CHICAGO – The 27th annual Cubs Convention will feature new sessions and activities, along with traditional favorites, during the three-day event January 13-15 at the Hilton Chicago. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled to begin Friday, January 13, at 5 p.m. in the Hilton Chicago’s Grand Ballroom.
Fans will learn about the vision of new baseball leaders Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Dale Sveum. Family and former teammates will remember Ron Santo and celebrate his entry into the Hall of Fame. Former Cub Shawon Dunston and minor leaguer Shawon Dunston Jr. will headline a father-son session. Players in attendance will include recent All-Stars Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd; new Cubs David DeJesus, Ian Stewart, Chris Volstad and Travis Wood; veterans such as Ryan Dempster and Carlos Marmol; up-and-coming players such as Darwin Barney, Tony Campana and Andrew Cashner; and future Cubs including Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur and Josh Vitters. In total, more than 80 current and former members of the Cubs, coaches and prospects are scheduled to interact with Cubs fans through sessions, activities, autograph signings and photo opportunities.
This year’s convention also boasts several new activities for fans:
- The LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a LEGO building area that will feature Master Model Builder Jayson Mueller as he constructs impressive creations, shows different building techniques and answers questions from fellow builders of all ages.
- The Best Buy Experience will allow fans to try their hand at a number of gaming consoles with the latest sports titles; discover their musical talents at an interactive DJ station; and connect at a computer cyber bar and charge their mobile devices.
- The Baseball Interactive Zone, hosted by Illinois Baseball Academy, provides an opportunity for fans to learn a few tricks of the game in a live setting. Professional instructors and special Cubs guests will give lessons to fans of all ages in designated areas for baseball skills, batting and pitching.
After Opening Ceremonies on Friday, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an Autograph Treasure Hunt, play Cubs Bingo and sit in on WGN Radio’s live two-hour broadcast of “WGN Sports Night” featuring some of the most popular Cubs of the weekend.
Saturday’s slate kicks off with “Behind the Scenes with Theo Epstein” at 9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom, followed by “Meet Cubs Baseball Management” featuring Executive Vice President/General Manager Jed Hoyer, Assistant General Manager Randy Bush and Manager Dale Sveum at 10 a.m. in the Continental Ballroom.
Additional Saturday sessions include:
- “Player Development: From the Dominican Republic to Mesa,” featuring Starlin Castro, Welington Castillo and Jeff Samardzija discussing their experiences in the Dominican Republic and Mesa, Arizona, as well as front office leadership providing an update to the progress of each site.
- “From the Field to the Booth,” featuring host Dave Otto talking with Bob Brenly, Todd Hollandsworth, Gary Matthews, Keith Moreland and Rick Sutcliffe about the benefits and challenges of taking the player perspective to the broadcast booth.
- “For Kids Only Press Conference,” presented by Advocate Health Care, with Darwin Barney, Tony Campana, Reed Johnson, Todd Walker and newcomer David DeJesus facing questions from a room of pint-sized reporters.
- “Ron Santo: Beyond the Game,” featuring host Pat Hughes talking with widow Vicki Santo, son Ron Santo Jr., and friends and teammates Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley and Billy Williams about the personal side of Ron Santo and his recent Hall of Fame election.
- “Coaches’ Den,” featuring new manager Dale Sveum, new bench coach Jamie Quirk, new pitching coach Chris Bosio, new first base coach Dave McKay, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and bullpen coach Lester Strode discussing their coaching philosophies, moderated by Bob Brenly.
- “Outside the Foul Lines,” featuring Tony Campana, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells sharing their personalities and experiences beyond the game.
- “The Ricketts’ Family Forum,” featuring Ricketts family members Tom, Laura, Pete and Todd discussing their journey as team owners and what they hope to accomplish in the coming years.
- “When Super Fans Unite,” a session dedicated to the fans and their questions targeted to members of the legendary 1984 team, including Bob Dernier, Gary Matthews, Keith Moreland and Lee Smith.
- “The Scouting Formula,” featuring Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod, Vice President of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita, Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Wilken and Director of Professional Scouting Joe Bohringer discussing their secrets behind scouting and player development.
- “Meet Cubs Business Management,” offering a look toward the future of the Cubs and Wrigley Field with Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Wally Hayward, Executive Vice President of Community Affairs Mike Lufrano, Vice President of Ballpark Operations Carl Rice Carl Rice, Vice President of Ticket Sales Colin Faulkner, Vice President of Business Development Alex Sugarman and Director of Fan Experiences Jahaan Blake.
Saturday’s program concludes with a live two-hour broadcast of WGN Radio’s Sports Central from 4-6 p.m., featuring a variety of current, former and new Cubs players. Guests can then head over to the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue” for a night of dancing, singing and plenty of laughter during a live show from Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press.
Sunday’s sessions conclude the Convention, starting with “Down on the Farm,” which highlights each team in the minor league system with minor leaguers Jeff Beliveau, Brett Jackson, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur and Josh Vitters. Former Cub Shawon Dunston and his son Shawon Dunston Jr. will be joined by Bob Brenly and his son, prospect Michael Brenly, and Cubs scout Keith Lockhart and his son, prospect Daniel Lockhart, to discuss the pros and cons of “The Father-Son Connection” in Major League Baseball.
A very limited number of individual weekend Convention passes remain available for purchase at $60 per pass by visiting www.cubs.com or by calling 1-800-THE-CUBS. Hotel rooms at the Hilton Chicago have sold out, so attendees in need of a hotel room should contact the nearby Palmer House, located at 17 E. Monroe Street, at 312-726-7500. Complimentary shuttles will be offered between the Palmer House and the Hilton Chicago. For more information, a complete list of attendees, or to purchase passes, visit http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/community/convention.jsp.
Proceeds from the Convention benefit Chicago Cubs Charities. The Cubs Convention has helped generate more than $4 million dollars for charity since its inception in 1986.
About Chicago Cubs Charities
Chicago Cubs Charities harnesses the passion of Cubs fans and improves the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond. Our goal is to provide increased access to sports opportunities and to target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at-risk. We partner with the most effective programs and organizations to achieve positive impact and demonstrated results.