The following letter was sent to Brewers fans today by Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio:
July 30, 2013
Dear Brewers Fans:
This past week has been an admittedly difficult time for everyone who loves the Milwaukee Brewers, including our fans, our corporate and community partners, and employees. We share your frustration and disappointment with the news of Ryan Braun’s suspension and the mistakes that Ryan has made. We want you to know that we take this matter very seriously.
We recognize that Ryan has many steps ahead of him to regain your trust and respect. This process will take time, and the road to redemption for Ryan will not be easy. Our responsibility as an organization is to help Ryan appreciate the difficult task ahead of him and to assist in the healing process. At the same time, during this frustrating season, we want to reaffirm what the Brewers stand for as an organization. We believe everyone at the Brewers is accountable to each of you every day, and it is a team effort to meet that responsibility. We have an obligation to ensure that our players give maximum effort at all times. We also remain committed to providing you with the best experience at Miller Park. And we appreciate the tremendous loyalty and support you continue to demonstrate to the team. We never take your passion and our strong relationship with you for granted.
Starting this week, we will be introducing a series of initiatives to reaffirm our commitment to you and all of our fans throughout Wisconsin. We know that these initiatives are not a substitute for success on the field, and our primary mission remains to have a perennially competitive team. As we have previously stated, no single player defines the Milwaukee Brewers, and the success or failure of our organization is not tied to the performance or behavior of any single player. Within the clubhouse walls reside many talented players who will be the centerpieces of what we hope are the next great Milwaukee Brewers teams. This abiding belief is reflected on the cover of our 2013 Media Guide where six players are pictured. We have always maintained that any success the team experiences on the field is not possible without our fans, and we ask you to continue to be a part of the success of our organization.
We deeply appreciate your loyalty, patience, and understanding. On behalf of the entire Brewers organization, you have my pledge that we will overcome these current challenges, and we will reward the best fans in baseball with a team that truly represents our community.
Chairman and Principal Owner
The Milwaukee Brewers issued the following statement today on the passing of George Scott:
“This is very sad for all of us connected to the Brewers. George Scott was charismatic, an early star of the team and one of the finest defensive players in the game. ‘Boomer’—as he was affectionately known to fans—will be remembered as a colorful player on and off the field and his five Gold Glove Awards as a Brewer are an accomplishment that will be difficult to top. The entire Brewers community wishes to express their condolences to the Scott family.”
Scott, played in the Majors from 1966 – 1979 and with the Brewers from 1972 – 1976. Five of his eight career Gold Gloves came as a Brewers first baseman including in 1975 when he led the American League with 36 “taters” (a term for home run that he coined and is now a part of everyday baseball language) and 109 RBI. For his 14-year career, he hit .268 with 271 home runs and 1,051 RBI.
Scott was born on March 23, 1944 in Greenville, Miss.
–John and Cait
The 1993 season marked the final campaign in the Hall-of-Fame career of Robin Yount, and we will commemorate the 20th Anniversary of his retirement as a player this Friday at Miller Park.
On Friday, Robin will participate in a pre-game ceremony on the field before the Brewers face the Washington Nationals. He will be joined by former teammate and fellow Hall-of-Famer, Rollie Fingers.
Yount’s 20-year Major League career was spent entirely in Milwaukee and he retired following the conclusion of the 1993 season. His number 19 was retired in a ceremony on May 29, 1994 at Milwaukee County Stadium.
The celebration will include a presentation of an original painting commissioned to remember the occasion. The first 30,000 fans through the gates for the Brewers vs. Nationals game that day will receive a poster of the painting that will be presented to Yount during the ceremony. Yount will also toss the ceremonial first pitch.
In addition, Brewers Community Foundation will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Yount to the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer).
“Robin’s contributions to the Brewers are far too numerous to list, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back for this special occasion,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “His time in Milwaukee was marked by great personal and team success, and it’s an era that will forever be remembered as a magical time for baseball in Wisconsin.”
Yount finished his career with 3,142 career hits and was the first player to enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Brewer after being inducted on July 25, 1999. Yount broke into the big leagues at age 18. He won the American League Most Valuable Player awards in 1982 (shortstop) and 1989 (outfield), becoming the third player in Major League history to win that award at two different positions.
Fans should plan to bring their appetite for baseball, food and drinks to upcoming games at Miller Park because for the month of August, the Brewers are treating.
Milwaukee Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio today announced what could be a first in all of Major League sports – all fans attending any of the 12 Brewers home games in August will receive a $10 voucher for free concessions, merchandise and game tickets at Miller Park.
“This has been a challenging season for all of us, but the one thing that has never wavered has been the tremendous support we have received from fans who love the Brewers,” Attanasio said today. “We wanted to do something meaningful to show our appreciation, and we will strive to provide the best fan experience possible.”
Here are the details: Every ticketed fan coming through the turnstiles in August will receive a voucher good for $10 that can be used for food, beverage, merchandise and tickets sold at nearly every outlet (only excluding Friday’s Front Row, portable merchandise stands, Miller Park Suites, the Johnson Controls Stadium Club and All-Inclusive entertaining areas). Vouchers may be combined (meaning that fans attending with friends and family members, or those attending multiple games, can combine the vouchers for larger purchases) and used at any remaining 2013 home game. The vouchers can also be used toward the purchase of game tickets this season.
“The deadline is the end of the season to use the vouchers,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers Chief Operating Officer. “If you get them in August, you can use them at the game you are attending or if you are coming back to another game you can use them at another game, basically all the way to the end of the season. You will get the voucher at the gate and go to a concession stand or merchandise store or ticket window.”
With attendance expected to average over 30,000 per game in August, the Brewers expect to distribute more than $3.6 million worth of vouchers.
“Different teams have done different things for their venues and fan base,” Schlesinger added. “We have not found anyone who has done something this dramatic. This is a lot of money to give back to the fans. It’s a lot of food, beverage, beer, merchandise and ticket discounts absorbed by this voucher. We haven’t seen another team do this for an entire month, let alone a busy month. When Mark first challenged us to come up with something and proposed this concept, my initial reaction was we do something in September because it’s the end of the season and obviously from a financial perspective, its smaller crowds. But Mark said no, and wanted to do something a little more dramatic and with more impact. The best way to do that is do it in August when we have bigger crowds and has the benefit of being immediate.”
This is the first in a series of special fan appreciation initiatives that the Brewers will unveil during the final two months of the season under an umbrella program known as “Fans First.” Additional details of “Fans First” events will be announced throughout August and September.
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks today was named the Brewers nominee for the 2013 Branch Rickey award presented by the Rotary Club of Denver. This is the first year fans have been able to vote for their choice for the Branch Rickey award and enter a drawing for a trip to the 2013 World Series. Fans can use online voting through Facebook by visiting the Branch Rickey Award website.
Fans may vote as many times as they would like during the Fan Voting period which ends Monday, August 12, 2013 at 12:59 p.m. CT.
Unlike the many baseball awards based on statistics, the Branch Rickey Award recognizes individuals who give unselfishly of themselves to their communities. These men are strong role models for today’s young people. All of the honorees personify Rotary International’s motto, “Service Above Self.”
Year in and year out, Weeks has given back to the Milwaukee community. Weeks has supported the American Diabetes Association, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, the Beckum-Stapleton Little League and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Wisconsin. He has also contributed to scholarship programs for Milwaukee-area students and, since 2008, has sponsored the “Rickie’s Rookies” ticket program which provides hundreds of tickets and t-shirts to youth groups across the state.
Each Major League team was asked to nominate a humanitarian from their team for the 2013 award. A National Selection Committee, composed of 450 members of the sports media, past award winners, baseball executives and Rotary district governors, has been invited to vote on the nominees. The independent accounting firm of RubinBrown will verify the results. The Fan Vote will be taken into account in selecting the winner.
The Rotary Club of Denver plans to announce the 2013 Branch Rickey Award honoree in mid-September. This year’s winner, along with all the previous recipients, will be invited to attend the Branch Rickey Award banquet on Saturday, Nov. 16, in Denver. The winner will be inducted as the 22nd member of the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame. Presenting sponsor is AMG National Trust Bank.
The late Branch Rickey, known to millions as “Mr. Baseball,” is credited with breaking the color barrier in the Major Leagues in 1945 when he signed Jackie Robinson, the first modern-day African-American player. He also hired the first Hispanic player, Roberto Clemente. Rickey was portrayed by Harrison Ford in the recent Jackie Robinson movie “42.”
Rickey helped develop the farm system in baseball and stimulated the sport’s expansion into more cities. Always an advocate for underprivileged children, he spearheaded the development of the famous “Knot Hole Gang,” to allow kids to attend big league games.
The Milwaukee community is lucky to have the support of a guy like Weeks. He is a quiet guy off the field and doesn’t look for recognition for his large heart, but he is well deserving of this award.
If you’ve been thinking about signing up for the Brewers Mini-Marathon and 10K, Presented by Sendik’s, you’ll want to register by next Wednesday, July 31 to save with early registration.
2012’s inaugural Mini-Marathon (13.1 miles) was a big success. We raised over $111,000 in proceeds to the MACC Fund and sold out over a month before the race date. More than 5,000 runners (including me and John!) represented 32 states. New for the second year of the “Brewers Mini” is the addition of a 10K race (6.214 miles) for the event which will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2013.
The half marathon and 10K begins and ends at beautiful Miller Park and offers a scenic and unique course that will take participants through many Milwaukee landmarks including the Miller Valley, the Harley-Davidson Museum, Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes), the Miller Park warning track and others. Prizes for the top finishers will be awarded.
All participants will receive a free Brewers ticket voucher good for select games at Miller Park in April or May of 2014, a participant medal and a “tech” shirt. A post-race tailgate party outside Miller Park with live music will also take place.
Great course support will be provided with aid stations featuring water and Gatorade, misting stations, and entertainment along the way. Spectators will have plenty of free parking at Miller Park and will have the opportunity to watch racers run through Miller Park while being shown on the scoreboard.
Fundraising proceeds from the Brewers Mini-Marathon and 10K, Presented by Sendik’s will once again benefit the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc.) and childhood cancer research in Wisconsin. Participants can create their own fundraising page at www.brewersmini.com and donations can be made online. Individual fundraisers will have the chance to get their name entered in a raffle for great prizes. The top three fundraising groups will win a special prize.
The cost for the Mini-Marathon and 10K, respectively, is $75/$55 for those registering this Wednesday, July 31. The earlier you register, the more you save!
Complete race details, a course map and other information can all be found at http://www.brewersmini.com/.
Today was the Brewers Season Seat Holder luncheon, the second of two such events this season where Season Seat Holders with packages of 20+ games have the opportunity to attend.
The event, which takes place in the Johnson Controls Stadium Club, includes a plated lunch (which was delicious as all food in there is!), a Q &A with Brewers players, and the opportunity to win prizes.
Today, Season Seat Holders were treated to a Q & A with Brewers pitcher John Axford and second baseman Rickie Weeks, emceed by Brewers radio broadcaster Joe Block.
Questions ranged from dealing with adversity and footwork drills to avoid being taken out by the runner advancing to second to favorite baseball movies and clubhouse pranks.
Some quotes and highlights:
Q: If you were stuck on an island, which three players from the current roster would you want to take with you?
Weeks: “Logan Schafer–because he won’t eat all the food; Martin Maldonado because he can cook the food; and…”
Axford: “I’d agree, and add Jim Henderson because he looks a little wilderness-y right now. He would probably be a good forager/hunter.”
Q: You have both faced adversity at times during your careers. How do you deal with it?
Weeks: “I see it as a time to get better. It’s definitely a character builder.”
Axford: “I agree. With social media and increased media attention in this day and age, you just have to try to block it out, realize the person you are and you know what you’re capable of.”
Q: What’s your favorite baseball movie?
Axford: “My favorite from nostalgic point of view is The Sandlot; from a film standpoint, it is The Natural. The lighting and the cinematography is amazing.”
Q: Rickie, how do you feel about having family in MLB? (Referring to his brother, Jemile, who plays for the Oakland A’s.)
Weeks: You don’t often get to share the same sport with a sibling at the highest level. Very blessed.
Sitting at the head table with Rickie and John were some special guests–Mindy and Nathan Skewes from Union Grove, Wisconsin. Earlier this year, Mindy and Nathan were selected as prize winners in our Fan-tastic 40 promotion, 40 Days, 40 drawings, and 40 unique prizes and experiences, all for our Season Seat Holders.
I had a chance to chat briefly with the couple during the event.
“It was great getting to interact with the guys. They were very personable and easy to talk to,” Mindy said.
The couple has a the 20-game Business Plan in the first row of the Club Level and frequently attend games with their 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. They’ve been Season Seat Holders for a number of years.
“They were each just 5 weeks old when we took them to their first games,” she noted.
At the conclusion of the event, drawings were held for prizes which included baseballs signed by John Axford and Rickie Weeks as well as Brewers watches.
Thanks to those who came out today; it was great to see some old friends and meet some new ones.
Recently, I made my way over to the Press Box to speak to a group of students from a local college class. As part of an educational field trip, the students’ professor had scheduled a tour of the ballpark and had requested to hear from someone on the topic of marketing for a Major League Baseball Club.
This type of request is actually more common than one might think, but really, it shouldn’t be a surprise, given the volume of tours that our good friends in Brewers Enterprises churn out. Last year alone, Miller Park’s Tour Guides gave tours to over 300 groups and thousands of people on walk-ups.
Walk-Up Tours are only available during the season, Monday-Saturday. Prices for those are $10/adults and $6/for children and senior citizens (60+).
The tours typically last about 75 minutes and include the dugout, luxury Suites on the Club Level, visiting clubhouse, press box, the Home Radio Broadcast Booth and other behind-the-scenes attractions. (Note: Tours cover slightly over 1/2 a mile, so wear comfortable shoes!)
Group tours, like the school group I mentioned above, are available year round for groups of 20 or more. For the Classic Group Tour, discounted rates may apply for youth groups and school.
Also available are specialized tours designed for groups of 10 or more. These three tour options run a little longer and will cost you just a little extra, but they are well worth it. Unless noted, all group tours must be scheduled in advance.
MVP Tour: Visit areas of the ballpark that typical tours do not get to visit, such as Party Suites, the media interview room, batting cages and more. This tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and is not offered one day before, or during, a Brewers homestand. This tour is $10 for children and $15/adults & seniors. The MVP Tour is available as a walk-up option on select dates. Check MillerPark.com for availability.
Technical Tour: Here’s a tour focusing on the architecture and HVAC of Miller Park–you’ll get to see the boiler and chiller room! This tour lasts about 80-95 minutes and can be arranged for $15/person.
Scavenger Hunt Tour: Looking for a team building exercise? Designed for groups of high school age or
older, groups will be split into groups and go on our Classic Tour. Afterwards, the teams will be given time to answer as many questions as they can about what they learned on the tour. The team with the highest score will win a prize. This tour can last upwards or 70-90 minutes and costs $15/person.
For more information on any of the tours, be sure to visit MillerPark.com.
And there you have it–Miller Park’s tour offerings. Trust me when I say that you really haven’t seen Miller Park until you’ve gone behind-the-scenes on a guided stadium tour–these are something we send new employees and interns on when they start with us. It’s a terrific experience both for the Full Season Seat Holder who comes here for all 81 games and out-of-towners alike!
All-Star SS Jean Segura will sign autographs at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic this afternoon from 1-2 p.m. CT.
Signing courtesy of Majestic Athletic. One autograph per person. First come, first served. Sorry, no photographs.
Please note the Kyle Lohse autograph session will be rescheduled to a later date.
Today, 4,000 people took part in the sold-out Brewers Community Foundation’s 15th Annual 5K Famous Racing Sausages Run/Walk and it was a huge success!
The top time was 15:55:20 (a 5:08 pace, wow!) by Ben Garbe of New Berlin and the top finisher in the mascot division was Polish. If you ran today’s race, click here for searchable results. This link will take you to a .PDF of complete results as well.
The weather was absolutely perfect as Milwaukee was given a little relief from the recent humid air of the past week. Brewers coaching assistant Joe Crawford served as the Celebrity Starter for this year’s race.
Fundraising efforts for the event raised money for Fisher House Wisconsin, which provides a “home away from home” for military and veterans’ families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.
For more on the event, follow @BrewersCF on Twitter.
We’ve compiled some of the photos and tweets we’ve received via Twitter and Instagram, but we’d love to see yours, too! It was cool to see people taking photos along the way during the race. Tweet and/or Instagram your comments and photos using the hashtag #Sausage5K.
This event is a perfect precursor to the Brewers Mini-Marathon, which takes place 10 weeks from today, on Saturday, September 28. Registration is still open and you can save by signing up by Wednesday, July 31.
Congratulations to everyone who participated and finished the race today and thanks to the many volunteers who helped put on such a great event. There is nothing like that feeling of crossing the finish line and it was great to see the smiles on the faces of everyone as they crossed the line.
-John and Cait