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Cubs announce 2019 convention attendees, sessions

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The annual fan gathering begins Friday.

Cubs players and alumni at the 2018 convention
Danny Rockett

The 2019 Cubs Convention begins at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Friday afternoon, with the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. That ceremony will be televised live on NBC Sports Chicago and at nbcsportschicago.com.

Monday, the Cubs announced other events and attendees for the convention. Here’s the list of current players scheduled to attend:

As previously noted, Addison Russell will not be at the convention, per Cubs team policy of not having players on the restricted list attend. But you’ll also note another significant player not on that list — Anthony Rizzo. There’s nothing amiss here, say the Cubs: Rizzo’s still on his honeymoon.

The other current players not attending are Jon Lester and Tyler Chatwood.

The rest of the coaches, executives, broadcasters and Cubs alumni who will be attending can be found here.

The usual popular “Friday Night with Ryan Dempster” session will follow the opening ceremony at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, the traditional “Joe Maddon & the Coaching Staff,” “Baseball Operations Update”, “Business Operations Update,” and the “Kids Only Press Conference” will take place.

New sessions this year are the following:

Cubs Talk: Albert Almora Jr., Steve Cishek, Daniel Descalso and Ian Happ share stories and answer questions from fans.

Cubs in Cooperstown: The National Baseball Hall of Fame will enshrine another Cub this summer as Lee Smith enters Cooperstown. Joining Lee for this panel discussion will be Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams.

Off the Field: Cubs fans will hear from Cubs stars Carl Edwards Jr., Ian Happ, Jason Heyward and Pedro Strop as they talk about their interests off the field in a discussion geared toward our younger fans. Topics include music, fashion, art and more.

In addition, the convention will feature the following displays and interactive exhibits:

“Through My Eyes”: Ian Happ and artist Patrick Vale discuss their creative collaboration that brings a new perspective of Wrigley Field to fans. The unique artwork will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities.

Cubs Trophy Room: In addition to snapping a selfie with the 2016 World Series Trophy and other Cubs memorabilia, Boeing and USO of Illinois will give fans a behind-the-scenes virtual reality tour of Wrigley Field before and during a Cubs home game.

ATI Morning Stretch: Kids can get ready for a full day of Cubs activities with a morning stretch clinic led by ATI Physical Therapy on the turf field.

High Speed Highlighting Catch, presented by Xfinity: Young Cubs fans can experience making a game-saving diving catch at Wrigley Field with this new activation.

Chicago Artists Live Painting: Three prominent Chicago artists, Amuse126, Miss Merlot and Stuk One, will display their artistic style and ability. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase their artwork with proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities.

If you can’t make the convention, in addition to the opening ceremony the Cubs will be streaming the Dempster session as well as the following:

In the Batter’s Box, presented by Wintrust, Saturday 11 a.m.-noon.
Cubs in Cooperstown, Saturday 3-4 p.m.

You can follow those streams via Cubs social media.

The Cubs say there are a limited number of convention passes for sale at the cubs.com convention page.

If you’re going, enjoy, and we will have coverage here all weekend.