Have you ever had a drink with Bob Dernier? Have you ever had your picture taken with Andre Dawson? Have you ever seen Rick Sutcliffe apologize to Andre Dawson for throwing at his head before they were teammates? Have you ever asked Jason Marquis what number he was going to wear when everyone knew it would be Sosa’s?
Well, folks, your opportunity is just days away. It’s the 2009 Chicago Cubs Convention and to steal a line from the NBA marketing team … It’s faaaannnnnnntastic. Beyond all of those wonderful memories, it’s also an anniversary of sorts, for me. The first time I wrote for the CCO was when I covered the 2006 convention. It was the first convention I was attending and through fate or the stars or luck or whatever, I was introduced to Neil via the worldwide web or information superhighway, whatever you prefer to call it, and he asked me to cover the convention.
Yes, I met Andre Dawson. Yes, I had a drink with Bob Dernier … more than one. It was awesome. And it still is. I have been back every year since and plan to be at the Chicago Hilton and Towers on South Michigan Avenue this year as well.
I have said this before and I will say it again … if you are a Cubs fan, this is a MUST. Never have I been disappointed, never have I been unfulfilled. Every year delivers day-in and day-out. Heck, minute-in and minute-out. It’s all great. The access, the players, the experience and the weekend make it something a Cubs’ fan will never forget.
I saw a woman storm through a crowd to help her son get Jay Johnstone’s autograph. Jay Johnstone! I saw Tim Stoddard signing autographs in one of the hotel bars while drinking with some cronies. Tim Stoddard was my pitching coach at “Grand Slam” in Arlington Heights when I was 12!
Len Kasper thanked me for asking for his autograph.
The best part for real Cubs fans is Sunday morning. They have a “Down on the Farm” report with Oneri Fleita and Tim Wilken. For us diehards, it is great getting a thorough review of the minors from those who run that part of the organization.
Funny part is that in the last few years this panel has also included the likes of Matt Murton, Sean Gallagher and Eric Patterson, just to name a few. Hmmmm, might as well have been Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.
I know it is last minute, and you might not be able to make it this year, but put it on your 2010 calendar right now! Tickets are hard to come by over the phone, but that is why Al Gore invented “EBay” and “Stubhub.”
In all seriousness, get yourself to a convention soon. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
And when you see Ron Santo hug Ferguson Jenkins like they haven’t seen each other since 1969, well, just look up and thank me. Better yet, raise a glass and just dream.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!