It’s Time for the 29th Annual Cubs Convention

Harry Caray referred to the Cubs Convention as the “Unofficial Opening Day” and most call the convention the “Kick Off to Spring Training.” But the bottom line is Cubs pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 27 days (Feb. 13) and baseball is just around the corner.

The 2014 Cubs Convention begins Friday at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers and runs through Sunday (Jan. 17 – Jan. 19). Pat Hughes will once again have the honor of kicking off the convention by introducing Cubs’ players from the past, present and future as well as new manager Rick Renteria and his coaching staff.

The Cubs Convention is the original ‘fan fest.’ Every other team ‘borrowed’ from John McDonough’s concept that is nearly 30 years old. Those that have never attended a convention is in for an experience they will not forget any time soon and the same can be said for the organization’s prospects that will be attending their first Cubs Convention.

The focus this weekend is intended to be on Wrigley Field and the Cubs’ plans for the year-long celebration to honor the cherished ballyard. But the questions from the fan base should center on the team’s radio and TV contracts and where the Cubs are in their negotiations with the rooftop owners so the Wrigley Field Restoration project can finally begin. The Cubs are expected to address their radio and TV partnerships on Saturday.

The sessions with the Ricketts family, Baseball Operations and Business Operations on Saturday should be very interesting. And hopefully the front office and ownership will provide answers to all of the questions.

I will provide recaps of all of the sessions I attend and will be tweeting as much information as I can from the convention … so follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO.

29th Cubs Convention Schedule

Friday, January 17

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Opening Ceremonies

7:00pm – 10:00pm – The David Kaplan Show – Simulcast on 720 WGN

  • 7:00pm – 7:30pm – Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer
  • 7:30pm – 8:00pm – Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo, Nate Schierholtz
  • 8:00pm – 8:30pm – Edwin Jackson, Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood
  • 8:30pm – 9:00pm – Rick Renteria, Bill Mueller

7:15pm – 8:00pm – Autograph Hunt Game

8:00pm – 10:00pm – Film Premiere – “100 Years of Wrigley Field

Saturday, January 18

9:00am – 10:00am – The Ricketts Family Forum

10:00am – 11:00am – Meet the Cubs Baseball Management – Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Randy Bush, Shiraz Rehman

10:30am – 11:30am – Cubs Jeopardy – Wrigley Field 100 – Pat Hughes, Dave Otto

11:30am – 12:30pm – Scouting and Player Development – Jason McLeod, Joe Bohringer, Matt Dorey, Jaron Madison

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Meet the Rookie Development Program – Cubs Top Prospects

12:45pm – 1:45pm – For Kids Only Press Conference – Jake Arrieta, Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo, Nate Schierholtz, Travis Wood

1:30pm – 2:30pm – Cubs Business Operations Update – Updates on Wrigley Field, Radio and TV Contracts

2:00pm – 3:00pm – Not For Women Only – James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Pedro Strop, Ryan Sweeney

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Coaching the Cubs – Rick Renteria and the Cubs Coaching Staff

4:00pm – 6:00pm – WGN Radio’s Sports Central – Jim Memolo, Glen Kozlowski

  • 4:00pm – 4:30pm – Carlos Villanueva, Jose Veras
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm – Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro
  • 5:00pm – 5:30pm – Jake Arrieta, Jeff Samardzija
  • 5:30pm – 6:00pm – Nate Schierholtz, Donnie Murphy

4:30pm – 5:30pm – Cubs Family Feud

6:30pm – 7:30pm – Celebrating 100 Years of Wrigley Field

8:00pm – 10:00pm – Cubs Bingo

Sunday, January 19

9:00am – 10:00am – 30-Year Anniversary of the 1984 Team

10:30am – 11:30am – Down on the Farm – Jason McLeod, Jaron Madison, Justin Grimm, Blake Parker

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors 

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Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

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  • MikeT_2008

    This may seem like a dumb question but is the Cubs Convention something to be on a fan’s bucket list to attend? It seems like it would be a pretty neat thing to be at and experience at least once.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      What’s on my bucket list………..
      A Cubs World Series Victory…..
      and an evening with Marla Collins…..

    • Neil

      It is not a dumb question at all. I would recommend going to at least one convention. I know you’ve heard/read everyone say it, but it is a unique experience. There is nothing like it.

  • triple

    Neil- Thanks for all the hard work and commitment you put into delivering us all the updates on our favorite team. I think it’s especially cool that you will share much of your experience of the convention with us so we can experience a little part of it from our living rooms and offices.

    • Neil

      Thank you. I should have info up soon

    • Jim Canavan

      Neil does a great job on this-always taking great notes

  • CubbyDenCritic

    We Have Some Breaking News…..
    We have signed Luis Villbuena!
    okay, go back to work.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Clark better put some pants on…it is getting cold outside.

    • 07GreyDigger

      He has fur. He’ll be fine.

  • brent carmona

    Hey guys, trying to listen to wgn radio via their website and the tunein app on my phone, but its transmitting a blackhawks game live..any idea where I can find a link or something to listen to Theo and Jed? It did start at seven correct? Thank you

    • brent carmona

      Oh wait, it seems they are recording it now then will put it online at a later time…I believe…

  • Dorasaga

    Neil, if chance occurs, please ask Mr. Ricketts or Theo Epstein (graduated with a bachelor in literature, I expect him to know baseball history a lot better than the business side of the club):

    Why had the Cubs failed to honor Phil Cavarretta for so long? Forgetting him once and for all ever since his death, only two weeks later from Ron Santo’s? Is the Ghost of PK Wrigley* still haunting them?

    *The former Cubs owner decided to rip Cavarretta away from the honor of retiring his jersey, because the as the manager of the Cubs at the time, Phil decided to speak for winning, and spoken about the poor performance of the team in front of the media–a common act for today’s world, but not before, when the owner was King.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with you, however Theo has already given number 44 to Rizzo, but the number should have been retired, period.

      • Dorasaga

        Thank you, Paul. The Cubs will forever be an inferior team to other historical clubs if all they can do is to celebrate 1969/1984, and completely disregard the legacy of many before it.

    • Neil

      Dorasaga, I was given the same answer as before. They know they are not recognizing those players and realize they should. But still nothing.

      • Dorasaga

        You the best, Neil! The relentless dig of baseball truth (and our Cubs heritage)… must come to an end someday. What I never fathomed is just because PK Wrigley pulled away the honor for a face of the franchise last minute, and many other undervaluing opinions* after 1950s, this doesn’t mean that the Cubs just assume the player was irrelevant for them to celebrate, and so is the whole generation of great Cubbies like Wilson and English who played with Phil from 1930-40s.

        I guess I’m saying is, if the Cubs actually carried on in the 50s to retire Phil’s number, he would be better remembered among us today, and so are his teammates. How history can change its course due to one’s ill-will (the owner’s in this case), is fascinating.

        *The argument has always been that Cavarretta played his best years during WWII; he faced weak opponents. It’s not true. He played part of this best years during that period. He had more to offer to the history of the Cubs than many others, and more to that later.