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 19, 2016

2017 Cubs Convention Weekend Passes Have Shipped

Photo Credit: /r/rich101682
If you were lucky enough to have been able to purchase 2017 Cubs Convention weekend passes directly from the Cubs, the passes have begun to ship.  And wow are they beautiful!  The Cubs championship still seems so surreal. 

If you purchased a convention package at the Sheraton or W Lakeshore, your passes will not be mailed to you.  Instead, they will be handed out at the convention.

Here are the Cubs Convention passes throughout the years.  If you have any from before 1995, I would love to add them - send me a note at cubsconvention@hotmail.com.  

2013 featured a baseball-shaped pass

2011 passes featured select players - this is Alfonso Soriano

Aramis Ramirez

Marlon Byrd

2008 - featuring a photo of Aramis Ramirez's walk-off home run against the Brewers on June 29, 2007

2004 - Celebrating the 2003 Central Division Championship

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Toyota Cubs Van, Circa 1987

I just took my oldest son to get his drivers’ permit.  So I feel old.  I let him pull into the driveway and, quite frankly, I have never been so nervous about a car ride that covered less than 75 feet.  Good for him though, as I thought back wistfully to that bundle of freedom and responsibility that accompanied becoming a licensed driver.

I was on the verge of getting my license way back in 1987.  According to my drivers’ education instructor, driving was privilege, not a right.  Bah.  Not only was I destined to drive, I already had my car picked out.  It was beautiful and I had no doubt I would be THE coolest kid in high school when I pulled up. 

I had a frank discussion with my parents that a new car for the family was going to be necessary and a minivan was the perfect choice.  “Just think about how much easier your lives will be letting me drive all over and run errands for you!” 

My dad scoffed, “Buick does not make any of those new-fangled minivans.  Nice try.”  So I subtly suggested Toyota.  I am not sure that I remember my dad ever laughing so hard. 

Ace up my sleeve, I casually whipped out my Cubs gift catalog and directed his attention to the back cover.  Featured there was not just any Toyota van; it was THE COOLEST VAN EVER. 

“That’s not a Buick!” he just howled.  “Could you even fit a sheet of drywall in that thing?”  Wow, that did not go down like I had expected.  But it's a Super Van!  It's the rage of the auto industy!

So when it came time to trade in the LeSabre, you’ll never guess what we got.  This mad sexy beast:

In retrospect, the maroon and wood-paneled Buick Electra Estate Wagon was probably a better choice for the family.  I can’t help but wonder, though, if anyone bought the Cubs van and how much better their lives were because of it.    

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Implications of a Potential Lockout on the 2017 Cubs Convention

As you may know, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the club owners and players is set to expire on December 1, 2016 and in advance of the deadline, the owners' camp has leaked that they would consider a lockout if the sides could not reach a timely agreement.  Essentially the opposite of a strike, a lockout would have the owners refusing to allow the players to be present at the workplace, such as Wrigley Field or the spring training facilities in Arizona.

As in all negotiations, it is not yet clear how much of this threat is bluster or posturing; however, if such a lockout is actually implemented, the ramifications for the 2017 Cubs Convention would be striking.  Most likely, a lockout would mean that current players would be refused entry to the Sheraton to participate in the Convention.

Baseball has enjoyed an extended period of relative labor peace, with the last strike having occurred in 1994.  This labor strife was so dramatic that the postseason was canceled (sorry Expos!) and the strike lasted until April 2, 1995, causing a delay to the start of the 1995 season.  The Cubs held the annual Convention in January of 1995, however, despite the ongoing strike.  

Because the labor dispute was between owners and the players, none of the rostered players were in attendance at the 1995 Convention.  Accordingly, all of the autograph sessions and panel presentations featured only retired players, front office personnel, coaches and broadcasters.  Jim Riggleman, the Cubs' newly hired skipper, was in attendance for the 1995 Convention but no active players.

Hopefully, there is no work stoppage as baseball tries to build on an exciting postseason and the Cubs having taken the world by storm.  The 2017 Convention just would not be the same if our championship Cubs players were not there to keep the party going.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

2017 Cubs Convention Weekend Passes Sell Out Quicker than a Chapman Heater

The Cubs offered weekend passes for the 2017 Cubs Convention through pre-sales available to season ticket holders and a second open to Mastercard holders.  The weekend passes then went on sale to the general public on Friday November 18th and by all accounts, each of these three rounds of sales were complete sellouts within minutes of their respective start times.

As of this time, hundreds of passes are available on Stubhub but if you have to go this route, be prepared to pay a huge premium.  With Stubhub's fees tacked on, passes will cost at least $440 each!

There are also a few passes available on Craiglist that may be cheaper than Stubhub, but buyers beware that there are no guarantees the passes being sold on Craigslist are genuine.

Hopefully you were lucky and got the passes you needed.  The 2017 Cubs Convention is not to be missed!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Weekend Passes For 2017 Cubs Convention on Sale Friday, November 18th

The Cubs have announced that weekend passes will go on sale Friday, November 18, 2016 at noon.

There is also a special presale for Mastercard holders that starts at 10:00 a.m. CST on November 18, 2016.

The price has increased significantly this year from the $75 (including all fees) these cost last year. The weekend passes are now $108 (cheeky) plus convenience fees and will be valid for all three days.

Good luck - these will be tough to get this year if you don't act quickly!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Well, It Happened...It Actually Happened!

For all of us who have rooted for the Cubs our entire lives, the dream is finally a reality.  The Cubs have won the 2016 World Series in thrilling fashion over the Cleveland Indians and after having fallen behind 3-1 in the series.

Accordingly, the 2017 Cubs Convention will be like no other and will feature the celebration of the team that helped make our dreams come true.

If you had not already booked a Convention hotel package (long sold out) there will still be an opportunity to take part in the 2017 Cubs Convention.  Expect weekend passes to go on sale later this month.  We will pass along the date as soon as it has been announced by the Cubs.

It's not a dream - the Cubs are World Series Champions!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The 2016 Chicago Cubs are National League Champions

Wrigley Field looking as beautiful as ever, basking in the warm glow of a late October sun. 
Are you ready for Game 6?

Kerry Wood, sporting a Ron Santo jersey, tosses the ceremonial first pitch.

Kris Bryant, just moments before driving in Dexter Fowler to give the Cubs the only run they would end up needing. 

After having chased Clayton Kershaw, the Cubs are in control here in the bottom of the 8th and just three outs away.

Total domination by Kyle Hendricks, Aroldis Champan and a Cubs lineup that made Clayton Kershaw look decidedly mortal.

Celebration time!

Anthony Rizzo's home run off of Clayton Kershaw in the 5th was the final nail in the Dodgers coffin.

Jon Lester and Javy Baez share NLCS co-MVP honors.

We have all waited so long to see this!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cubs Dispatch Giants In Probably the Most Exciting Comeback Ever


You'll certainly find much better recaps elsewhere but - holy wow - that was just an incredible game!
How could you not love a team that does not give up and fights to the end?

Kris Bryant said it best - "We get 27 outs and we're going to use every one of them."

Looking forward to the NLCS - go Cubs!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cubs Announce 2017 Cubs Convention Packages at W Hotel

All one-night Convention packages at the Sheraton are now officially sold out and the two-night stay packages are no longer available for the Friday and Saturday night combo.

The Cubs have announced Convention packages at a sister property - the W Chicago - Lakeshore, located at 644 North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.  This hotel is about 1/2 a mile from the Sheraton or a 10-12 minute walk.

To book Convention packages at the W Chicago - Lakeshore click HERE.  These packages will sell out quickly so make your reservations right away if you do not want to be shut out for the 2017 Cubs Convention!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Munenori Kawasaki Hits First Minor League Bomb

Fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki hit his first minor league home run on August 18, 2016, after nearly 800 plate appearances.  He was so excited he almost lapped John Andreoli near the end of his trot.

Kawasaki is expected to be back with the Cubs once the rosters expand in September but has had a hard time cracking the 25-man roster this season.  He has appeared in only three games for the Cubs this year, including this pinch hitting assignment in the home opener:

Hopefully, we will see Muni, his new-found power and winning personality back with the big club soon.  Omedetoo Gozaimasu!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Rooms Now Available for 2017 Cubs Convention

Although there is nothing on the official Cubs website about the 2017 Convention yet, you can book your room at THIS LINK. 

If you have plans to attend the 2017 Cubs Convention you should consider booking your room now, before the hotel is sold out!  Don't get shut out of what may be the best Convention ever, at which we will be celebrating a World Series victory!


In response to the comments below, the Cubs will sell weekend passes that should go on sale sometime in November.  Last year they were about $75 each, including fees.  Expect that they will probably sellout on the date of release and will immediately thereafter be available on Stubhub, Craigslist, etc. for a sizable markup. 

Even if the Sheraton is sold out, the Cubs will probably offer official Convention packages at the W, a sister hotel, located at 644 North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.  Look for these to go on sale in November as well.  (Keep in mind that the Convention hotel packages guarantee your entry.)  

If you get completely shut out, however, there are abundant choices for lodging near the Convention.  This link shows the hotels near the Sheraton as of last year.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Facing Limited Save Opportunities, Rondon Seeks Trade

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs have recently completed a very successful April, getting off to their best start, at 17-5, since 1908. The beneficiaries of excellent starting pitching, plate discipline and timely hitting, the Cubs have outscored their opponents at a record clip and have won 13 of their first 17 wins by at least four runs. 

One member of the 2016 Cubs team, however, is not particularly thrilled with their hot start. Closer Hector Rondon, who has been perfect in a smattering of save situations this season, has only four saves and is on pace for a very mediocre save total. 

Rondon's agent Todd Brenson (CCD Sports Management) has recently reached out to Cubs management to express his client’s displeasure with his current role, “Hector Rondon is a premier Major League closer and deserves to be playing for a team that can properly utilize his talents. As he prepares to enter his years of arbitration eligibility, Hector cannot afford to endure a season with so few save opportunities and needs to be traded to a more fairly balanced contender.” 

Some fans echo Brensons’ sentiment as the first month of the season has seen so many blowout wins that the excitement of close games has been nearly nonexistent. Season ticket holder Justin Gollender put it best, “No one expects the Cubs to win all of their ballgames - but running up the score on the other teams simply deprives fans of the heart pounding excitement that makes us such fans of the game.” 

Jed Hoyer has been rather tight-lipped on the topic, saying only, “Hector Rondon has appeared in over 180 games as a Cub and has never gotten a hit. How much could we ever expect to get in return for him that would make any sense for this ball club?” Cubs’ management is understandably on shaky ground as cracks continue to appear in their 2016 campaign.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016 Cubs Convention Wrap

The 2016 Cubs Convention came and went, like always, in a flash.  After registering on Friday we checked out Vendor Alley and found it was about the same as last year – smallish and not terribly exciting.  After picking up a number of 8x10 photos we walked around and found that lines had already formed for each of the six autograph stages on the lower level.


Last year, the Cubs eliminated the “Autograph Hunt Game” in which players would be dispatched to various secret locations all over the hotel after the Opening Ceremony to sign autographs for the fans. In its current incarnation as “Surprise Signings,” there were six minor leaguers sent to the dedicated autograph stages.  This year’s group included Jeimer Candelario, Eric Jokisch and Dan Vogelbach, among others.  These were the only players signing anywhere on Friday night.

We got into the line for Stage F and met Dan Vogelbach.  Vogelbach said his nickname is “Vogs,” which I told him was pretty boring.  I asked what he though about “Devo” (as in “D. Vo”) and he said he liked it.  He even signed my photo with “Whip It” inscribed.  Devo seems like a nice kid and said he is slated to start the season at the AA Tennessee Smokies.

For old time’s sake, we decided to have dinner at Kitty O’Shea’s and headed out.  The Convention used to be held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers and Friday nights at the hotel bar – Kitty O’Shea’s – used to be epic.  It was not uncommon to rub elbows with upwards of ten of more players in the bar and most were very accommodating for a chat or a quick autograph.  Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see Bobby Dernier or Tim Stoddard in the lobby bar at the Sheraton, but they seem to be the only two who make themselves available to the fans is such a friendly manner.


My younger son joined us Saturday morning and after perusing the vendor’s wares anew with him, we grabbed a spot in the session “Life Off the Field” in which Neil Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard, Miguel Montero and Addison Russell spoke about their lives away from the game.  I asked the players what kind of car they currently drive and what their dream car would be.  Ramirez currently drives a Hyundai Sonata and said he would like a truck.  Cahill drives a truck.  Clayton Richard got a good laugh when he indicated that he would like a truck but admitted that he actually has to drive his wife’s Honda minivan to the ballpark.  Miguel Montero has his dream cars and said he loves to drive his Ferrari and Lamborghini.  Addison Russell just wants a Rolls Royce Ghost.  In answer to a later question about his having given up number 22 for Jason Heyward, it was suggested the Ghost, which starts north of $325,000, might make a suitable trade for the number.

Autograph lines - Saturday January 16, 2016
We next shuffled downstairs go he could meet Justin Grimm and Miguel Montero in the Kids Only line.  The Jeimer Candelario line was very short so we hopped in.  I asked Candelario what his dream car would be and he must have misunderstood me.  He looked up and told me, puzzled, “I don’t have a green car.”   He was nice enough to sign my program anyway.

Here is Dan Vogelbach playing a casual game of RBI Baseball in the hallway with a lucky fan.
My first hopeful autograph for the day was David Ross.  He was very personable and said he is very fortunate to still be healthy enough to be playing at his age.  His dream car is the one he drives – a Ford Raptor.

Tough to call a guy "Grandpa" when you're a tad older than he his...
I was lucky enough to win the pull tab for the Kyle Schwarber signing that afternoon.  I asked him if he had ever gone to the park as a kid and hit golf balls with an aluminum bat.  He never had but thought it would be fun to do.  (Hey ESPN, how about letting major league sluggers smash golf balls with aluminum bats?  I’d watch that.)  As for the photo below, I told him that was exactly how I looked when I rocked a golf ball onto 47th Street from the back stop at Waiola Park.  He said it was fun to hit bombs.  Duh!


My older son was able to join the fray on Sunday and we got promptly in the line for C.J. Edwards.  I found him to be just about the shyest person I ever met.  He does not have a dream car.  He signed the program for me.

C.J. Edwards
We next got in line for Clayton Richard.  I now had the opportunity to ask a follow-up question regarding what kind of truck was his dream.  After a brief exchange regarding how awesome it is to be lefty, he indicated he would a Hummer.  (Do they still make them?)  He signed this 8x10 for me and card for my son.

My last autograph of the day was John Baker, former catcher and newly minted front office member, working under Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.  Baker thinks it’s hilarious that he is best known as a Cub for a single game in which he pitched a scoreless inning and ended up scoring the winning run.  As a result, he was awarded the win and retired from baseball with a 1-0 record, a 0.00 ERA and a respectable WHIP of 1.000 (he did walk a batter but gave up no hits).  Baker then told me he is a numbers guy and has really been immersed in the advanced metrics the Cubs use to evaluate players.  In fact, they were so aggressive in their pursuit of Jason Heyward because they project him to be an even better fielding center fielder than he was as a 3-time Gold Glove right fielder.  He was awesome to talk to and I felt bad for the folks behind me since he spent over three minutes with me.  (My son clocked it.)  He was nice enough to sign this card for me.

The lines for the Kids Only stage on Sunday were pretty light and my boys were able to do my investigative dirty work for me.  Scott Eyre had a Mercedes when he played but said he just drives “something boring” now.

Scott Eyre thinks about his dream car
Broadcaster Jim Deshaies also had a Mercedes as a player but said that he and his wife just got a Ford F-150 that they tow behind their RV.

Jim Deshaies
We ran into the Addison Russell kid and his parents.  His dad said that the haircut was done by a barber where they live in the Quad Cities and he was shocked at how much attention his son has received over the weekend.  Cool way to end the Convention for me.

We found a blurry Tom Ricketts wondering the hallways Sunday as we put a cap on the 2016 Cubs Convention.

Until next year and with the hopes we will be celebrating a World Series victory!

2016 Cubs Convention Overview

  • I am truly excited for 2016 Cubs baseball.
  • I had a great time, as always, hanging out with my kids, sister and all the random folks I spoke with over the weekend.  Here’s looking at you – Paul the Mountain Man from Colorado, Lisa and kids from Yorkville enjoying their first Convention, Matt and Rachel from St. Louis (but originally from Nebraska), the Assassin and Leatherpants.
  • It was nice to have all of the autograph stages in one area.
  • Dan Vogelbach is now “Devo.”
  • Again, the double queue and ticket distribution system for the autograph stages was well run.
  • The seminars and presentations were PACKED.  In fact, I was almost not let back in after leaving to use the restroom and to grab a cookie for my son.
  • The Surprise Signing this year was not terribly fun.  I am not complaining in that we were able to meet Dan “Devo” Vogelbach but the “Autograph Hunt Game” was one of the highlights of the weekend.  Of all the people I talked to in line all weekend – not one preferred the new format.  
  • As usual, my kids had a blast meeting the players and collecting autographs but the Sunday lineup for the Kids Only featured only Scott Eyre and Jim Deshaies.  No offense to either but it would be nice if the Cubs would schedule more current players or recently retired players, like Kerry Wood, in the Kids Only line in the future.  
  • I expect prices at the hotel to be expensive however, they were charging $5 for a can of pop and the grab and go prices were outrageous.  Make alternate plans for meals, if possible and bring your own drinks or find the water coolers spread throughout the convention!
  • I can't wait until next year.  Go Cubs in 2016!