This weekend, I attended the Cubs convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
Today was the last day, and the sessions only went from 9am-12noon. There were just 2 sessions on the schedule: old timers and the minor leagues. At this point, most of the players and big names have left, so it's a smaller more intimate setting. Again, we did not partake in the autograph lines, but just stuck to the sessions.
Sunday stories: Lee Smith, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Bobby Dernier, Gary Sarge Matthews, and Fergie Jenkins.
This session was essentially story time with the old timers. It was fun. All the guys have great senses of humor, and had a lot of solid stories. If some of those guys are your old favorites, it's very worth a watch.
Down on the Farm: a look at the minor leagues
This session was a focus on the overview of the Cubs minor league system. It was a informationally rich session, where the front office guys were questioned on specifics on the minors. It provided a deeper dive, and also was interesting to hear how the Cubs are trying to revamp the system after it's been picked clean in recent years. There was also time given to specifics like how these teams are trying to keep their players in peak shape by hiring nutritionists. Very cool. If you are into the minors whatsoever, it's a must see. Even if you aren't, it would grab your attention.
After the sessions, I headed back down to vendors to try and find some last minute deals. I found a Kyle Schwarber autographed photo on which I was able to talk the guy down to $35. SWEET! Then my wife tipped me off that Tom Ricketts was signing autographs by the door. So I ran over, got in a short line, and I met him! Super friendly guy. Afterwords we headed upstairs, and I was able to find Bobby Dernier in the Fergie Jenkins charity room. So I met him, got an autograph, and a picture!
I'm really glad we stuck around for day 3. Most people bounce by then, but it was totally worth it between the photo deal, the surprise meetings with Tom and Bobby, and 2 solid sessions. There were stones to overturn, and it paid off!