The 33rd annual Cubs Convention kicks off at the Sheraton Grand Chicago this Friday, January 12. As always, it’s a weekend of talking baseball, seeing Cubs past and present, getting autographs, and hearing from management about plans for the upcoming season.
The Opening Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Friday. As they have the last couple of years, the player introductions will be on an elevated runway that will provide special VIP access for children 16-and-under. Following the Opening Ceremony, there will be the usual “autograph hunt” with Cubs alumni and future stars conducting exciting surprise autograph signings. The event’s first day concludes with a special Friday Night with Ryan Dempster show, featuring interviews with Cubs players, coaches and alumni and comedy vignettes.
On Saturday, the always-popular Baseball Operations Update, Business Operations Update, Joe Maddon & His Coaching Staff and Ricketts Family sessions will take place, along with fan favorites such as the return of Cubs Jeopardy, which features unique trivia with Cubs alumni.
Saturday’s line-up has been updated to include Toeing the Rubber and In the Batter’s Box sessions. The popular Kids Only Press Conference is now 15 minutes longer and is hosted by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Cubs alumni Andre Dawson, Derrek Lee, Juan Pierre and Carlos Zambrano will be featured in the Welcome Back panel followed by long-time Convention favorite Cubs Bingo led by Wayne Messmer.
26 current Cubs and 44 alumni will be at the Convention. A complete list of players in attendance, as well as broadcasters, coaching staff, management and others, can be found at this link.
Other featured events at this year’s Convention:
- You can snap photos of historical game-used artifacts from winning seasons and Cubs players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with the 2016 World Series Trophy.
- The youngest Cubs fans at Convention should get ready to sing and dance with Wiggleworms Saturday morning on the turf field in Clark’s Clubhouse, get exclusive kids-only autograph opportunities featuring current Cubs and alumni and an opportunity to try on a real Cubs uniform.
- Cubs pitcher Rob Zastryzny will be co-hosting a Cubs Jr. All-Stars clinic Saturday morning alongside Clark.
- Clark’s Clubhouse will host fun games, face painting, caricatures, balloon artists, a coloring station, inflatable T-ball and inflatable speed pitch.
- Cubs Charities, located again this year on the main lobby floor, will feature a variety of items and experiences for sale, including private player meet and greets, baseballs, ball cubes, autographed mystery baseballs, grab bags and a garage sale.
- You can visit a dedicated social media area for giveaways and an interactive GIF and photo booth with special guest appearances throughout the weekend.
I don’t yet have a complete schedule as to when all the various sessions will be held, but when it’s available I’ll post it here.