Cubs Convention jam-packed with events

Cubs Convention jam-packed with events

Cubs Convention jam-packed with events
CHICAGO -- Want to ask Greg Maddux a question about his job with the Cubs? Maybe you'd like to talk to the Ricketts family? How about hearing Kerry Wood or Andrew Cashner discuss pitching? Or maybe you'd like to reminisce about Ron Santo?

Those are some of the seminars scheduled for the 26th Cubs Convention, to be held Jan. 14-16 at the Hilton Chicago. Opening ceremonies will be at 5 p.m. CT on Jan. 14 in the Hilton's Grand Ballroom.

More than 50 current and former members of the Cubs, coaches and prospects are scheduled to attend the three-day fan fest.

Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins plus Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Milt Pappas and Jose Cardenal will share some of their favorite stories in a session titled "Remembering Ronnie" on Jan. 15. The former Cubs will celebrate Santo, who died Dec. 3 at the age of 70.

The Jan. 15 schedule opens with the "Ricketts Family Forum," giving Cubs fans a chance to ask Tom, Laura, Pete and Todd Ricketts about the team and hear about plans for the future. Maddux, who is a special assistant to general manager Jim Hendry, will join Hendry, assistant general manager Randy Bush and manager Mike Quade in a "Meet Cubs Baseball Management" session.

Other seminars include:

• "Pitching Evolution:" Wood, Cashner, Randy Wells, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija and new pitching coach Mark Riggins will explain the art of being a starting pitcher, setup man and closer, the differences between the roles, and the pressures and rewards that come with each.

• "The Q Factor:" Quade and his coaching staff, including Riggins, Rudy Jaramillo, Lester Strode, Ivan DeJesus, Bob Dernier and Dave Keller, will discuss their techniques and philosophies heading into the 2011 season.

• "The Dominican Way of Life:" Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Carlos Peña and player development director Oneri Fleita will talk about their transition from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Fleita also will discuss how the organization scouts and develops international players for the U.S.

• "Down on the Farm:" Player development director Oneri Fleita and scouting director Tim Wilken will lead a session about the young players in the system and future Cubs. In an earlier seminar Jan. 16, Tyler Colvin, James Russell, Darwin Barney and Scott Maine will talk about making the adjustment from the Minors to the big leagues.

Proceeds from the convention benefit Chicago Cubs Charities. A limited number of individual convention passes remain available for purchase online or by calling 1-800-THE-CUBS. Rooms at a Cubs Convention rate are available at the Hilton Chicago by calling 312-922-4400.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.