The 2016 Cubs Convention kicks off one week from today, on Friday, January 15 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, and continues on into Sunday, January 17.
The Convention is an opportunity for fans to see current and former Cubs in a fun – albeit bustling – setting, and for nerds like me to sit in on thoughtful panels throughout the day on Saturday.
If you’re going to be around after the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, by the way, make sure to stop by Lizzie McNeill’s, next door to the Sheraton – there should be a healthy collection of other writers, Twitterers, BN’ers, and more. I’ll be there, and Michael and Luis should be there, too.
As for the guest list at the Convention:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 8, 2016
Ryne Sandberg hasn’t been able to make the Convention in a while, presumably due in large part to his coaching and managerial obligations, so it’s cool that he’ll be coming.
Cubs Convention’s Opening Ceremony begins Friday, January 15, at 6 p.m., kicking off the weekend with player introductions on an elevated runway that will provide special VIP access to children 16-and-under. Following the Opening Ceremony, guests will find some of their favorite Cubs and young prospects signing autographs for an exciting Surprise Signing Game. The event’s first day concludes with a special Friday Night with Ryan Dempster show presented by Budweiser, featuring interviews with Cubs players, coaches and alumni, comedy vignettes and interactive games.
Saturday’s program continues with fan favorites such as the return of Cubs Feud and Cubs Jeopardy, which features unique trivia with Cubs alumni. Popular reoccurring Saturday sessions will be back, including Baseball Management, Cubs Business Operations Update, Joe Maddon & His Coaching Staff, Kids Only Press Conference presented by Advocate Children’s Hospital, Life Off the Field, Meet the New Cubs and Ricketts Family. The evening will conclude with long-time Convention favorite Cubs Bingo presented by Budweiser and led by Wayne Messmer.
Sunday’s program concludes with additional autograph sessions and panels including Down on the Farm and Once a Cub, Always a Cub.
In addition to the sessions highlighted above, the Convention includes several new and returning activities throughout the weekend for fans:
Fans can check out the Cubs in Cooperstown panel for a chance to listen to Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams chat about their lives in baseball and what it means to be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber will share their first-season experiences in the big leagues with fans during the Rock Star Rookies panel presented by Wintrust.
Cy Young winners Jake Arrieta, Fergie Jenkins and Rick Sutcliffe will answer fan questions and relive their award-winning seasons as part of the Cy Young Winners session.
Clark’s Clubhouse will host fun games, face painting, caricatures, balloon artists, a coloring station, inflatable T-ball and inflatable speed pitch.
Cubs Charities, located again this year on the main lobby floor, will feature a variety of items and opportunities for sale, including private player meet-and-greets, baseballs, ball cubes, autographed mystery baseballs, grab bags and a garage sale.
The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation will host a raffle as well.
Guests can visit a dedicated social media area, featuring giveaways, charging stations, an interactive photo print station and special player visits throughout the weekend.
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