I was surprised by my parents on Tuesday night with an early birthday gift. Cubs Convention weekend passes. I was blown away; I wasn’t expecting it. I had tried so hard to win passes or somehow get media passes. But as the week of the convention came, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go. When I found out I was going, on Tuesday night, I planned my weekend and my weekend was perfect.
Friday morning, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach, my first Cubs Convention. When we got there, we checked in and received a bag filled with goodies: a calendar, 2016 pocket schedules, a convention program, a pull tab that could get you in free to an autograph signing with a big name (unfortunately we didn’t get one), and much more. We made our way around the convention and explored. We visited with vendors and received some free stuff. After we explored, we decided to sit outside the grand ballroom where the opening ceremonies would be held. We waited for hours and then the doors were finally opened. Everyone raced to find a good spot to see the Cubs up close and personal. There was not one empty seat in that room, some people even had to stand in the back because there weren’t enough seats. We were able to find some good seats then we did some more waiting. The opening ceremonies started with a Cubs playoff run video then Tom Ricketts came out to give a little speech before the national anthem. He talked about this past season and this upcoming season. Cubs broadcasters, Cubs greats, Cubs coaches, Cubs prospects, current Cubs players, and last but not least the manager Joe Maddon all graced the stage. After everyone was introduced, they showed a 2015 season highlight video along with hype for the 2016 season (which made me cry and gave me instant chills). After all that, former Cub Ryan Dempster held a talk show segment called “Friday Night with Ryan Dempster.” He made jokes and asked serious questions with his guests. Some of his guests were John Lackey and Jon Lester, Joe Maddon, Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant. Also Jason Heyward. It was a fun two-and-a-half-hour segment.
Saturday was a day filled with player signings and photo ops. It was also filled with a lot of standing and waiting. I was able to meet Javier Baez, Pedro Strop, John Baker, Travis Wood, and Zac Rosscup. I wish I was able to meet more, but I was still happy I had the opportunity to attend this year. We spent all day there, taking everything in.
Sunday was the last day. The convention was only open for 3 hours so we spent it just exploring and getting one last look at everything the convention had to offer. Overall, the weekend was amazing and I was so happy I was able to go. I knew I was excited for the season before, but the convention made me even more excited. If you ever have the opportunity to go to the Cubs Convention, take that opportunity without hesitation. You will not be disappointed. I’m definitely counting down the days till Spring Training.