2011 Chicago Cubs Convention

Cubs fans where able to catch a head start on the 2011 Major League Baseball season at last weekend’s 26th annual Cubs Convention, which started Friday Jan. 14th and ended Jan. 16th.

With about four weeks remaining before pitchers and catchers are to report for spring training, Cubs fans had a chance to get an inside look at the team and what maybe expected when this years’ season kicks off.

Hosted at the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue, some of the main events included the Ricketts family forum, a meet and greet with new manager Mike Quade, and a remembrance for the late Ron Santo.

Throughout the weekend there where plenty of current and former players on hand for pictures and autographs.

However, more important then the pictures and autographs, was what fans where able to learn about this seasons team.

A few things Cubs Fans learned :

◆ Ron Santo, the legendary third baseman and broadcaster, who passed away last month, will be deeply missed and not forgotten. Wrigley Field will become the home of a statue of Santo on Aug. 10. Tributes over the weekend were among the very best.

◆ Jim Hendry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Chairman Tom Ricketts told criticals fans during a Q-and-A session, “Over the past year, I’ve had growing confidence in Jim to be honest.”

◆ If you want a player on the roster with the ability to shrug off the 102-year thing, go get him from the Rays, as the Chicago Cubs did with Matt Garza. “I came from a team that didn’t win forever; a few years before I got there, they didn’t exist,’’ said Garza, the American League Championship Series MVP for the Rays in their World Series season of 2008.

◆ Tyler Colvin is still standing after last September’s broken-bat incident. Cubs fans got their first upright look at the young outfielder the incident that left him impaled and hospitalized with a punctured lung.

◆  Some fans will go lengths to get autographs. When it came to getting an Aramis Ramirez autograph, fans created fake “lottery tickets” in order to win a contest to gain the players signature.

◆The Chicago team hasn’t given up on trying to find a place to put a video board, looking at locations outside the field, including billboards locations.