Wrigley film to be featured at Cubs Convention
Three-day fan fest also to include autograph sessions, Q&A's and more
CHICAGO -- New Cubs manager Rick Renteria will introduce his coaching staff, fans can ask Theo Epstein questions and find out about up-and-coming prospects, plus get a sneak peek at the film, "100 Years of Wrigley Field," at the Cubs Convention, to be held next weekend.
The three-day winter fan fest will be held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, starting next Friday, with opening ceremonies for the 29th annual event at 6 p.m. CT.
Friday will mark the premiere of MLB Productions' "100 Years of Wrigley Field" movie. The film, which will be released to the public in February, celebrates the history of the ballpark, which marks its 100th anniversary this year.
Wrigley also will be the focus of a "Cubs Jeopardy" game with an alumni team of Billy Williams, Randy Hundley, Ted Lilly, Milt Pappas, and Mike Remlinger facing select members of the 1984 squad, Bobby Dernier, Jay Johnstone, Gary Matthews, Lee Smith and Rick Sutcliffe. How well do these guys know the ballpark they called home? You'll find out.
Renteria and his staff will answer fans' questions during a session when he introduces new coaches Bill Mueller, Mike Brumley, Jose Castro, Eric Hinske, Brandon Hyde, and Gary Jones. Coaches who are returning also will attend, including pitching coach Chris Bosio, Mike Borzello, and Lester Strode.
The following current Cubs are scheduled to attend: Jake Arrieta, Darwin Barney, Welington Castillo, Starlin Castro, Kyuji Fujikawa, Justin Grimm, Edwin Jackson, George Kottaras, Junior Lake, Donnie Murphy, Blake Parker, Brooks Raley, Anthony Rizzo, Hector Rondon, Justin Ruggiano, Chris Rusin, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Nate Schierholtz, Pedro Strop, Ryan Sweeney, Luis Valbuena, Carlos Villanueva, Jose Veras, Travis Wood, and Wesley Wright.
Among the Minor League players expected at the convention will be Arismendy Alcantara, Albert Almora, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Eric Jokisch, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, Armando Rivero, Rubi Silva, Jorge Soler, Christian Villanueva and Arodys Vizcaino.
The Cubs' owners, the Ricketts family -- Tom, Laura, Pete and Todd -- will take part in a forum and answer fans' queries about the team and the future of Wrigley Field. That will be followed by a "Meet Cubs Baseball Management" seminar featuring Epstein, president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer.
Wrigley Field's renovation plans, the television and radio partnerships, and new business opportunities will be discussed during the "Cubs Business Operations Update" on Jan. 18.
This season marks the 30-year anniversary of the 1984 Cubs, and several players from that team will talk about the success they had.
Other Cubs alum scheduled to attend include Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Fergie Jenkins, plus Glenn Beckert, Jim Bullinger, Scott Eyre, Les Lancaster, Derrek Lee, Bill Madlock, Dave Otto, Mark Prior, Scott Sanderson, Dwight Smith, Tim Stoddard, Steve Trout and Kerry Wood.
The Cubs Convention will have a new autograph system to reduce the amount of time fans have spent waiting in lines. This year, an autograph voucher system will be in effect for all players at Stage A on Jan. 18-19. All other autograph stages will run on a first-come, first-served basis, as they have been in the past.
Every attendee will receive a pull tab at Cubs registration. A number of these pull tabs are redeemable for one autograph. The pull tab gives direction as to if and what each attendee has been awarded. If a fan receives access to an autograph on Stage A, they should show up at the time slot listed to be granted access to the line. Only those with the applicable vouchers will be permitted to enter the Stage A session.
Autograph opportunities on all stages are included in the price of admission. In fact, more total player autograph opportunities are available this year than any previous Cubs Convention.
New this year will be chances for fans to have a more personal meet and greet with their favorite players for a donation of $125 for current players and $150 for alumni. The money will be donated to Cubs Charities.
Fans will receive an authentic baseball to be signed, a photo opportunity with the player, and time to ask questions and interact. Spaces are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in receiving more information about this opportunity should visit the Cubs Charities room on the second level at the Sheraton when the convention opens.
2014 Cubs Convention Schedule of Events (all times CT)
Friday, Jan. 17
6-7 p.m., Opening ceremony: Fans can welcome their favorite Cubs of the past, present and future into the 2014 season.
7-10 p.m., The David Kaplan Show: Join the broadcast as WGN Radio's David Kaplan interviews players and management.
7:15-8 p.m., Autograph Hunt Game: Study the map given out at the end of the Opening Ceremony and find the Cubs logos to start collecting. You never know who you'll find, from favorite Cubs alumni to future Cubs stars.
8-10 p.m., Film Premiere, "100 Years of Wrigley Field:" Get a sneak peek at MLB Productions' "100 Years of Wrigley Field." The movie takes a look back at Wrigley's history from 1914 to today through testimonials from former Cubs, celebrities and historians. This exclusive premiere will feature a memorable introduction.
Saturday, Jan. 18
9-10 a.m., Ricketts Family Forum: Tom, Laura, Pete and Todd Ricketts will discuss the future of Wrigley Field and the team. There will be a question/answer session.
10-11 a.m., Meet the Cubs Baseball Management: Epstein, Hoyer, assistant general manager Randy Bush and assistant general manager Shiraz Rehman will answer questions.
10:30-11:30 a.m., Jeopardy, "Wrigley Field 100:" Pat Hughes and Dave Otto will host the special edition. All clues will be based around the history of the balpark. Each team of players will choose a fan to participate with them.
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Scouting & Player Development: Cubs baseball executives Joe Bohringer, Matt Dorey, Jaron Madison and Jason McLeod will discuss the Minor League players.
12-1 p.m., Meet the Rookie Development Program: Fans can meet top prospects, who will discuss what they're looking forward to this year.
12:45-1:45 p.m., For Kids Only Press Conference, presented by AdvocateHealth Care: Kids take charge and have the chance to ask Jake Arrieta, Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo, Nate Schierholtz and Travis Wood questions.
1:30-2:30 p.m., Cubs Business Operations Update: Investing in the long term success of Cubs baseball requires continued growth from all areas of the organization. Hear directly from Cubs management on initiatives underway to grow the amount of resources available for baseball operations, improve the fan experience, and support the Wrigleyville community. Fans will receive updates on the efforts to restore and improve Wrigley Field, the future of Cubs television and radio partnerships and new business opportunities.
2-3 p.m., Not for Women Only: WGN Radio's Kathy O'Malley and Judy Markey join Russell, Samardzija, Strop and Sweeney in a question and answer session.
3-4 p.m., Welcome the New Skipper: Renteria introduces his coaching staff and answers questions from fans.
4-6 p.m., WGN Radio's Sports Central: Join Jim Memolo and Glen Kozlowski in a live broadcast.
4:30-5:30 p.m., Cubs Family Feud: Back for its second year with an updated structure is a Cubs version of the hit game show. One fan will be selected to participate with each team.
6:30-7:30 p.m., Celebrating 100 Years of Wrigley Field: This season promises to be special as Cubs fans celebrate 100 years in Wrigley Field history. Public address announcer Andrew Belleson, scoreboard operator Rick Fuhs, historian Ed Hartig, radio play-by-play broadcaster Pat Hughes, television broadcaster Len Kasper and senior director of marketing Alison Miller will take part.
8-10 p.m., Cubs Bingo, presented by Budweiser: The game will include a 50/50 raffle, live auction, food and beverage options.
Sunday, Jan. 19
9-10 a.m., 30-year anniversary of the 1984 team: Several players from the '84 team will revisit what it was like to play for the Cubs during that season.
10:30-11:30 a.m., Down on the farm: Jaron Madison, director of player development, and McLeod, senior vice president of scouting and player development, will be joined by Justin Grimm and Blake Parker to talk about the Minor League system.
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.