Champs, trophy due at Cubs Convention

All-Star list of current, former players set to attend 32nd annual fan gathering

Champs, trophy due at Cubs Convention

CHICAGO -- Fans will have a chance to salute manager Joe Maddon, National League Most Valuable Player Kris Bryant and the rest of the 2016 World Series champion Cubs plus take a photo of the Commissioner's Trophy at the 32nd annual Cubs Convention, which opens Friday at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

This year's three-day fan fest will include autograph opportunities, panel discussions, enhanced activities, and convention fan favorites. There will be a designated trophy room where fans can take a photo with the World Series trophy.

Opening ceremonies will be Friday at 6 p.m. CT with player introductions. There will be VIP access for children 16 and under. The first day will conclude with a special "Friday Night with Ryan Dempster show," presented by Budweiser, featuring interviews with Cubs players, coaches and alumni and comedy vignettes.

On Saturday, fans can take part in Cubs Jeopardy as well as sessions with Maddon and his coaching staff, the business operations department, and the Ricketts family.

Seminars on Saturday will include "On the Mound" presented by Wintrust, which will feature Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and Mike Montgomery discussing the 2016 season and looking ahead to '17, "All-Star Infield" presented by Wintrust with Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist and a sit-down with Cubs Legends. The second day will conclude with Cubs Bingo presented by Budweiser and led by Wayne Messmer.

On Sunday, fans can take part in additional autograph sessions plus a seminar on Chicago's Minor League prospects and the 1984 Cubs.

Besides the pitchers and infielders mentioned, the list of confirmed players also includes Albert Almora Jr., Javier Baez, Jeimer Candelario, Willson Contreras, Wade Davis, Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards Jr., Justin Grimm, Jason Heyward, Jon Jay, Jon Lester, Miguel Montero, Felix Pena, Hector Rondon, Jose Rosario, Kyle Schwarber, Pedro Strop, Matt Szczur and Rob Zastryzny.

#THIS: Next year is here, Cubs

Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams headline the list of Cubs alumni who will attend the convention, which also includes John Baker, Jim Bullinger, Jose Cardenal, Lee Smith, Bobby Dernier, Bob Howry, Randy Hundley, Jay Johnstone, Pete LaCock, Ted Lilly, Bill Madlock, Gary Matthews, Sean Marshall, Brian McRae, Dave Otto, Mike Remlinger, David Ross, Glendon Rusch, Scott Sanderson, Dwight Smith, Lee Smith, Tim Stoddard, Steve Trout, Todd Walker and Kerry Wood.

Children will find games, face painting, caricatures, balloon artists, a coloring station, inflatable T-ball and inflatable speed pitch at Clark's Clubhouse.

Cubs Charities will be located on the main lobby floor and feature 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. The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation will host a raffle as well.

A percentage of the proceeds from Cubs Convention passes benefits Cubs Charities, and the event has raised more than $4 million to date.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.