Fathers, sons share stage at Cubs Convention

Fathers, sons share stage at Cubs Convention

Fathers, sons share stage at Cubs Convention
CHICAGO -- None of the fathers and sons who participated in the closing session at the 27th annual Cubs Convention on Sunday forgot to thank their moms.

Shawon Dunston and son Shawon Jr., Bob Brenly and son Michael, and Keith Lockhart and son Daniel took part in an entertaining question-and-answer session at the Chicago Hilton.

Dunston Jr. and Daniel Lockhart were selected in last June's First-Year Player Draft in the 11th and 10th rounds, respectively, while Brenly was a 36th-round pick in 2008 and helped Class A Daytona win the Florida State League championship last season.

Both Lockhart and Dunston Jr. are going from high school to pro ball. Lockhart's Hebron Christian Academy (Ga.) is coming off a state championship. Dunston Jr. said it was a tough decision to choose between school and baseball; he wanted to go to Vanderbilt University. The Cubs' signing bonus included money for school, which helped convince the young outfielder.

"I want him to be a better player than me, to have a better career than me," said Dunston Sr., who was the Cubs' first-round pick in 1982.

Keith Lockhart, a former Major League infielder who is now a scout for the Cubs, said Daniel developed an early love for the game. When he was 3 years old, Daniel would stand on a seat at ballgames to watch, rather than go play with the other kids.

Bob Brenly said Michael was determined to be a catcher, and would dig out dad's old gear to wear. What will happen if Michael does make it to the big leagues and dad is broadcasting the game?

"That sound you hear in the background will be me throwing up [out of nervousness]," said Bob Brenly, the analyst for Cubs TV broadcasts.

All of the fathers and sons did give credit to their moms for taking them to games and supporting them. Michael said his mother often sounded just like his dad in giving advice.

Dunston Sr., who works in the Giants organization with Minor Leaguers, made sure his son put school first. Shawon Jr. had to maintain a 3.55 GPA. If it was lower, he couldn't play baseball.

"My job is to [have you] hate me now, but you'll love me later," Shawon Sr. said.

Someone suggested Cubs fans would be eager to dust off the "Shawon-O-Meter" sign, popular during the elder Dunston's days with the Cubs from 1985-95.

"I have a T-shirt at home with that on it," Shawon Jr. said.

Dunston Sr. is doing his best to keep his son on track. The latest argument in the Dunston house is about what car young Shawon will get. Dad will probably win this one.

"Best advice, always listen to your father," Shawon Sr. said.

Dunston Sr. wears a 20-year-old gold chain with charms for each of his children on it.

"I always keep my kids with me," he said.

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.