A Weekend with the Cubs

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Happy Rizzoversary

The 2007 MLB Draft in the sixth round a young future star sat and waited for his name to be called, “The Boston Red Sox select Anthony  Rizzo.” He instantly became a top minor league prospect in the Red Sox organization. In April of 2008, Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He went through chemotherapy for six months and on September 2nd, 2008 Rizzo was told he was in remisson. Rizzo was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2010 with three other players for All-Star Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres invited Rizzo to Spring Training as a non-roster player in 2011. He did not Spring_Training_Game_030611make the Opening Day roster and started the 2011 season in Triple-A with the Tucson Padres. The first 15 games, Rizzo hit .452 with six home runs and 24 RBIs. The day finally came Anthony Rizzo was going to play in a big league game on June 9th, 2011. He struck out his first at bat and then hit a triple and scored a run. He hit his first home run on June 11th against John Lannan.  Heading into January of 2012, Rizzo would be on the move yet again. This time to a city where they bleed Cubbie Blue and are the beating heart of the City of Chicago. Rizzo had a special connection with the Cubs before he was a member of the team. Jed Hoyer, the man who drafted Anthony back in Boston, and the same General Manager who brought him to San Diego decided to bring him to the Windy City. For the 2012 season, Rizzo was with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and he excelled there, hitting a .342 with 23 long balls and 62 RBIs. He was called up to the the Majors on June 26th. Anthony Rizzo became the first player in Chicago Cubs history to hit three game winning RBIs in the first five games. He even hit seven monstrous homers in July, it’s the most by a Cub since Mel Hall, who hit nine in August of 1983. Now after his outstanding season in 2012, Rizzo got paid the following year. He signed a 7-year deal worth 41 million dollars. The contract includes two club options that can make the deal 9 years worth 73 million dollars. anthony-rizzo.vresize.1200.675.high.4

For the 2014 season, Rizzo had one to remember. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. He finished in second place for a Gold Glove and became the youngest player to receive the Branch Rickey Award as “a strong role model for young people”. He also hit 32 home runs which was second in the National League. Now we move on to the season where Rizzo emerged as the caption of the Cubs, the 2015 season. He was an All-Star yet again and participated in his first Home Run Derby. He hit his 100th home run and 300th RBI on September 8th, 2015 against division foe St. Louis Cardinals. Rizzo also joined an elite group of being hit by 30 pitches and hitting 30 home runs, he joins Don Baylor as the only two in MLB history. Rizzo also helped launch the team for the laughing stock of baseball to a Playoff contending team in just a couple of seasons. Anthony Rizzo is the true definition of a Chicago Cub. He gives it his all on the field and off the field as well. Anthony Rizzo, thank you for an amazing four years and we can not wait for this upcoming 2016 season! Happy Rizzoversary!Anthony-Rizzo-5-450x270