This year’s 34th annual Cubs Convention is only my fifth convention. After attending my first convention in 2015, I told my buddy Dave that I’ll be back each and every year.
It has become a favorite event each year. When I encounter first timers and they ask for advice, I tell them to take it all in. Don’t plan out the weekend. If you are a first time attendee, I will say Opening Ceremonies on Friday evening, and Cubs Bingo on Saturday night are must-see attractions. Everything else is up for debate.
Both of the previously mentioned events will be packed and you will have long waits for doors to open. Wear comfortable shoes, expect a long wait. Full disclosure: I skipped bingo for the first time last year and very happy I did. Most likely I will be skipping out again this weekend.
Don’t expect to get up close and personal with Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. You’ll likely only get glimpses of the big name current roster players during Friday’s opening ceremonies. You can expect to see a lot of the Cubs alumni milling about. Guys like Steve Trout, Pete LaCock, Bob Dernier, and Jody Davis are seen often around the hotel lobby and bar area throughout the weekend.
I wanted to go back in time and view my experience from that first event (for me) in 2015. Here are my tweets through that convention.
It’s like Planes, Trains, and automobiles for me getting to the downtown Sheraton in Chicago…even though I’m just 2.5 hours away. I drive from Madison, Wisconsin to Harvard, Illinois and board the Metra. The Metra takes me to downtown Chicago, where I hail a taxi to take me to the convention.
Admittedly, I ran into some great beginner’s luck at the 2015 Cubs Convention running into Ryan Dempster in the lobby near the elevators. He was very gracious and signed for everybody.
We started a tradition on the first day of the convention. After checking in, settling in, and doing a round through the vendor area, we walk over to the Billy Goat Tavern or a mid-afternoon lunch.
I’ve always been a people watcher, and enjoy the different jerseys people wear, or overhearing funny comments.
After opening ceremonies, it was a quick jaunt to Harry Caray’s for Kerry Wood’s Woody’s Winter Warmup fundraiser. What a night we had. We bellied up to the bar and staked claim to our spot most of the night. One woman to my left knocked over a glass of red wine. All over my phone! Wood himself saved the day with a bar towel.
While I didn’t snap a picture of Kerry saving my cell phone, he was generous enough to pose for a goofy photo.
I don’t attend too many of the panels these days (as I stand in autograph lines), you do get to hear some good stuff. Jon Lester made a comment on his hitting in 2015.
Oh yeah….here’s another tip. Bring your own food and drinks. It’s a bit pricey inside the convention.
Many people dress up and have some outstanding Cubs costumes.
As mentioned before, it can get crowded and you’ll wait a while to get into the popular events, such as Saturday night’s Cubs Bingo.
A fun time for my first convention in 2015. Happy I went, and continue to attend.