I’m back in Urbana, resting up after a wild weekend of Cub fun. Let’s start with some pictures.
HOFer Fergie Jenkins was signing autographs at his booth. He did this for a donation towards his foundation which is supposed to help research diabetes. Fergie did his stint during the weekend signing autographs for free, too.
This is a slice of the hall of the room they used for the autograph queues. At the very far end was where the baseball celebs would sit and us plebes would be queued around ropes. Needless to say, when players like Carlos Zambrano were up, these lines would fill quickly then go out the door, down the hallway, around the corner, then down THAT hall.
As you can see, they had television displays all around showing Cubs highlights. Which is all well and good. But it seems every time I looked up, I’d see the clip of Derrek Lee injuring his wrist. I wondered if they could have edited that out. Not good for Cub Nation morale.
Jody Davis signing autographs. I waited longest to get Jody’s autograph. That’s not to say there were longer lines. It’s just to say that I was willing to put up with Jody’s line enough to get his.
If by the photo you think that Jody appears pretty likable, I don’t think you would be too far off the mark. He seemed to have a friendly demeanor towards the fans. I tend to not hold too much against the players if they don’t get all gushy and personable during these appearances. They get shuffled from autograph signings to speeches to photo shoots so I’m sure it’s hard to maintain friendliness for the thousands of people they see.
But when they do, it’s pretty cool.
I apologize for the quality of the photo (damn camera). This was at the Boys of Zimmer talk. (L toR, Dwight Smith, Jerome Walton, Mike Bilecki, and Mark Grace). Also appearing in the session was Les Lancaster, Ryne Sandberg, and Doug Dascenzo. Hosted by Wayne Messmer,
This was very enjoyable. Essentially, it relived the year the Cubbies made the playoffs under Don Zimmer in 1989. This year’s convention was big because it was Grace’s first one since 2001.
Dwight Smith, in my opinion, was the most interesting. He was funny and had the most stories to tell.
There was this man sitting at a table with a pen in his hand but not signing anything. I nudged a fellow Cub fan and asked, “Who’s that?”
“That’s Ivan DeJesus!”
Ivan DeJesus ready to sign autographs and no one taking?? So I looked for something for him to sign. Not finding anything, I just had him sign my convention badge,
It took a long while for people to realize that the man we traded for Sandberg (and an All-Star shortstop in his own right) was sitting there with no line,
Back to the Locker Room where the day before, Zambrano’s shoes brought $375 in an auction for Cubscare. I walked by the room and heard “3300!” I went in and asked one of the staff members what was going on. This time it was Greg Maddux’ signed and worn jersey. It ultimately went for $4000.
This is the Cubs Quintet. They’ve been together for some 35 years.
Banks is a class act. Despite the fact it was late, and everyone (especially the staff) wanted to finish up, he broke the rules and allowed this lady to get her sister’s photo taken with him. She apparently has cancer. -2 points to person in line who shouted, “Hey, I have cancer, too!”
You can’t see it but those are tears on her face.