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 35 days (Feb. 19) and baseball is just around the corner.
The 2016 Cubs Convention begins Friday at the Sheraton Grand Chicago and runs through Sunday (Jan. 15 – Jan. 17). Pat Hughes will once again have the honor of kicking off the convention by introducing Cubs’ players from the present, past and future along with National League Manager of the Year Joe Maddon and his coaching staff.
The Cubs Convention is the original ‘fan fest.’ Every other team borrowed from John McDonough’s concept that is over 30 years old. Those that have never attended a convention is in for an experience they will not soon forget and the same can be said for Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, Trevor Cahill, Adam Warren and the organization’s prospects that will be attending their first Cubs Convention.
For the first time in seven years the present and upcoming season will be the focus of this year’s convention. Many are predicting great things for the Cubs in 2016. The buzz about the team reaching its ultimate goal is already very loud. The Cubs goal is to win the division, once in the tournament anything is possible. Joe Maddon will talk about the importance of winning the day, not the season, and his players not letting the pressure exceed the pleasure.
Ryne Sandberg is back with the organization and the Cubs are expected to make his new role with the team official this weekend. And among the other announcements that should be made during the convention is the team’s plan to celebrate 100 years at Wrigley.
The Cubs started playing games at the ballpark located on the corner of Clark and Addison in 1916. The Cubs released the patch that will be worn during the upcoming season and should unveil plans this weekend for ‘A Century of Cubs at Wrigley Field.’
Saturday’s sessions with the Ricketts family, Baseball Operations, Business Operations and Joe Maddon and his coaching staff will be heavily attended and should be chock full of information. The Cubs haven’t dodged the questions during the current regime and there’s no reason to think they would start now.
I will provide recaps of all of the sessions I attend and will be tweeting as much information as possible from the convention. Those not on Twitter can open this link in your browser and read along or you can follow Chicago Cubs Online on Twitter: @TheCCO for updates throughout the weekend.
2016 Cubs Convention Schedule
Friday, Jan. 15
- 6:00pm – 7:00pm – Opening Ceremony
- 7:15pm – 8:00pm – Surprise Signing Game
- 7:30pm – 10:00pm – Friday Night with Ryan Dempster, presented by Budweiser
Saturday, Jan. 16
- 9:00am – 10:00am – Ricketts Family Forum
- 9:30am – 10:30am – Cubs Jeopardy
- 10:30am – 11:30am – Cubs Baseball Management
- 11:00am – 12:00pm – Life Off the Field
- 11:45am – 12:45pm – Joe Maddon and His Coaching Staff
- 12:45pm – 1:45pm – Cubs Business Operations Update
- 1:30pm – 2:30pm – Cubs in Cooperstown
- 2:00pm – 3:00pm – Meet the New Cubs
- 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Rock Star Rookies, presented by Wintrust
- 3:30pm – 4:30pm – For Kids Only Press Conference, presented by Advocate Children’s Hospital
- 4:30pm – 5:30pm – Cy Young Winners
- 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Cubs Feud
- 8:00pm – 10:00pm – Cubs Bingo, presented by Budweiser
Sunday, Jan. 17
- 9:00am – 10:00am – Once a Cub, Always a Cub
- 10:30am – 11:30am – Down on the Farm