Recapping Cubs Con: Day One

I already sense that this is going to be one of those posts that doesn’t possess a tenth of the information/brilliantly worded thoughts that I envision starting out (not that 99% of all my posts don’t end up the exact same way.) It was my intention to take excellent notes during the events, have tons of great photos, AND provide a wealth of insight via Twitter. As it turns out, doing all three of those things at once isn’t so easy. Now that the convention is over, I am left with a piddly collection of scrawled out notes, a handful of mostly blurry pictures, and hardly any tweets at all on the subject. Fortunately (for me, at least) I’ve got plenty of sweet memories to make reflecting on this annual event worthwhile. And I hope to offer you all the least little taste of what the experience was like.

Enjoy my disjointed recap…

Day One:

The first few hours of registering and wandering around the halls of the Chicago Hilton are hardly worth recounting, so I’ll just go ahead and skip to the Opening Ceremonies. Pat Hughes acted as emcee, and the environment in the Grand Ballroom was decidedly electric. Popular opinion seemed to be that attendance was down this year, but you could have fooled me… the room was packed. Introductions began with the broadcasting guys, then went on to team execs, former players, future players, and finally to the Cubs current squad. The fans offered a nice welcome to all the new guys (there are more than a few of those), especially to skipper Dale Sveum, and lots of love to the old-timers. If applause is a popularity indicator (and I think in this case we must agree that it is), the most-loved current Cubs would have to include  Darwin Barney, Tony Campanarama, Reed Johnson, and Starlin Castro. The ovation for Theo Epstein was enormous, with chants of “The-o! The-o! The-o!” breaking out. The response for the last introduction of all left these previous ones in the dust. When all acknowledged attendees had been introduced and Pat then said, “And I’ve got some breaking news…” the crowd went absolutely wild. We knew in a heartbeat what that meant, and the rest of Pat’s intro for our most beloved Kerry Wood was lost in the din. It was the clear-cut highlight of the evening, and probably the entire weekend.

After the ceremony was over, we headed downstairs to participate in the “Autograph Treasure Hunt”. This is a misleading title, as there was little treasure and no hunting involved. Basically what one did was to wait in one’s choice of long, snaking lines to receive the autograph of a player-to-be-named-later. We waited about an hour for our mystery-player (who turned out to be former-Cub Jon Lieber). I mean no slight to Mr. Lieber (who was every bit the gentlemen, even if he did show up late) but it was hardly worth our while. We ended up missing our train, ending day #1 on a less-than-pleasant note (not that it wasn’t still a great day). 

Day #2 holds a few more tales…


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