CHICAGO -- Andre Dawson, Derrek Lee and Carlos Zambrano will be among the alumni who join current Cubs Kristopher Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber at the 33rd Cubs Convention, which begins Friday.Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams will also attend the three-day event
CHICAGO -- Andre Dawson, Derrek Lee and Carlos Zambrano will be among the alumni who join current Cubs Kristopher Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber at the 33rd Cubs Convention, which begins Friday.
Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams will also attend the three-day event which will be held at the Sheraton Grand Chicago and include autograph opportunities and enhanced kid-friendly activities.
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Opening ceremonies are Friday at 6 p.m. CT, and the first day will conclude with Ryan Dempster's show, featuring interviews with Cubs players, coaches and alumni plus comedy vignettes.
Saturday's schedule includes Cubs Jeopardy, a baseball operations update and a business operations update that was expected to provide fans with the latest on the Wrigley Field renovations. Manager Joe Maddon will introduce his coaching staff, including several new members such as hitting coach Chili Davis and pitching coach Jim Hickey, during a seminar.
Fans also can reminisce with Dawson, Lee, Zambrano and Juan Pierre during a "Welcome Back" panel, while the "Kids Only" news conference presented by Advocate Children's Hospital will be extended 15 minutes to accomodate all of the questions. Young fans also can take part in a pitching clinic with Cubs pitcher Rob Zastryzny on Saturday.
The convention will close Sunday with additional autograph sessions and panels, including a Minor League update and a session remembering broadcasters Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray.
Fans will be able to take photos of historic game-used artifacts from Cubs players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with the 2016 World Series Trophy.
Cubs Charities will have a variety of items and experiences for sale, including private player meet and greets, baseballs, ball cubes, autographed mystery baseballs, grab bags and a garage sale. A percentage of the proceeds from the Cubs Convention passes benefits Cubs Charities. To date, the event has raised more than $4 million for Cubs Charities.
Besides Bryant, Rizzo, Baez and Schwarber, the list of current players scheduled to attend include Albert Almora Jr., Eddie Butler, Victor Caratini, Willson Contreras, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, Ian Happ, Kyle Hendricks, Jason Heyward, Thomas La Stella, Dillon Maples, Alec Mills, Mike Montgomery, Addison Russell, Justin Wilson, Mark Zagunis and Benjamin Zobrist. New additions Tyler Chatwood, Steve Cishek, Luke Farrell and Randy Rosario also will get their first Cubs Convention experience.
Other alumni expected include John Baker, Larry Biittner, Shawn Boskie, Ray Burris, Jose Cardenal, Doug Dascenzo, Jody Davis, David DeJesus, Bobby Dernier, Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill, Bob Howry, Randy Hundley, Jon Lieber, Ted Lilly, Bill Madlock, Sean Marshall, Brian McRae, Matt Murton, Mike Remlinger, Paul Reuschel, David Ross, Glendon Rusch, James Russell, Scott Sanderson, Dwight Smith, Lee Smith, Tim Stoddard, Rick Sutcliffe, Ryan Sweeney and Steve Trout.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.