The Unofficial Opening Day … It’s Time for the Cubs Convention

Harry Caray referred to it as the “unofficial opening day”, some refer to it as the “kick-off to spring training”, call it what you want but the bottom line is baseball is just around the corner. The 27th Annual Cubs Convention officially begins this afternoon at the Hilton Chicago. Pat Hughes will once again have the honor of introducing the Cubs past, present and future during the Opening Ceremonies but this convention will be a little bit different than previous years.

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the Cubs new regime will get their first real taste of the fan base over the next three days … as will the new players the Cubs have acquired and several of the organizations top prospects. The Cubs Convention is the original ‘fan fest’. Every other organization has just borrowed ideas from John McDonough’s original concept. And for those that have never attended a Cubs Convention, words cannot truly describe the event.

The annual ‘this is the year‘ optimism will be absent from this year’s convention. Instead of hearing promises about possibly winning some series of games in October, those in attendance will be able to listen to Epstein and Hoyer’s plan on how they are going to build the Chicago Cubs into an organization with sustained success … and might even learn what the ‘Cubs Way’ actually is.

Dale Sveum and a majority of his coaching staff will be on hand as well. Sveum and the coaches will have a chance to explain how they plan to get the most out of Epstein and Hoyer’s roster.

The most popular session of the weekend should be ‘Behind the Scenes with Theo Epstein‘ on Saturday morning. The first session of the day will be hosted by Len Kasper. After the hour with Epstein, ‘The Meet Cubs Baseball Management‘ should be interesting as well with Jed Hoyer, Randy Bush and Dale Sveum fielding questions about the current team.

Not only will there be current and former Cubs in attendance, there will also be representatives from the Iowa Cubs, Tennessee Smokies and Peoria Chiefs. WGN Radio will air shows from time to time on Friday and Saturday, including Sports Night Live with Dave Kaplan on Friday night.

The CCO will have daily recaps from all three days of the Convention … plus I will be tweeting as much info as I can. So if you are not following the CCO on Twitter, now is the time … Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

2012 Cubs Convention Schedule

Friday, January 13

  • 5:00pm – 5:30pm – Opening Ceremonies
  • 6:00pm – 6:45pm – Autograph Treasure Hunt
  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm – Sports Night Live with Dave Kaplan, Andrea Darlas and Brian Noonan … the two hour show will be simulcast on 720 WGN
  • – 7:00pm – 7:45pm – Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer
  • – 8:00pm – 8:30pm – Dale Sveum, Chris Bosio and Rudy Jaramillo
  • – 8:30pm – 9:00pm – Bob Brenly, Todd Hollandsworth and Bill Madlock
  • 7:00pm – 8:30pm – Cubs Bingo

Saturday, January 14

  • 9:00am – 10:00am – Behind the Scenes with Theo Epstein – hosted by Len Kasper
  • 10:00am – 11:00am – Meet Cubs Baseball Management – hosted by WGN’s Dave Eanet – featuring Jed Hoyer, Randy Bush, and Dale Sveum
  • 10:30am – 11:30am – Player Development: From the Dominican Republic to Mesa – featuring Starlin Castro, Welington Castillo and Jeff Samardzija
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – From the Field to the Booth – featuring Bob Brenly, Gary Matthews, Todd Hollandsworth, Keith Moreland, Rick Sutcliffe and Dave Otto
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm – For Kids Only Press Conference – featuring Darwin Barney, Tony Campana, Reed Johnson, Todd Walker and David DeJesus
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Ron Santo: Beyond the Game – featuring Pat Hughes, the Santo family, Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley and Billy Williams
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Coaches Den – hosted by Bob Brenly featuring Dale Sveum, Jamie Quirk, Chris Bosio, Dave McKay, Rudy Jaramillo and Lester Strode
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Outside the Foul Lines – hosted by WGN’s Garry Maier and Bill Laff – featuring Tony Campana, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm – The Ricketts Family Forum – featuring Tom, Todd, Laura and Pete Ricketts
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm – When Super Fans Unite – hosted by WGN’s Jonathan Brandmeier and Steve Bertrand – featuring Bobby Dernier, Gary Matthews, Lee Smith and Keith Moreland
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm – The Scouting Formula – featuring Jason McLeod, Oneri Fleita, Tim Wilken and Joe Bohringer
  • 3:30pm – 4:30pm – Meet Cubs Business Management – featuring Crane Kenney, Wally Hayward, Mike Lufrano, Carl Rice, Colin Faulkner, Alex Sugarman and Jahaan Blake
  • 4:00pm – 6:50pm – Saturday Sports Night – hosted by Jim Memolo and Glen Kozlowski simulcast on 720 WGN
  • – 4:00pm – 4:30pm – David DeJesus, Ian Stewart, Travis Wood and Chris Volstad
  • – 4:30pm – 5:00pm – Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger
  • – 5:00pm – 5:30pm – Casey Coleman and James Russell
  • – 5:30pm – 6:00pm – Mike Bielecki, Vance Law, Scott Sanderson and Dwight Smith
  • 8:00pm – 12:00am – Rock ‘n Roll Revue

Sunday, January 15th

  • 9:00am – 10:00am – Down on the Farm presented by VineLine with Oneri Fleita and Tim Wilken – featuring Jeff Beliveau, Brett Jackson, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur and Josh Vitters
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm – Chicago Cubs Photo Experience
  • 10:30am – 11:30am – The Father-Son Connection – featuring Shawon Dunston, Shawon Dunston, Jr., Bob Brenly, Michael Brenly, Keith Lockhart and Daniel Lockhart

The CCO will have first hand daily recaps of this year’s convention….for the seventh consecutive year.

Scheduled attendees for the 27th Cubs Convention

  • Ernie Banks
  • Darwin Barney
  • Glenn Beckert
  • Jeff Beliveau
  • Mike Bielecki
  • Joe Bohringer
  • Chris Bosio
  • Bob Brenly
  • Michael Brenly
  • Bill Buckner
  • Randy Bush
  • Marlon Byrd
  • Tony Campana
  • Jose Cardenal
  • Chris Carpenter
  • Welington Castillo
  • Starlin Castro
  • Steve Clevenger
  • Casey Coleman
  • Andre Dawson
  • David DeJesus
  • Ryan Dempster
  • Bobby Dernier
  • Blake DeWitt
  • Shawon Dunston
  • Shawon Dunston, Jr.
  • Theo Epstein
  • Jeff Fassero
  • Oneri Fleita
  • Matt Garza
  • Todd Hollandsworth
  • Jed Hoyer
  • Pat Hughes
  • Randy Hundley
  • Brett Jackson
  • Rudy Jaramillo
  • Ferguson Jenkins
  • Reed Johnson
  • Len Kasper
  • Crane Kenney
  • Bryan LaHair
  • Junior Lake
  • Vance Law
  • Jon Lieber
  • Daniel Lockhart
  • Keith Lockhart
  • Bill Madlock
  • Paul Maholm
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Gary Matthews
  • Dave McKay
  • Jason McLeod
  • Rick Monday
  • Keith Moreland
  • Dave Otto
  • Milt Pappas
  • Jamie Quirk
  • Shiraz Rehman
  • Laura Ricketts
  • Pete Ricketts
  • Todd Ricketts
  • Tom Ricketts
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • James Russell
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Scott Sanderson
  • The Santo family
  • Judd Sirott
  • Dwight Smith
  • Lee Smith
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Geovany Soto
  • Ian Stewart
  • Tim Stoddard
  • Lester Strode
  • Rick Sutcliffe
  • Dale Sveum
  • Matt Szczur
  • Steve Trout
  • Josh Vitters
  • Chris Volstad
  • Todd Walker
  • Randy Wells
  • Billy Williams
  • Tim Wilken
  • Travis Wood
  • Eric Young

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Quote of the Day

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