Club 400 is a magical place. Words do not do it justice. You must experience it to understand its magnitude. The best description I can lay out is that it is Disney World for Cubs fans. There is no other place, besides Wrigley Field on a warm summer afternoon, that I want to surround myself with fellow Cubs fans than Club 400.
To give you a better look into Club 400, here’s a feature from NBC Sports Chicago.
It wasn’t until this past January that I paid my first visit for the Bill Buckner/Ray Burris event. You can read about it here. Stewart McVicar (Stu), owner of Club 400, made the announcement that Javier Baez would be making an appearance in May. I was sold. Proceeds from the Baez event benefitted United for Puerto Rico.
Baez has been my favorite Cub since he made his Peoria Chiefs debut in May 2012. I worked for the Chiefs that summer as an audio producer and also filled in on P.A. Announcing. I blogged about my summer of 2012 with the Peoria Chiefs.
I only had a couple interactions with Baez that summer. The only memorable interaction was when I walked back into the stadium with him after he had someone drop him off a bag of McDonald’s before the game. I asked if that was his secret, and he just laughed and said, “yeah.”
In the days leading up to the event at Club 400, I said I would be taking a lot more pictures. Unfortunately, that was not the case, although I did snap a few good ones. There were so many familiar faces to catch up with and new people to meet. Even some of the people that may be unfamiliar are not so, because I feel like I know them already through social media.
The event began at 5:30, and I arrived around 5:20. I wasn’t the only early bird, as the nearest parking spot was about three blocks away. Since this was a large event, a majority of it took place in the backyard. Not your typical backyard.
Check in was in the garage, and you received a swag bag with some goodies. I’ll be putting that coozie to good use this summer.
Here’s a closer look at the signed Baez baseball. I have two other autographed Baez baseballs, but one is faded and the other is dirty (and both from his minor league playing days). Now I have a clean World Series ball for my “ball wall.”
The second coolest piece, in my opinion, was the lanyard. This is one highly professional lanyard. For some reason I have hoarded all lanyards from my media days that are stuffed in a box somewhere. I do keep all Cubs-related lanyards on display.
Before the event took place there several forms of entertainment to keep you occupied including a silent auction. One of the items up for bid was a Javy Baez bag set.
Beer Money was also filming an episode in the backyard.
Before the meet and greet I hung out inside Club 400 for a bit and was able to wish Dorothy a happy birthday. She turned 92 last week.
Then it was time for pictures with Javy.
John Jansky was on hand to do some speed painting. This Baez painting took about 15 minutes and was auctioned off for $2,500.
Then it was time for Baez to take the stage for some Q&A.
Here’s Stu with Javy before the Q&A began.
Kelly Crull and Luke Stuckmeyer hosted the Q&A.
One of the people at the event traveled from Puerto Rico. Steve was also the fan that caught Javy’s home run ball in Game 7 of the World Series. Javy signed it for him.
Another amazing night at Club 400. If you haven’t been, you need to check out the next event with Kyle Schwarber on July 1. Tickets are still available, but limited. You will not regret it.