If you have any questions, just ask - cubsconvention@hotmail.com. And be sure to send along your photos and experiences after the Convention so we can share!

Please visit the Cubs Convention Fans Subreddit to share your thoughts on the Cubs Convention, who you got to meet, what presentations you attended, what you got autographed, what players and features you would like to see at the Cubs Convention or to ask questions.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hilton Chicago Hotel Packages for the 2012 Convention are Sold Out

The Hilton Chicago packages are sold out, according to the Cubs.  This did not happen last year so there must be some excitement in the air for the new regime and the 2012 Cubs!  This installment of the annual Cubs Convention will take place at the Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue from Friday, January 13th through Sunday, January 15th, 2012.

The Cubs expect "30 to 40" current and former Cubs players to be in attendance.  The Convention roster typically includes current players who live in the U.S.; Cubs greats Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins; and, what has become a pretty standard set of guys that includes Glenn Beckert, Jose Cardenal, Bobby Dernier, Randy Hundley, Keith Moreland, Milt Pappas, Lee Smith, Tim Stoddard and Steve Trout. Also expect to see Theo Epstein and his new front office personnel along with Dale Sveum and his coaching staff and any new players the Cubs sign before the Convention such as David DeJesus.  For more about what to expect, click here.

The convention hours will be: Friday - 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday - 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Even though the Hilton Chicago packages area sold out, the Cubs are offering a Cubs Convention package for the Palmer House hotel, located less than a mile away at 17 East Monroe Street. Complimentary shuttles will be offered between the Palmer House and the Hilton Chicago.

Folks who book a two-night stay at the Palmer House through www.cubs.com - starting at $415 plus taxes/fees - will receive two free Convention passes (you can also purchase up to two more for $22.50 each) and an autographed picture of Ernie Banks and Starlin Castro. The package also includes two bleacher tickets to a chilly Cubs/Brewers game of your choice on April 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th.

Weekend passes are also still available for $60 each (plus convenience fees) and can be purchased at www.cubs.com or by calling 1-800-843-2827.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011 Cubs Convention Autograph Report

I collect autographed 8x10 photos and this was a good convention for me as I was able to get three new personalized 8x10s: Todd Walker, Tyler Colvin and Carlos Zambrano. I was also able to get a bunch of other autographs on baseball cards and the convention program.


Check-in - as a convention guest, the person who reserved the room was given an autographed 8x10. We got new manager Mike Quade:

Autograph Hunt Game - the crowds seemed even lighter than usual, which was nice. We got in the Stage B line at about 5:00 p.m. and met Steve Trout:

After walking around to see who else was signing, we found Todd Walker at the Comcast booth. Walker had not been to a convention previously so he was one of the former players that I wanted to meet.

Kitty O'Shea's - we then headed up to the hotel bar, Kitty O'Shea's, for dinner and an evening with Guinness. Jim Hendry came in the bar and chatted with some folks for a while. We were hoping to ask him whether he has any other Japanese players on his radar, in light of how well the Fukudome signing has panned out; however, he did not seem interested speaking with us.

A little later, Kitty O'Shea's regulars Tim Stoddard, Bob Dernier and Keith Moreland stopped by. In addition to the program, each was nice enough to sign these cards:

Tim's friend thought this card was hiarious because he had a head full of hair. She snapped several photos of him with the card.

Bob thinks that a hippo would win in an animal battle royale. I was not able to convince him that a tiger is superior because of speed and climbing ability.

I would like to think that I am the only person that has a card signed, "Keith Moreland Zonk 666." Metal rules.


In line -

Tyler Colvin was signing at the Sports Authority booth. He told me that he is not sick of getting questions about his freak chest injury, he is feeling very good and ready to get the season under way.

I was feeling pretty good that I had won the lottery and gotten a ticket for Aramis Ramirez. He has never been to the convention and this might be his last year with the Cubs; therefore, this might have been the only chance to have met him.

I got in line at 12:30 p.m. as the ticket indicated and waited downstairs for quite some time. When we were finally led upstairs to the International Ballroom a little after 1 p.m., we were shocked to see that the line was still at least 200 or more people deep. When Ramirez's time ended at 1:30 p.m., he got up and left. I was still at least 100-150 people from the front of the line. Cubs security told us that he had to get to a radio interview and could not stay. They then asked us to write our addresses and phone numbers on the back of the ticket and promised that someone from the Cubs' marketing department would send us some type of autographed item.

It was revealed later that someone had printed counterfeit tickets for both the Aramis Ramirez and Billy Williams lottery signing sessions and this obviously had a great impact on how slowly the line moved. I was disappointed not to have met him or gotten a personalized 8x10. The Cubs came through and sent me an autographed ball shortly after the season started...

After the Ramirez debacle, I was able to stay in line to get Carlos Zambrano. One of the vendors had actually given us a ticket for the Zambrano session because she could not use it. That was awesome.

I headed back downstairs and was able to get Dave Otto on the program and Ivan DeJesus on a card.


In line -
Jose Cardenal was very personable with me and my kids. My youngest son had a mini helmet that he was having signed. Jose took the helmet and put it on his head, explaining that he used to have so much hair that his helmet looked very small just like the one my son had. He got a good laugh out of everyone within earshot.

The last autograph for the weekend was Koyie Hill on the program...

and we were off, getting home just in time for the Bears-Seahawks kickoff.

Great weekend, tons of fun and can't wait to do it again next year!

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Cubs Convention Attendees List

Here is a list of the players, coaches, executives and broadcasters scheduled to appear at this year's Cubs Convention:

Current Players

Jeff Baker
Darwin Barney
Justin Berg
Marlon Byrd
Andrew Cashner
Starlin Castro
Casey Coleman
Tyler Colvin
Blake DeWitt
Matt Garza
Tom Gorzelanny
John Grabow
Koyie Hill
Scott Maine
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Carlos Peña
Fernando Perez
Aramis Ramirez
James Russell
Jeff Samardzija
Carlos Silva
Geovany Soto
Randy Wells
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano

Former Players

Ernie Banks
Glenn Beckert
Mike Bielecki
Bill Buckner
Jose Cardenal
Doug Glanville
Randy Hundley
Fergie Jenkins
Greg Maddux
Gary Matthews
Keith Moreland
Dave Otto
Milt Pappas
Lee Smith
Tim Stoddard
Steve Trout
Todd Walker
Billy Williams

Minor League Players

Chris Carpenter
Jay Jackson
DJ LeMahieu

Baseball Staff/Broadcasters

Jim Hendry
Randy Bush
Oneri Fleita
Tim Wilken
Pat Hughes
Len Kasper
Bob Brenly

Team Executives

Tom Ricketts
Pete Ricketts
Laura Ricketts
Todd Ricketts
Crane Kenney

Current Coaching Staff

Mike Quade
Mark Riggins
Rudy Jaramillo
Lester Strode
Bob Dernier
Ivan DeJesus
Dave Keller

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 Cubs Convention Attendees to Include All-Star Lineup

Although the Cubs are usually tight-lipped about the Convention attendees until the list is published in the Sunday Chicago Tribune the weekend before the convention, they have disclosed some of the players that will be attending this year. The list includes the returning Kerry Wood and newly added first baseman Carlos Pena, along with Carlos Zambrano, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Marmol and Tyler Colvin.

Also, Aramis Ramirez and Starlin Castro will both be making their first Convention appearances. Greg Maddux, whose last appearance at the Convention was a rushed Friday evening lottery-winner-only opportunity, is also scheduled to appear.

Cubs prospects Chris Archer, Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter (no, not that Chris Carpenter!) and DJ LeMahieu will be at the Convention as well.

Be sure to pick up a Chicago Tribune this coming weekend. You will find the entire list of the players, former players, coaches and other dignitaries scheduled to attend in an advetisement in the sports section. If you cannot wait until Sunday to find out, be sure to pick a paper up on Saturday night at your local Jewel!