As a gesture to say “Thank You” to fans for their continued support throughout the season, Brewers players and coaches rode golf carts through the Miller Park parking lots this afternoon shaking hands, saying “Thanks” and tossing t-shirts to tailgating fans.
I was lucky enough to hop on one of the carts and capture some photos along the way. I rode with Craig Counsell, Joe Inglett and Kameron Loe. These guys were having a fun the entire ride through the Yount and Uecker lots at Miller Park. They didn’t want to come back in! The fans were caught off guard and were definitely surprised, but were cheering as we drove by. It was a great experience and unforgettable for the fans and players as well.
Here are some of the pictures I snapped while riding along in the cart.
The golf carts were lined up in the South Dock in the service level. Around 30 carts took six different routes through the various parking lots at Miller Park. Kudos to Katina Shaw, Erica Bowring and the volunteers around the Brewers Front Office who helped make this a smooth operation.
Jonathan Lucroy waves to the camera as he and Brad Fischer get ready to depart.
John Axford waves and he speeds away. He said he was going to throw mostly fastballs when throwing t-shirts to the fans, but hoped to sneak in a curveball or maybe a cutter. I don’t know how that turned out for him, but regardless, I’m sure the fans were happy to see John and the t-shirts.
A very energetic group of Brewers tailgaters enjoyed the visit from Brewers players. This group encouraged our cart to stay for some brats and burgers, but we had more fans to visit. It was pretty hard to resist the offer, the smell of the grill at a Miller Park tailgate party is something that I haven’t experienced in a long time!
Joe Inglett slaps a high five with a young Brewers fan. The look on the faces of the fans as we drove through was great. They were very surprised, but when they figured out what was going on, the cheers kept getting louder.
Joe Inglett called Craig Counsell, a Whitefish Bay native, “The Mayor” as we drove through the lots. He was shaking everybody’s hand to say thanks this afternoon. Throughout the ride, fans yelled Counsell’s name and asked for “One more year.” Truly a fan favorite, Counsell was enjoying himself as we rode around and talked to fans.
The Oconomowoc High School Marching Band received a special surprise as we pulled back into Miller Park. Not only were they cheering loudly as we drove by, but I also heard the deep base of a tuba, smooth sound of a saxaphone and beat of some drums. It was a great way to end the ride.
I hope this becomes a tradition at Miller Park. I could see on the faces of all involved that everyone enjoyed themselves.
With one more game left at Miller Park tomorrow afternoon, this was a great way for fans to show their support for the Brewers and the players to say “Thank you” to the great fans of Milwaukee.
…this bike looks pretty cool.
As a part of the Brewers Fan Appreciation Weekend, one lucky fan will drive away from Saturday’s Brewers-Marlins game on this Harley-Davidson Custom Fat Boy Lo. The Brewers have been using it for the Harley-Davidson first pitch delivery during the last couple games at Miller Park and it is pretty cool.
There are a number of other prizes and giveaways including 2011 Brewers Schedule Magnets to all fans coming out Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as 2010 Team Photo Cards on Saturday.
There are many other surprises in store for Fan Appreciation Weekend, inside the stadium and in the parking lots. If you can’t come out to Miller Park to see some of the surprises, we will share them with you here on the blog. It will be a fun way to close out the Brewers 40th Anniversary Season. I look forward to seeing everyone at Miller Park for the final homestand of 2010! Get your Brewers baseball while you can because it is a long and cold winter!
As we head into the final homestand at Miller Park for 2010, we’re really focused on all of the fans who have supported the team this year (and every year) and how much we appreciate them.
We’re all set for Fan Appreciation Weekend, which begins this Friday and continues on Saturday and Sunday. All fans coming out for those Brewers vs. Marlins game will receive a 2011 Brewers magnetic schedule upon entering Miller Park. Plus, Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night–all fans in attendance will also receive a Brewers team photo card and have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes with random drawings throughout the game. Approximately 50 prizes will be provided to fans through drawings between each half-inning. Prizes will include a variety of Brewers autographed items, restaurant certificates and much more, including a grand prize – a Brewers-themed 2010 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo.
We are looking forward to celebrating the more than 2.7 million fans who passed through our turnstiles this season and in conjunction with this, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate three of our loyal blog readers from the 2010 season.
First up is Thomas. Thomas has been a loyal supporter of the Brewers since 1985. He tells me that his favorite Brewers memories are the Brewers 13-0 start to the 1987 season and Robin Yount’s 3000th hit. In 1993, he took the oath of enlistment for the US Navy at County Stadium prior to the Brewers vs. Cleveland Indians game.
His favorite players are Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas, Lorenzo Cain, Yovani Gallardo and Trevor Hoffman.
Scott, Matt and Jack
Scott has been a Brewers fan his whole life and met his wife, Julie, who was a lifelong Cubs fan, at Wrigley Field. Scott, Julie and their 11-year-old triplets Jack, Matt and Elizabeth, attended a couple games a year until just prior to the 2008 season when they decided to get 9-packs. During that season, Julie converted to become a Brewers fan and she hasn’t looked back.
“The best part of the Miller Park experience is the family-friendly atmosphere,” Scott said.
Last but certainly not least, we have Nicole. Nicole is a huge Brewers fan. She tells me she has memorabilia on her walls and tons of Brewers clothing and accessories. She works at a coffee shop on the UW-Madison campus and whenever someone comes in wearing Brewers gear, she likes to compliment them on their great style.
She tells me, “I may not have as many years of being a Brewers fan as some of the other fans, but I have a love and passion for the Brewers, as well as baseball, that will match any seasoned-veteran.”
That sounds like a challenge to me! Send us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might just feature you in our next post this week!
Thank you Thomas, Scott and Nicole for being such great Brewers fans and for sharing your stories with me last week. We hope to see you and our other readers at Miller Park this weekend and again in 2011!
With just under three weeks left in the 2010 season, the Brewers and MLB announced the 2011 season schedule just a few minutes ago.
Mark your calendars for the Monday, April 4 for the Brewers home opener vs. Atlanta at 1:10 p.m. The home opener is always the unofficial start of spring in Milwaukee. Hopefully we will be able to have the roof open for the home opener again next year!
Here are some other notes and highlights on the 2011 schedule:
– The team will open in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 31.
– The home opener on April 4 will kick off a seven-game homestand against the Braves (April 4 – 7) and the Chicago Cubs (April 8 – 10).
– The Brewers Interleague schedule will feature 15 straight games against American League opponents beginning with a three-game series in Boston (June 17 – 19). The Brewers will also face Tampa Bay (June 20 – 22) and Minnesota (June 24 – 26) at Miller Park. The Brewers will then travel to New York City for a three-game set against the Yankees (June 28 – 30) and a rematch with the Twins in Minneapolis (July 1 – 3). If the season ended today, the Yankees, Rays and Twins would all make the Playoffs, meaning the Interleague schedule will be quite challenging for the Brewers.
– This will be the first time the Brewers play the Yankees in New York as a National League franchise, they last played in New York in 1997, their last year in the American League.
– Tampa Bay has yet to play at Miller Park and following the series with the Rays, the only Major League Baseball team not to play at Miller Park since it opened will be the Oakland A’s
– The Brewers will host two nine-game homestands during the 2011 season. The Brewers will face Colorado (May 20 – 22), Washington (May 23 – 25) and San Francisco (May 27 – 29) in their first nine-gamer and Chicago-NL (July 26 – 28), Houston (July 29 – 31) and St. Louis (August 1 – 3) in their second.
– Following the All-Star Break–July 11 – 13–the Brewers will embark on the longest road trip of the season totaling 11 games. The trip will start with four games in Colorado (July 14 – 17), continue with four-games in Arizona (July 18 – 21) and conclude with three games in San Francisco (July 22 – 24). The 11-game road trip marks the longest Brewers trip since July 15 – 25, 2004 when the Brewers had an 11-game trip to Chicago-NL, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Houston.
– The team will also have a 10-game trip that will take place in Houston (April 29 – May 1), Atlanta (May 2 – 5) and St. Louis (May 6 – 8).
– The Brewers will play two home games on holidays in 2011–Easter Sunday, April 24 vs. Houston at 1:10 p.m., and on the Fourth of July against Arizona at 3:10 p.m.
– Home game times for the 2011 season will again be 7:10 p.m. for night games Monday – Friday; 6:10 p.m. for Saturday games; 1:10 p.m. for most day games (except weekday, day games in April and May which will start at 12:10 or 12:40 p.m., and July 4 and September 1 which will start at 3:10 p.m.). All game dates and times are subject to change.
The Brewers will hand out 2011 magnetic schedules to all fans in attendance at Miller Park during Fan Appreciation Weekend, September 24 – 26. Road game times will be announced at a later date. Also, the 2011 Spring Training schedule will be announced at a later date. Stay tuned to brewers.com for details on that news.
The complete 2011 Brewers schedule can be found here.
March: 31 — at Cincinnati.
April: 2-3 — at Cincinnati; 4-7 — vs. Atlanta; 8-10 — vs. Chicago Cubs; 12-14 — at Pittsburgh; 15-17 — at Washington; 18-20 — at Philadelphia; 22-24 — vs. Houston; 25-27 — vs Cincinnati; 29-30 — at Houston.
May: 1 — at Houston; 2-4 — at Atlanta; 6-8 — at St. Louis; 9-11 — vs. San Diego; 13-15 — vs. Pittsburgh; 16-19 — at San Diego; 20-22 — vs. Colorado; 23-25 — vs. Washington; 27-29 — vs. San Francisco; 30-31 — at Cincinnati.
June: 1 — at Cincinnati; 3-5 — at Florida; 7-9 — vs. New York Mets; 10-12 — vs. St. Louis; 13-16 — at Chicago Cubs; 17-19 — at Boston; 20-22 — vs. Tampa Bay; 24-26 — vs. Minnesota; 28-30 — at New York Yankees.
July: 1-3 — at Minnesota; 4-6 — vs. Arizona; 7-10 — vs. Cincinnati; 12 — All-Star Game (at Arizona); 14-17 — at Colorado; 18-21 — at Arizona; 22-24 — at San Francisco; 26-28 — vs. Chicago Cubs; 29-31 — vs. Houston.
August: 1-3 — vs. St. Louis; 5-7 — at Houston; 9-11 — at St. Louis; 12-14 — at Pittsburgh; 15-18 — vs. Los Angeles Dodgers; 19-21 — at New York Mets; 22-24 — at Pittsburgh; 26-28 — vs. Chicago Cubs; 30-31 — vs. St. Louis.
September: 1 — vs. St. Louis; 2-4 — at Houston; 5-7 — at St. Louis; 8-11 — vs. Philadelphia; 13-14 — vs. Colorado; 16-18 — at Cincinnati; 19-21 — at Chicago Cubs; 23-25 — vs. Florida; 26-28 — vs. Pittsburgh.
Hey Blog Readers!
If you’re a Brewers fan who is going to be at one of the Brewers vs. Cubs games this Saturday or Sunday (Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12), listen up!
Scott Paulus, our team photographer, is going to be holding a special photo shoot prior to these two games. Our marketing interns will be making their way through the parking lots and the stands to select the biggest Brewers fans to come get their photos taken. Our goal is to continue to build upon our library of fan shots. If you’re selected, there is a chance that you may turn up in one of our advertisements or on our collateral!
And… since we love our loyal readers, we’re giving you a special opportunity!
If you are going to be at one of these games, please e-mail me at JohnandCait@brewers.com BY NOON CST TOMORROW (Saturday, September 11) and let me know which game you are attending and why I should choose you!
I will be selecting three blog readers to get their pictures taken at this shoot and I will respond to you with instructions on where to meet me and what you need to do. Not only is there a chance that you may turn up in our future advertising efforts or collateral, but I will make sure I post your photo from the shoot on the blog in the coming weeks!
I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully, meeting some of you this weekend!
As the Brewers 40th Anniversary season winds down, the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park is offering fans a great opportunity for a great keepsake. Beginning tomorrow, fans spending $75 or more at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic will receive a copy of the 2010 Brewers Yearbook absolutely FREE. The regular retail price is $10.
If you haven’t already picked up your copy of the book, this is a great opportunity. My colleague Ken Spindler, Brewers Coordinator of Media Relations spent many long hours making sure this was the best Brewers year book ever. Meredith Malone, Brewers Communications and Brewers Community Foundation Coordinator, served as co-editor for the book.
Dennis Sell, part of the Miller Park Gamenight Scoreboard Crew and collector of all things Brewers history, provided a lot of insight on the historical perspective. Sell has an amazing collection of Brewers artifacts and was instrumental in helping me get the Brewers Museum at Brewers On Deck together. Mario Ziino, former Brewers Public Relations Director was also on the team that made the 40th Anniversary Yearbook a true collector’s item.
“We really wanted to capture a lot of the history with it being the 40th Anniversary of the team,” Spindler said. “Looking back, this is the most extensive and complete Brewers yearbook to date. We included every Brewers team photo which will make for many great memories from all Brewers fans.”
The 2010 yearbook has around 180 pages of articles, photos and other Brewers information–50 more pages than last year. In addition to the historical element of the yearbook, it includes photos of the current team and photos of every player in the Brewers Minor League system–from Rookie Ball through the Big Leagues. A number of articles about current players as well as the Brewers Farm System are also included in the yearbook.
Much like we did with the 2010 Brewers Media Guide, the 2010 Brewers Yearbook includes a spread with pictures of every previous Brewers Yearbook cover. The cover of the 2010 Brewers Yearbook features a collage of Brewers past and present including George Pollard drawings of Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Hank Aaron and Rollie Fingers.
Speaking of the Brewers Team Store by Majestic, remember that the new shipment of Trevor Hoffman 600 Saves t-shirts is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. If you already picked up your voucher, you can redeem that beginning on Monday at Miller Park. Keep in mind that these shirts are ONLY available at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park and will not be sold online or at any other retailers.
In addition, a series of limited edition “600 Saves” Lithographs are being produced and will be available for purchase in the Team Store. Fewer than 150 will be available to the public. The Lithograph is the same artwork that was presented to Hoffman by the Brewers to recognize the 600th save. The painting was created by noted artist Janet Olney. There will be only 51 copies (representing his uniform number) autographed and numbered by Trevor Hoffman (unframed are $250 each; framed are $500). Only 60 prints not autographed and not framed ($25 each) will also be available.
Last night was filled with special memories at Miller Park. Although much of it became somewhat of a blur with everything going on, it is certainly a night I will remember for the rest of my life. It started as a normal Tuesday here at Miller Park. I was just going through my normal routine to prepare for the game, as the game carried on, it seemed as though we were setting ourselves up for history.
Mike Vassallo, Ken Spindler, Tyler Barnes and I had kind of talked about a plan to handle Trevor Hoffman’s 600th save from a Media Relations end, but you don’t want to plan too much in these situations. Sometimes you just have to let them happen. When Trevor started warming up in the bullpen we knew we had to be ready to go.
The Brewers bullpen watches with excitement as Trevor Hoffman enters the game in the 9th inning of last night’s game. The bullpen is a close knit group and you can see in this picture how excited they were for Hoffman’s big moment. (Photo: Scott Paulus)
We knew in advance that Trevor wanted his family with him on the field following the game so I went down to talk to Trevor’s wife, Tracy, and his three sons–Brody (14), Quinn (turned 13 today) and Wyatt (11). I didn’t want to jinx anything, but I wanted to make sure they were aware of the plan. Sure enough, as I’m telling them the plan, Colby Rasmus leads off the inning with a single, bringing the tying run to the plate.
A sigh of relief came over when the next batter, pinch hitter Randy Winn, grounded into a double play. It was at that point that I was sure Trevor was going to close this one out and 33,149 Brewers fans at Miller Park were going to witness history.
I ran down to the clubhouse where I met Vassallo who was waiting in the tunnel leading to the dugout watching the end of the game. We reviewed our plan just to make sure everyone was ready to go. I would help get Trevor’s family on the field; we would let the players and Trevor celebrate on the field, then grab Trevor for a number of postgame interviews. This was the order we had set: FS Wisconsin, MLB Network, our flagship radio station Newsradio 620 WTMJ, the Media Interview Room to talk to our local writers and finally, ESPN Baseball Tonight.
I couldn’t see much of the field from my place in the tunnel, appropriately about the only thing I could see was Trevor on the mound. The count was full to Aaron Miles when I saw Trevor wind up for the final pitch of the game. I heard the ball hit the bat but couldn’t see where it was hit. It was only the reaction of the crowd that allowed me to know this was it.
The out was made as the ground ball came right to Craig Counsell who threw to Prince Fielder and Trevor lifted his arms high up in the air as he was mobbed by his teammates. “Hell’s Bell’s” blasted through Miller Park and “599” was torn down to expose “600” on the sign above the Brewers bullpen. Trevor Hoffman had done it.
Jonathan Lucroy and Prince Fielder were the first to greet Trevor Hoffman following the game. (Photo: Scott Paulus)
The excitement on the faces of everyone will be etched in my head forever. The Brewers players and coaches were truly excited for him because Trevor means so much to them as a teammate, true professional and role model.
“I was so mobbed, I had no idea what was going on,” Trevor said today. “I felt like the whole crowd kept coming in on me. Prince was squeezing me so hard, it was great! I think the whole bullpen made it faster than (Todd) Coffey’s regular time. It was great to have everyone there.”
Trevor Hoffman gets carried off the field by his Brewers teammates. (Photo: Scott Paulus)
The Brewers fans cheered as a historical moment in baseball history was celebrated in their presence to a beloved player. Tracy Hoffman and the Hoffman boys ran down the field and threw their arms around their beloved husband and father.
It was only appropriate that Trevor’s family was there. His sons are a fixture in the clubhouse all summer long and Trevor has often mentioned how appreciative he is to Brewers GM Doug Melvin and Manager Ken Macha for allowing his kids and the other players kids a chance to come with them to work everyday. With school starting recently, the decision to have the three Hoffman boys was up in the air–until Hoffman’s wife Tracy stepped in.
“It was kind of a wait and see attitude,” Trevor said today. “I was more on the negative end of things. I didn’t want them to bury themselves the first week of school and fall behind on everything. Tracy didn’t care what I was saying; this is once in a lifetime. Her thought was that this is something that needs to be done together. She was right, wives are always right! To be able to share that moment together was important.”
After the on-field celebration had quieted down a bit, Trevor did his first interview with Mark Concannon of FS Wisconsin. He was presented a painting honoring the monumental save, a gift from the team, by Melvin and Macha and his family donned special 600th save t-shirts.
“I was thinking about wall space at home to put the painting; I’m going to put it on display for everyone to see,” Hoffman said. “In a couple of years I’m going to use it to remind people that it really was me! I might invite people over for a picture viewing party. But seriously, it’s a great gesture and will serve as a great memory.”
Following the on field ceremony, he did an interview with the MLB Network on their new, high-tech “Ballpark Cam.” The neat thing about both of these interviews is that his teammates stood on the steps of the dugout and watched him, showing the respect they have for not only Trevor, but also the moment. It was at this point that they too were fans.
After the on-field interviews were complete, Trevor joined his teammates for a toast in the clubhouse. Trevor has never been shy with his words inside the clubhouse during special moments like these (I can remember the speech he gave to his teammates at Busch Stadium following Jason Kendall’s 2,000th hit, it was memorable) and this time was certainly no different. He had the full attention of every single person in the clubhouse and spoke of respect for the game and respect of the team. The words were quite inspirational; it was certainly a moment that I will never forget and I know everyone in the clubhouse felt the same way.
Trevor then went to do a live interview with Cory Provus from Newsradio 620 and then to meet with the regular beat writers of the Brewers media corps. (You can watch that interview session here.) In this interview, you can really see how genuine this man really is. He has the utmost respect for the team, his teammates and the game itself. He is a true old school professional and someone who is most definitely a role model in this game.
Following the interview room, we had to get Trevor to one more interview and that was with ESPN for Baseball Tonight. After that, we let him relax. We really had him working hard last night from a media standpoint, but he did a great job and if you heard any one of the interviews he did last night, you would agree that his words were heartfelt.
After the interviews were complete, he signed a number of game-used balls from the game for MLB along with his hat from the game. (Sidenote: If you didn’t know, Hoffman keeps a ball from every save he records. He says he has a couple of “holes” from early in his career, but says he has about 95% of the collection complete. He writes the date of the save on every ball.) A number of those items will go to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. He also posed with a number of teammates and staff members in the clubhouse for pictures. Those pictures are memories that will last a lifetime.
Trevor still had time for a nice photo with me following all of his media activities for the night.
I didn’t leave the clubhouse until around 11:45 p.m. last night, and when I left a number of Trevor’s teammates were still waiting for him. They wanted to share the moment with the man that they looked up to as a professional, as a teammate and, perhaps most importantly, as a friend.
Today, Trevor talked about the phone calls and texts he received from the many different people he has interacted with over his 18 year MLB career.
“The congratulatory messages were all across the board,” Hoffman said. “My voicemail was filled, 100%. Being able to speak to Commissioner Selig was big and getting a call from Robin (Yount) was a big surprise. A guy of his stature in this organization and this community…that was big, I really appreciated that one. It’s daunting to think about the time it’s going to take to get back to everyone, but I will find a way to do that.”
Trevor also learned from Brewers Clubhouse Assistant Jason Shawger last night that a highlight of the final out in Milwaukee was played on the scoreboard in between innings at PETCO Park in San Diego as the Padres took on the Dodgers.
“They are in the middle of the pennant race; their focus is stay ahead of the Giants and for them to take the time to do that was a class move on their part,” Hoffman said.
Today, it was back to business as usual for Trevor. He was out with his bullpen-mates before batting practice getting their usual conditioning work in. The number might now read 600 on the outfield wall at Miller Park, but Hoffman–as a leader on the team–has not lost his focus.
“I think it just reaffirms that this machine will continue to go,” Hoffman said today. “Yesterday, as good as it was, was a great memory. Today, we are hearing the same music we have for the previous 160 days and it’s the same feeling today at the ballpark, it just moves on. It was enjoyable and unbelievable for the moment, but, it just moves on.”
Thanks to Trevor for giving his teammates, Brewers fans and baseball fans all over the world a special moment to remember.
Last Thursday, United Way of Greater Milwaukee (UWGM) held its Community Campaign Kickoff at Miller Park to announce its fundraising goal for 2010.
The Milwaukee Brewers and MillerCoors were sponsors for the event and Brewers Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Rick Schlesinger and Tom Cardella, President & CEO-Craft & Import Division for MillerCoors welcomed the crowd of over 500 people that had turned out to hear what this year’s goal would be.
Fittingly, the event began with the national anthem, sung by 11th-grade student, Imani Agara, who is a participant in the United Way-funded Teen Achievers program at the YMCA of Greater Milwaukee.
Last year, 100 percent (206) of program participants graduated from high school and went on to postsecondary education. United Way of Greater Milwaukee invests over $5 million each year in successful youth development programs, like Teen Achievers.