CHICAGO—Win or lose, nothing beats Opening Day at Wrigley Field. Though the Cubs were unable to finish off Ryan Dempster’s 10-strikeout Opening Day gem, falling 2-1 to the Nationals, the excitement over the 2012 team was palpable. The Wrigley faithful packed the streets by 8 a.m. to check out the new offerings at the Friendly Confines, including the LED scoreboard in right field, the Budweiser Patio, and the Cubs Store on the corner of Clark and Addison. Vine Line was there along with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, Hall of Famer Billy Williams and Manager Dale Sveum to kick off the baseball season in style.
This season, the Cubs are offering two great ways to check out some of the best games of the season at historic Wrigley Field.
The Cubs 6-Game Pack, which goes on sale today, provides a choice of 10 different preselected, six-game plans, each headlined by some of the schedule’s most popular games, including Opening Day against the Washington Nationals, rivalry matchups with the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox, and rare visits by the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers.
If you want to customize your plan, the Cubs 9-Game Pack features tickets to Opening Day; weekend series with the Red Sox, Cardinals and White Sox; and matchups with the Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds.
Both deals include the Budweiser Bleachers and the reserved seating bowl. To purchase tickets, go to cubs.com.
From Jan. 13-15, Cubs fans of all ages gathered at the Hilton Chicago to warm up the winter and mingle with more than 70 Cubs players, coaches and front office personnel at the sold-out 27th annual Cubs Convention. Vine Line was there the whole weekend to document all the happenings, including Kerry Wood’s triumphant return, the Ron Santo Hall of Fame Panel and all the new Wrigley Field news. Get ready for the season and check out the sights and sounds of the 2012 Cubs Convention.
The 27th Annual Cubs Convention will be held this weekend, Jan. 13-15, at the Hilton Chicago, located at 720 S. Michigan Ave., and Vine Line will be there blogging all weekend to keep you up to date on the latest news and happenings.
The three-day fanfest gives Cubs faithful the opportunity to interact with more than 80 current and former Cubs players, coaches and prospects. This year’s event features a number of new family friendly sessions and activities, including an interactive baseball area hosted by the Illinois Baseball Academy, a gaming zone and the LEGOLAND Discovery Zone.
But the real stars of the show might be the team’s new baseball leadership — Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Dale Sveum — and their vision for the Cubs future. This vision has become clearer in recent weeks, as a flurry of moves have sent old-guard players like Sean Marshall, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano out of Chicago in favor of younger talent like top first base prospect Anthony Rizzo and starters Travis Wood, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm.
Opening Ceremonies begin Friday at 5 p.m. in the Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom. The Saturday morning proceedings will be highlighted by “Behind the Scenes with Theo Epstein”, followed by “Meet Cubs Baseball Management” with General Manager Jed Hoyer, Assistant General Manager Randy Bush and Manager Dale Sveum.
Other notable weekend sessions include:
- “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.
- “Ron Santo: Beyond the Game,” featuring widow Vicki Santo, son Ron Santo Jr., and friends and teammates Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley and Billy Williams discussing the personal side of Ron Santo and his recent Hall of Fame election, moderated by Pat Hughes.
- “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.
To keep up on all the happenings from the Cubs Convention, check back with the Cubs Vine Line Blog all weekend long.
Looking for a way to shake the winter blues? We have three simple words for you: Baseball is back.
Individual tickets for Chicago Cubs Spring Training home games will be available online starting tomorrow, Jan. 5, at 10 a.m. CST. Join us at sunny HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Ariz., for the start of the 2012 Cubs season under new manager Dale Sveum. The Cactus League season kicks off against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, March 4, at 1:05 p.m.
For more information about Cubs Spring Training tickets, go to cubs.com.
If you can’t wait until April to make your first 2012 visit to the Friendly Confines, lace up your skates and join the Cubs at Wrigley this Saturday to ring in the holiday season.
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, pitcher Matt Garza and a crowd of Cubs faithful will welcome the holidays with a tree-lighting ceremony by the famed Wrigley Field Marquee this Saturday at 5 p.m. The 30-foot decorated holiday tree, donated by Patch Landscaping and Snow Removal Inc., is the start of a new holiday tradition and will welcome guests to the Friendly Confines throughout the holiday season.
The tree-lighting ceremony will be followed by a free hour of ice skating at The Rink at Wrigley. The full-size skating rink is open to the public and located in the Cubs’ parking lot at the corner of Clark and Waveland. Full press release below:
CHICAGO – The Friendly Confines will add another iconic symbol this holiday season: A 30-foot decorated holiday tree will welcome visitors and ice skaters to Wrigley Field when The Rink at Wrigley opens for its third consecutive year. On November 25, the rink will once again open for public skating due to the generosity of the Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, local businesses and community groups. Patch Landscaping has donated the 30-foot holiday tree.
The full-size skating rink will be available in the Cubs’ parking lot at the corner of Clark and Waveland. The Rink at Wrigley is sponsored by the Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Park District, Westrec Marinas management and Patch Landscaping.
“This ice rink continues to be a popular attraction and we’re happy to open our home again to families across Chicago,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “We know Wrigley Field can be active all year, and with partnerships like these, we can continue to provide fun and innovative activities that enhance the quality of life for residents.”
The Rink at Wrigley will be open beginning November 25, 2011, through February 26, 2012. The rink is open Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to The Rink at Wrigley is $5 per adult and $3 per child Monday through Thursday, and $10 per adult and $6 per child Friday through Sunday. Season passes are available for $60. Skate rentals will be available for an additional fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children Monday through Thursday, and $10 for adults and $5 for children Friday through Sunday. Proceeds help offset the cost of the rink.
A Grand Opening celebration is planned in coordination with the lighting of the decorated holiday tree near the Wrigley Field Marquee on Saturday, December 3, at 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.rinkatwrigley.com.
Don’t miss your chance to hear from the new Cubs baseball leadership yourself: Cubs Convention individual passes go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. Central.
New President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein will communicate his vision directly to fans and take questions. Current and former Cubs players and coaches also will be on hand for a variety of panels on the past, present and future of the organization. And the same great autograph and photo opportunities make for baseball’s ultimate offseason celebration.
The 2012 Convention will feature enhanced layouts and new family-friendly exhibits, including an interactive baseball area hosted by the Illinois Baseball Academy, a gaming zone and the LEGOLAND Discovery Zone.
More info: The 27th annual Cubs Convention will take place on Friday, Jan. 13, through Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan Ave.).
Ryan Dempster holds his daughter, Riley, at the 2011 Dempster Family Casino Night. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Since the Dempster Family Foundation was launched last year, we at Vine Line have been amazed by the effort and hard work that Ryan and his wife, Jenny, have put into the cause. Both have followed through on their goal to raise $2 million in two years to help strike out DiGeorge syndrome, and Cubs fans across the nation have responded with incredible support.
You can show your support of the Dempsters’ hard work, too, by voting Ryan for the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award and checking out some of the great events coming up this offseason at the foundation’s website.