Results tagged ‘ 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.
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.).
While DJ LeMahieu wasn’t truly called up to Chicago until Monday, he got his first taste of the big leagues back in January, as a part of the Cubs Caravan and Cubs Convention. Vine Line trailed the 2009 second-round pick through a chilly week and published his first-hand experience this past March. The following are a few tidbits from that Cubs Crossover story.
“Obviously it’s fun when people recognize you, but being around some of the big-league guys in Arizona and in Chicago, you kind of get a taste of how they live and what they go through. That comes with being a ballplayer, and it’s something I look forward to.”
“We did a Q&A session at a music and arts school. They did a presentation for us and sang some songs. You were once in their shoes as a kid, and now I’m in the Cubs organization playing professional baseball. It was great to see how excited they were when Cubs players come see them.”
It was another jam-packed Cubs Convention weekend — meeting readers at the Vine Line booth in the exhibition hall, hosting sessions on online media and the farm system, and volunteering in the batting cages to demonstrate wheelchair softball with the RIC Cubs — and another great opportunity to get a pulse of the Chicago Cubs and our fanbase. Thanks to everyone who said hi and made it another special weekend!
In the midst of all that, I had the opportunity to listen to Saturday afternoon’s presentation on Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter. Len Kasper moderated the discussion with Big Z and Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
One thing struck me most: After seeing the session with the 1984 Cubs earlier in the day, I realized that 25 years later, Big Z’s no-hitter now might be the defining moment for a new generation of Cubs fans. During the Q&A, several fans were on the verge of tears and relayed their stories of watching the game on TV or traveling on a whim to Milwaukee. The Carlos Zambrano no-hitter Vine Line cover received the most comments at our booth.
We all hope that Z’s no-no is not the peak of this Cubs era, but it is nice to see a new narrative that can sit alongside 1984 and 1969 at future Cubs Conventions.
Other notes from the session:
? Big Z was asked about keepsakes he had from the game. He replied, “My uniform, glove, shoes … I will have those in my house probably until I die.”
? There was an extensive discussion of how bullpen warm-ups translate to the game. Carlos had said that he felt great in the bullpen and that, when he heard the game would be played in Milwaukee, he knew the fans would make it feel like a home game. Larry said that he had really great, heavy stuff warming up. But both said that doesn’t necessarily translate into a good start …
Rothschild: “Sometimes, guys think they have good enough stuff if they throw well in the bullpen, so they don’t turn it up a level in the game.”
Zambrano: “One day against Milwaukee, I was throwing 120 [mph] in the bullpen. [Everyone laughs.] Seriously. I was throwing my fastball nice and easy, and it was going, ‘HAHH! HAHH!’ And it was the shortest outing of my career. [Laughs.]“
? Len, who of course did a phenomenal job moderating the session, became the sideshow when one fan berated him for uttering the phrase “no-hitter” when exiting a late inning. Saying she has been watching games since 1945, she pleaded with him never to utter the phrase during an active one again. Larry agreed and was pleased to get some support on the point, as he and Len have been going back and forth on the idea of jinxing a no-hitter. Len tried to defend himself by saying, “Well, he threw it, didn’t he??”
? But the funniest moment came when a fan asked if Carlos was hoping to bat in the top of the ninth or if he wanted to be rested going into the last three outs. Carlos’ reply? “What do you think?”
– Sean Ahmed