It might be cold outside, but baseball talk will be heating up this weekend at the 28th annual Chicago Cubs Convention. For the first time since its inception, the convention won’t take place at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. This year’s festivities will be held at the Chicago Sheraton, and feature over 75 current and former players. Below are four things you must see while at this year’s convention:
1. Meet the New Cubs (Saturday) Traditionally, this seminar gives Cubs fans their first look at new Cubs players acquired in the offseason. This year’s seminar will feature the new Cubs, but it will also be our first chance to see new color commentator Jim Deshaies. I feel Jim is going to be a great addition to the booth, but it’s impossible to replace a guy like Bob Brenly. This should give Cubs fans a sneak preview of what they can expect this summer listening to the television broadcasts.
2. Meet Cubs Baseball Management (Saturday) This is always the most popular seminar of the convention, and I recommend you get your seats early. Theo, Jed, Randy, and Dale speak on the upcoming season and take questions from fans. It will be interesting to see if management gives any indications on their chances to compete this year. With some of the acquisitions they have made (Edwin Jackson), you can make the argument that they feel they can compete in a weak NL Central.
3. Cubs Bingo (Friday Night) This is the highlight of the weekend and a can’t miss. The voice of the Chicago Cubs, Wayne Messmer, leads hundreds of Cub fans in bingo. Your chances of winning are slim, but the prizes are great. Each winner traditionally takes home an autographed item, a gift certificate to a local Chicago restaurant, and a flag that has flown over Wrigley Field. I’ve been trying to win the Sammy flag forever, so if you win it, you know who to contact.
4. Cubs Garage Sale (Friday & Saturday) The garage sale is a great opportunity to pick up game used items from some of your favorite Cubs players at great prices. Items are sold in a live auction, and you never know what kind of items the garage sale will feature. I’ve even seen the rookies Pretty Pretty Pony book bag auctioned off! You can expect a hefty price tag for Castro and Rizzo items, but you might find bargains on some of the veterans.
If this is your first convention, make sure not to miss any of the seminars/events listed above. There’s always time to get autographs, and I highly recommend you try to avoid the autograph halls as much as possible. Waiting in lines all day can be exhausting, and you miss out on how special the Cubs Convention can be. It will be interesting to see how the new hotel effects the way the convention is ran. In past years, the Hilton did a great job separating the autograph halls from the seminar rooms. Hopefully the Sheraton has a similar set up.
I will be in attendance this weekend, making it my sixth convention in a row. I will be tweeting live from the convention @ChicagoFanTalk, so if you have any questions, please feel free to tweet at me. And as always……GO CUBS GO