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2014 Cubs Convention

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Pat Hughes, play-by-play announcer for the Cubs, is joined by new Cubs analyst, Ron Coomer. Hughes gives a “Gilligan’s Island” baseball fantasy team lineup, Coomer looks forward to his new position, and the two talk about what it will be like spending so much time together.

They’ll be at the Cubs Convention this weekend.

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WGN Radio’s new Cubs broadcast team Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer. (WGN Radio)

Clark, the newly-introduced Chicago Cubs mascot, joined more than a dozen prospects in the Cubs Rookie Development Program to visit children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center. Together, they helped reinforce positive activities being taught to children with autism and other developmental challenges.

Clark was joined at Advocate Illinois Masonic by Cubs prospects Albert Almora, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Eric Jokisch, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, Armando Rivero, Rubi Silva, Jorge Soler, Christian Villanueva and Arodys Vizcaino.

The players divided into four rooms and hosted activities for the children and their siblings, including an interview room where kids asked questions of players and practiced social skills; a reading room where players and kids looked at pictures of Wrigley Field and read stories about baseball; a game room where kids practiced sportsmanship in matches against their Cubs counterparts; and a gym where Clark and players stressed the importance of learning from others through pre-activity stretching drills and practiced motor activity skills during a ball-toss drill.

The Cubs and Advocate Illinois Masonic structured the visit to reinforce positive activities already being taught as part of the hospital’s autism and social skills treatment program. In return, players in the Cubs Rookie Development Program were able to experience the positive community interaction expected of players at the Major League level, and specifically, as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Clark’s debut added an extra learning opportunity, as kids spent the week leading up to the event learning about baseball and mascots in preparation for his special visit.

“Advocate Health Care and the Chicago Cubs share a commitment to enhancing the wellness of our communities. This event is a great example of two caring brands working together to raise awareness about autism and other developmental challenges while providing a fun experience for our young patients and their dedicated caregivers,” said Kelly Jo Golson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Advocate Health Care.

This Thursday, Clark will join the Cubs 100 Gifts of Service 2014 Caravan Tour of players, coaches and front office personnel. He will visit the Casals School of Excellence in Humboldt Park to interact with kids and help Cubs associates paint murals, build benches and cabinets for reading spaces, and redesign a room for academic tutoring.

Players in the Cubs Rookie Development Program will conclude their weeklong program in Chicago, then meet and greet with fans, sign autographs and take photos at this weekend’s Cubs Convention.

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Children hug new Cubs mascot, Clark, at Advocate Illinois Masonic’s Pediatric Developmental Center in Chicago on January 13, 2014. (Steve Green/Chicago Cubs)

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Clark (Chicago Cubs image)

The Chicago Cubs will introduce the first official team mascot in modern history this evening during a visit with children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Pediatric Developmental Center. Clark, a young, friendly Cub, will make his rookie debut in the community alongside more than a dozen Cubs prospects enrolled in the Cubs Rookie Development Program. Together, they will help reinforce positive activities being taught to children with autism and other developmental challenges.

“The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team’s official mascot,” said Cubs Senior Director of Marketing Alison Miller. “Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can’t wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans. He’ll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community.”

After consistently hearing through survey feedback and fan interviews that the Cubs and Wrigley Field needed more family-friendly entertainment, the team surveyed fans and held focus groups with fans of different ages to determine the interest and benefits of introducing an official mascot. The appetite for more family-friendly initiatives became clear, and the concept of a mascot who interacts in the community, engages with young fans and is respectful of the game was widely supported.

Clark will serve that very role as a champion for Cubs Charities’ mission of targeting improvements in health and wellness, fitness and education for children and families at risk. Young fans will see him at schools during Cubs Caravan or Cubs on the Move Fitness Program visits; hospital appearances like his debut visit to Advocate Illinois Masonic; and a number of family-focused Cubs events such as Cubs Convention or Catch in the Confines.

Before and during games, Clark will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field and stop by the Wrigley Field First Timers Booth to welcome new guests. On Family Sundays, he will help kids run the bases following the game. Most of the time, Clark will welcome fans to Clark’s Clubhouse at Wrigley Field, where families can make a special visit as they please.

Fans will be able to interact with Clark on Twitter and Facebook as well, though he is still learning how to post on social media with his paws.

Clark’s Clubhouse:

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Clark (Chicago Cubs image)

Following tonight’s appearance at Advocate Illinois Masonic, Clark will prepare his temporary Clubhouse at Sheraton Chicago for this weekend’s Cubs Convention. There, he’ll interact with young Cubs fans throughout the weekend while hosting traditional kids-related Convention activities.

Clark’s Clubhouse will permanently reside at Wrigley Field, where he’ll spend most of his time during Cubs home games. Young fans may see Clark on the field when it’s time for them to run the bases after games on Sundays, but you won’t find this bear shooting T-shirt guns, riding an ATV around the warning track or disrupting fans’ views of the field during the game. Families and children are encouraged to visit Clark in his new home next time they visit Wrigley Field.

Clark’s Backstory:

Clark was born loving the Cubs. His great-grandbear Joa was the team’s original live bear mascot back in 1916. When Joa retired to the Lincoln Park Zoo, he delighted the young bears with amazing Cubs stories and Clark was hooked! One day, Clark heard the roar of the crowd coming all the way from Wrigleyville, so he followed the sound to Wrigley Field—just in time to see the Cubs raise the ‘W’ flag.

Inspired by Clark’s enthusiasm and love of all things Cubs, the team invited him to continue the family tradition and become their official mascot! Soon, he’ll receive his very own Clubhouse. Clark’s favorite thing to do is hang out around the ballpark, keeping spirits high and kids excited.

For more information about Clark, please visit www.cubs.com/clark.

2014CubsConventionLogoHere’s the WGN Radio event line-up for the 2014 Chicago Cubs Convention, January 17-19 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. All of these events are in Ballrooms VIII, IX and X. Saturday afternoon’s Sports Central will be a live radio broadcast. All other sessions will be recorded for later broadcast or online use. Details subject to change.

Friday:
7-9pm The David Kaplan Show

Join the broadcast of WGN Radio’s The David Kaplan Show to talk with some of the weekend’s most popular Cubs.  This is your chance to hear directly from some of the players, coaches and key front office personnel in the Cubs organization and find out what they’re looking forward to in 2014.
7:00- 7:30- Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer
7:30- 8:00- Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz
8:00- 8:30- Edwin Jackson, Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood
8:30- 9:00- Rick Renteria and TBA

Saturday:
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Meet the Cubs Baseball Management
Get your questions answered from the men in charge.  Join WGN Radio’s Steve Cochran and Andrea Darlas as they sit down with President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, Executive Vice President/General Manager Jed Hoyer, Assistant General Manager Randy Bush and Assistant General Manager Shiraz Rehman.  Hear what lies ahead for the 2014 season from Cubs Baseball Management.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Scouting & Player Development
Ever wonder why a player is drafted above another or why some guys move quickly through the Minor League system? Listen to members of the Scouting and Player Development staff as they discuss some of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Hosted by WGN Radio’s Judd Sirott and Jordan Bernfield.

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. For Kids Only Press Conference, presented by Advocate
This always memorable hour-long session is for the kids! Hosted by WGN Radio’s Bill Leff, this fun segment allows kids to take charge and ask the questions. Come listen to Jake Arrieta, Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo, Nate Schierholtz and Travis Wood answer some entertaining questions, as well as give advice to these youngsters about how to become future big-league stars.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Not for Women Only
WGN Radio’s Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey are back for a Convention favorite.  Listen in on what they ask your favorite players about life off the field—nothing’s too personal for these two!  Joining fans for this session will include James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Pedro Strop and Ryan Sweeney.

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. WGN Radio’s Sports Central LIVE!
WGN Radio’s Jim Memolo and Glen Kozlowski bring their Sports Central show to the Sheraton Chicago for a live broadcast with some of your favorite current Cubs and alumni.  They’re covering all the offseason moves, as well as what to look forward to with the 2014 team.
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.        Villanueva
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.        Rizzo / Castro
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.        Arrieta / Samardzija
5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.        Schierholtz / Murphy

Weekend passes and hotel packages are still available!  Click here for details.

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