Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts mentioned in his opening remarks before the convention that this year is the team’s 35th annual convention. Hard to believe it’s been that long; the event first took place in 1985.
Ricketts’ other comments were pretty much pep-talk things that you’d expect to hear at an event like this. He said the players were “using last year as motivation” for this season, and that they were ready to go after a longer offseason than anyone wanted. A video of construction over this offseason was shown, and Ricketts then thanked fans for coming to the convention and noting that over the years it’s raised over $4 million for Cubs Charities.
Ricketts’ remarks were preceded by a video showing key highlights from last season, and of course you can never see David Bote’s walkoff slam [VIDEO] too many times:
After the video and Wayne Messmer singing the national anthem, Pat Hughes did his usual job of emceeing the introductions of former players, current players and coaches, and Cubs Hall of Famers, who were introduced last. Interestingly, current Cubs players were introduced in alphabetical order. In past years they’d done these intros saving some of the more popular players for last.
Lee Smith, who will be inducted into the Hall this summer in Cooperstown, New York, was introduced last, after which another video of season highlights was shown. Here are some more photos of current Cubs being introduced:
As I noted, the convention is really one big pep rally for the season, and that is certainly the kind of optimistic tone the team will try to set through sessions throughout the weekend.
We’ll have coverage tomorrow and Sunday from BCB’s Sara Sanchez and Danny Rockett, and Saturday at 9 a.m. CT I’ll post an open convention thread for those who want to comment on the convention throughout the day.