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 Forum to share your thoughts on the Cubs Convention, who you got to meet, what presentations you attended, what you got autographed and what players and features you would like to see at the Cubs Convention.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Your Thoughts on the Cubs Convention

I would love to hear from you about your experiences at the Cubs Convention and any comments or suggestions on how to improve the Cubs Convention Insider.

Please visit the Cubs Convention Insider Forum or feel free to email me at cubsconvention@hotmail.com

Thanks and hope springs eternal - go Cubs!

Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 Autograph Report


As you should know by now, the Convention was moved to the Sheridan Chicago Hotel & Towers from its longtime home at the Chicago Hilton and Towers.  Overall, the change was a major improvement, especially considering how far the exhibition halls were from the various ballrooms at the Hilton.

Upon checking in, we were given this photo signed by Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson:

In years past, the exhibition halls opened at 3:00 p.m., so it was a nice change this year that they opened the doors a couple of hours earlier at 1:00 p.m.  We were able to walk around, buy a few items and most importantly - get the lay of the land to plan our autograph seeking strategy. 

There were even fewer vendors this year (an unfortunate trend) and nothing terribly new or exciting. 

Friday

The autograph hunt worked out well and we were able to get a number of autographs.  Also, for the first time in several years, the autograph hunt featured some current players and highly touted prospects. 

We lined up at the Sports Authority booth and met Josh Vitters:



Dave Sappelt was signing at the nearby stage:

We next found super prospects Javier Baez (L) and Matt Szczur (R) at the Vine Line booth:
Javier Baez as a member of the Peoria Chiefs

In the hallway outside, we met Jay Johnstone, Steve Trout:

and Glen Beckert, pictured here:

After the autograph hunt ended, we headed across the street to Lizzie McNeill's for our annual night with Guinness.  Tim Stoddard was the only Cub to make his way over.  We bothered him for a quick signature but there certainly was not the same vibe as in the prior years at Kitty O'Shea's where you were just about guaranteed to see handfuls of former players.

Saturday   

We were able to meet Jeff Fassero first thing Saturday morning.  Next, we got to meet Matt Garza, who says he is ready to get back throwing off a mound but denied he has been working on a knuckle slurve:
And new this year was a system where the first 150 people in each line were given a "voucher" that guaranteed your autograph opportunity for that player. 
They allowed anyone else in line not holding a voucher to then get an autograph as time allowed; however, as we waited for Matt Garza, newly acquired Scott Baker ended his hour-long session almost 10 minutes early because security would not allow anyone else to get in line. 

We next went up to the kids only question and answer session with David DeJesus, Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney, Brooks Raley and Chris Rusin.  As we were waiting, some of the minor leaguers from the previous session stuck around to sign some autographs.  We got Robert Whitenack on the program.

This was a highly entertaining session, my favorite question being from a 6-year old asking the players on the panel whether they liked beer. 

We next headed upstairs to the ballrooms so my kids could meet Tony Campana:


Sunday

We got in line outside the ballrooms at about 7:30 a.m. with my kids hoping to get into the "Kids Only" line for Anthony Rizzo.  I wanted to meet Darwin Barney.  They opened the doors to the ballroom at about 8:30 a.m. and let us get into the respective queues.  We were all successful, my kids getting to meet Anthony Rizzo:
I was able to meet Gold Glove second baseman, Darwin Barney, who confirmed he has no intentions of becoming an actor but was just helping out a friend by appearing in Calvin Marshall and consulting on the baseball action:

We then headed back downstairs and were able to meet Jody Davis, who misses the competitiveness of his playing days, but mostly the paychecks!


  Milt Pappas:

We also met Bobby Dernier and Steve Trout (again).


Finally, we found Pat Hughes at his booth and chatted briefly.  After that we were on the way home after another fun-filled Convention.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Cubs Want Their Stuff Back: New Chicago Cubs Archives Seeking Donations

Do you have any treasured Chicago Cubs memorabilia that is just taking up space at your home? A game-used Ernie Banks jersey? A pine tar-covered Ryne Sandberg bat? Hack Wilson’s shoe? Well, you are in luck! 

Cub fans now have a chance to rid themselves of their valuable Cubs items by giving them, gratis, to the Cubs for storage in the shadowy Chicago Cubs Archives. In fact, the Cubs are set to begin accepting items for donation at the 2013 Cubs Convention. 

Donors will have the distinct honor of having made a “founding donation” to the Archive; however, the Cubs have been very explicit that they will not be appraising any of the donated items nor will they be willing to pay for them.

Their initial wish list includes: photographs, jerseys, gloves, bats, balls, seating charts, employee uniforms, banners, flags, tickets and commemorative objects, such as bobbleheads and hats. 

Think of the prestige being a founding donor will be! I, for one, will sleep a little better knowing that my Todd Hundley keychain and circa 1987 giveaway Cubs hat with a gigantic Manwich logo plastered on it have finally been returned home.

2013 Cubs Convention Attendees

Here is the list of 2013 Cubs Convention attendees:

Current Players

Scott Baker
Darwin Barney
Michael Bowden
Shawn Camp
Tony Campana
Welington Castillo
Starlin Castro
Steve Clevenger
David DeJesus
Scott Feldman
Matt Garza
Brett Jackson
Edwin Jackson
Carlos Marmol
Dioner Navarro
Brooks Raley
Anthony Rizzo
Chris Rusin
James Russell
Jeff Samardzija
Dave Sappelt
Nate Schierholtz
Alfonso Soriano
Ian Stewart
Josh Vitters
Travis Wood

Minor League Players

Javier Baez
Dallas Beeler
Jae-Hoon Ha
Marcus Hatley
Barret Loux
Trey McNutt
Hector Rondon
Zac Rosscup
Nick Struck
Matt Szczur
Logan Watkins
Robert Whitenack
Tony Zych

Team Executives

Tom Ricketts
Laura Ricketts
Pete Ricketts
Todd Ricketts
Theo Epstein
Crane Kenney

Baseball Staff/Broadcasters

Jed Hoyer
Jason McLeod
Randy Bush
Shiraz Rehman
Joe Bohringer
Brandon Hyde

Dale Sveum
Dave McKay
Lester Strode
Rob Deer
Chris Bosio
Jamie Quirk
David Bell
James Rowson

Pat Hughes
Len Kasper
Jim Deshaies
Judd Sirott

Former Players

Ernie Banks
Glenn Beckert
Jose Cardenal
Jody Davis
Bob Dernier
Jeff Fassero
Randy Hundley
Fergie Jenkins
Jay Johnstone
Jon Lieber
Gary Matthews
Keith Moreland
Dave Otto
Milt Pappas
Scott Sanderson
Lee Smith
Tim Stoddard
Rick Sutcliffe
Steve Trout
Todd Walker
Kerry Wood
Billy Williams

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We expect the Cubs to announce the attendees at the 2013 Cubs Convention any day now.  The only official list released to date includes: Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza, Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, Jeff Samardzija and David DeJesus. 

You should also expect to see the latest signings including Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman, Scott Baker, along with a solid slate of retired players including Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Bob Dernier, Milt Pappas, Steve Trout and Tim Stoddard.

We will update this list once further names are leaked or the list becomes official!