 1914 to today through testimonials from former Cubs, celebrities and historians. This exclusive premiere will feature a memorable introduction. Saturday, Jan. 18 9-10 a.m., Ricketts Family Forum: Tom, Laura, Pete and Todd Ricketts will discuss the future of Wrigley Field and the team. There will be a question/answer session. 10-11 a.m., Meet the Cubs Baseball Management: Epstein, Hoyer, assistant general manager Randy Bush and assistant general manager Shiraz Rehman will answer questions. 10:30-11:30 a.m., Jeopardy, "Wrigley Field 100:" Pat Hughes and Dave Otto will host the special edition. All clues will be based around the history of the balpark. Each team of players will choose a fan to participate with them. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Scouting & Player Development: Cubs baseball executives Joe Bohringer, Matt Dorey, Jaron Madison and Jason McLeod will discuss the Minor League players. 12-1 p.m., Meet the Rookie Development Program: Fans can meet top prospects, who will discuss what they're looking forward to this year. 12:45-1:45 p.m., For Kids Only Press Conference, presented by AdvocateHealth Care: Kids take charge and have the chance to ask Jake Arrieta, Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo, Nate Schierholtz and Travis Wood questions. 1:30-2:30 p.m., Cubs Business Operations Update: Investing in the long term success of Cubs baseball requires continued growth from all areas of the organization. Hear directly from Cubs management on initiatives underway to grow the amount of resources available for baseball operations, improve the fan experience, and support the Wrigleyville community. Fans will receive updates on the efforts to restore and improve Wrigley Field, the future of Cubs television and radio partnerships and new business opportunities. 2-3 p.m., Not for Women Only: WGN Radio's Kathy O'Malley and Judy Markey join Russell, Samardzija, Strop and Sweeney in a question and answer session. 3-4 p.m., Welcome the New Skipper: Renteria introduces his coaching staff and answers questions from fans. 4-6 p.m., WGN Radio's Sports Central: Join Jim Memolo and Glen Kozlowski in a live broadcast. 4:30-5:30 p.m., Cubs Family Feud: Back for its second year with an updated structure is a Cubs version of the hit game show. One fan will be selected to participate with each team. 6:30-7:30 p.m., Celebrating 100 Years of Wrigley Field: This season promises to be special as Cubs fans celebrate 100 years in Wrigley Field history. Public address announcer Andrew Belleson, scoreboard operator Rick Fuhs, historian Ed Hartig, radio play-by-play broadcaster Pat Hughes, television broadcaster Len Kasper and senior director of marketing Alison Miller will take part. 8-10 p.m., Cubs Bingo, presented by Budweiser: The game will include a 50/50 raffle, live auction, food and beverage options. Sunday, Jan. 19 9-10 a.m., 30-year anniversary of the 1984 team: Several players from the '84 team will revisit what it was like to play for the Cubs during that season. 10:30-11:30 a.m., Down on the farm: Jaron Madison, director of player development, and McLeod, senior vice president of scouting and player development, will be joined by Justin Grimm and Blake Parker to talk about the Minor League system.