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.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Former Cub Tony LaRussa Inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame

Most people know Tony LaRussa as a Major League manager.  It is also widely known that he got his law degree, anticipating that his life in baseball was to be short-lived.

What is not as well-known is Tony LaRussa as a Chicago Cub.  LaRussa made his major league debut as an 18 year old in 1963 with the then Kansas City Athletics.  He played second base and hit .250 in 53 plate appearances.  He showed a keen eye and posted an on base percentage nearly one hundred points higher at .346.  It took LaRussa another four seasons, however, to work his way back to the major league club, appearing in 13 games for the Oakland Athletics from 1968-1969. 

In 1970, Tony LaRussa was able to crack the lineup more regularly, appearing in 52 games and hitting .198 in 123 plate appearances.  He again showed a good eye, posting an on base percentage over one hundred points higher at .301.  After going hitless in 8 at bats for the 1971 A’s, LaRussa’s contract was purchased by Atlanta, where he hit a robust .286 and had a sparkling .375 on base average in all of 8 plate appearances with the Braves.  

LaRussa played in the Braves’ system in 1972 but did not make an appearance with the big club in Atlanta that season.  On October 20, 1972 the Braves traded him to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tom Phoebus, who had gone 3-3 with 6 saves and a 3.78 ERA in 37 appearances with the Cubs.

In 1973, LaRussa made the team out of spring training and was on the bench for the April 6th contest as the Expos faced the Cubs in front of 40,273 at Wrigley Field.  The Expos struck first, scoring 2 runs off of Fergie Jenkins in the top of the 1st inning.  The Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the 1st off of Mike Torrez and the score remained 2-1 as the Cubs came to bat in the bottom of the 9th. 

Cubs first baseman Joe Pepitone led off the 9th inning with a single to centerfield, despite a five-man infield, and Cleo James was called to run for him.  Ron Santo then reached on an error on a ball hit to Expos second baseman Ron Hunt.  Cubs manager Whitey Lockman turned to LaRussa and pointed a finger in his direction.  “Run for Santo” was all he said.  Tony LaRussa grabbed his helmet and trotted out to first base to spell Santo.

Glenn Beckert drew a base on balls and the Cubs were in business with the bases loaded and nobody out.  Randy Hundley walked and Jones scored to tie the game at 2-2.  But Don Kessinger promptly fouled out and Jim Hickman followed with a strikeout. 

The Cubs were down to their final out as Rick Monday came to the plate, hoping to break the tie and avoid extra innings.  Tony LaRussa danced off of third.  Monday worked the count against fireballer Mike Marshall and eventually coaxed a walk.  LaRussa jogged home and triumphantly stomped on home plate, having scored the winning run in his Cubs debut!

And there you have the entirety of Tony LaRussa’s career with the Cubs.  He never appeared in another major league game for the Cubs after he scored the winning run on Opening Day, 1973.  LaRussa was sent down to the Cubs’ AA affiliate in Wichita and put together a nice season, hitting .314/.403./.393 with 5 home runs and 75 RBIs in 106 games for the Aeros.

After another four seasons in the minors, LaRussa retired as a player at the end of the 1977 season, never having reached the major leagues again.  The very next year, he was hired to manage the White Sox AA team in Knoxville.  By August, 1979 he was called upon to manage the Chicago White Sox when his 1973 Cubs teammate Don Kessinger resigned from the post. 

LaRussa managed consecutively in the major leagues through his retirement in 2011.  He is just one of four men listed on the Cubs all-time roster as a pinch runner and only one of two, the other being Mel Kerr, to have scored a run in his only pinch running appearance.

He finished his managerial career third on the all-time list with 2851 wins and led the 1989 A’s and 2006 and 2011 Cardinals to World Series titles.  He is now a Hall of Famer, inducted with fellow managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre

Convention Passes have Shipped

2014 Cubs Convention Pass
Celebrating 100 years of futility at the best place on earth to watch baseball.  

I love you Wrigley Field but I don't have much hope that the 2014 Cubs are going to terribly competitive.  

See you at the Convention!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ultimate Chicago Cubs Name Scramble Fun

The list below is of Cubs old and new, Hall of Famers, MVPs, Cy Young Award Winners, Rookie of the Year recipients, managers, fan favorites and a few obscure.

How many can you get?

  1. Tire Ink Racer (MGR)
  2. I Wily Slim Ball (OF)
  3. Beginner Threw For (P)
  4. Knees Brain (INF)
  5. Angry Benders (INF)
  6. Robbery in Bed (OF)
  7. Ya Moms Ass (OF)
  8. Hates Gym Wart (OF)
  9. Lent Berg Neck (INF)
  10. Frankly He Trows (P)
  11. Can Start Rolls (INF)
  12. Zany Thin Orzo (INF)
  13. Max Drugged (P)
  14. So Abnormal Czar (P)
  15. Rubble Clink (INF)
  16. Broil My Handler (C)
  17. Gave Mankind (OF)
  18. True Rest Cub (P)
  19. Yak And Fop (OF)
  20. A Demon Hurl (INF)
  21. Issue A Loom (OF)
  22. One Cry (INF)
  23. Rubbery Comb (OF)
  24. Truest Vote (P)
  25. Crueler Hicks (P)
  26. Keg Car Ram (INF)
  27. Onward Sedan (OF)
  28. Radar Smoke (INF/OF)
  29. Refine Kens Jig (P)
  30. Bad Turkeys (MGR)
  31. Barnyard Wine (INF)
  32. I Luff Crickets (P)
  33. Elm Heist (P)
  34. Not Sonar (INF)
  35. Bedrock (P)
  36. A Sick Error (INF)
  37. Husk Arena (OF)
  38. Blur Cook (OF)
  39. Amazed Jiff Jars (P)
  40. Onto Voyages (C)
  41. Roof Onion Salsa (OF)
  42. Yo Red Work (P)
  43. A Trendy Sperm (P)
  44. Reek Elder (INF)
  45. La Lineup Oil (MGR)
  46. Marina Oar Crap Rag (INF)
  47. Arwy Labor (INF)
  48. Real Women Jot (OF)
  49. Splat A Pimp (P)
  50. No Hast Sundown (INF)
  51. Attorney Corpse (OF)
  52. Let Idyll (P)
  53. Lawn Cave (INF)
  54. Damn All Rosin (OF)
  55. Drench Hair (P)
  56. Ragtag Yeti (INF)
  57. Endorses King (INF)
  58. Many Taco Nap (OF)
  59. Scanners To Dots (P)
  60. Bear For Toy (C)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Derrek Lee confirmed for 2014 Cubs Convention

The Cubs have announced that the former Gold Glove first baseman and 2005 batting champion will make his first Cubs Convention appearance since 2010.