September 2013

Wrapping Up the Inaugural Year of Brewers Baseball Academy

If you’ll recall, this summer, we launched the new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

All summer long, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for his summer wrap-up.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

WRAPPING UP THE INAUGURAL YEAR OF BREWERS BASEBALL ACADEMY

Well, it’s over. We just wrapped up the first season of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Academy and what an exciting summer it was! The only downside is that it kept me from writing. It’s difficult to explain just how time consuming and exhausting it can be bouncing from town to town and hotel to hotel…especially at my advanced age. :) Sounds like I’m whining, but the fact is that I love it and can’t wait to start next season.

Normally, my objective in these posts is to explore baseball and softball from an instructional perspective. But, there are a couple observations from the summer that deserve to be shared.

By a large margin, the winning observation is that the people of Wisconsin LOVE their Brewers. Whether we were at the Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay or  Sun Prairie High School or Carthage College, the passion for this team was amazing to see. Let’s face it; we’ve had a headline-grabbing summer and much of the news was not good. But Brewers fans continue to support the team and believe that the future is bright. Our staff witnessed that time and again and it sure made our jobs a bunch more fun working with kids who came ready to learn and ready to learn the “Brewers” way.

My second big observation is that there are some crazy good instructors in Wisconsin who also love the Brewers and poured their hearts and considerable talent into making the Brewers Baseball Academy a critical success. While we have a ways to go in terms of reaching our enrollment potential, from the perspective of a 20+ year camp veteran, what these guys did throughout the state was remarkable. We set out to create the best baseball and softball camp in America and I’ll be darned if that didn’t happen.

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A special thanks to Field Director and “Chief Entertainment Officer,” Scott Staude. And a big thanks to Station Leaders Dean Haase, Brian Gillogly, Dan O’Brien, Jason Jacome and Ronnie Nedset. Just outstanding.

I also want to thank Scooter Gennett, Jim Henderson, Caleb Gindl, Martin Maldonado, Khris Davis, Sean Halton, Logan Schafer and of course, Coach John “T-Bone” Shelby for making our trips to Miller park unforgettable.

We will be putting an exclamation point on our first season on 9/29 as 80 campers compete in the first Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Academy Skills Championship at Miller Park. If you want to check out the finalists, click here.

Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Share Your Photos with Us via Brewers Fans on the Fly!

We already know Brewers fans are the best fans in the world.

You show your pride wherever you go… and with Brewers Fans on the Fly, presented by Southwest Airlines, you can share photos of yourself in Brewers gear in places from the Great Lakes to the Great Wall and everywhere in between!

MB 13-Brewers on Deck-TV Screen-FansOnTheFly

All season long, we’ve been selecting some of our favorites to appear on the scoreboard during games at Miller Park and you’ve still got time to submit yours.

MB-13-Fan-Map-Social

Whether you headed to Arizona for a Spring Training trip with the Brewers Road Crew, followed the Crew on the road, or took a summer vacation, be sure to submit your photos wearing your Brewers gear!

Start by visiting brewers.com/fansonthefly; there, you can take a look at the map and also, upload your own photos and share them with your friends.

Can’t wait to see ‘em!

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Fan Appreciation Activities Highlight Upcoming Homestand

While we will officially celebrate Fan Appreciation Night presented by Chevrolet at Miller Park on Saturday, September 21 against the St. Louis Cardinals, there are many other prizes and giveaways planned for the final homestand of the year, which kicks off this Friday, September 13 vs. the Cincinnati Reds.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Friday, September 13 vs. Cincinnati Reds @ 7:10pm
  • Saturday, September 14 vs. Cincinnati Reds @12:05pm

Brewers Sponsor Coupon Book Giveaway

The first 25,000 fans 18 and older will receive a Brewers Coupon Book, featuring coupons for tickets, merchandise and offers from local sponsors.

  • Sunday, September 15 vs. Cincinnati Reds @1:10pm

Ben Oglivie Bobblehead Day

All fans will receive a collectible Brewers bobblehead, featuring former Brewers outfielder Ben Oglivie. Compliments of Waukesha Metal Products.

Oglivie Bobblehead

  • Monday, September 16 vs. Chicago Cubs @7:10pm
  • Tuesday, September 17 vs. Chicago Cubs @7:10pm
  • Wednesday, September 18 vs. Chicago Cubs @7:10pm

2014 Brewers Magnetic Schedule Giveaway

All fans will receive a 2014 Milwaukee Brewers Magnetic Schedule.

  • Thursday, September 19 vs. Chicago Cubs @1:10pm

2014 Brewers Magnetic Schedule Giveaway

All fans will receive a 2014 Milwaukee Brewers Magnetic Schedule.

  • Friday, September 20 vs. St. Louis Cardinals @7:10pm

Brewers Grilling Set, sponsored by Potawatomi Bingo Casino

The first 20,000 fans 21 and older will receive a Brewers grilling set, courtesy of Potawatomi Bingo Casino.

Brewers-Grill-Set-Social

2014 Brewers Magnetic Schedule Giveaway

All fans will receive a 2014 Milwaukee Brewers Magnetic Schedule.

Saturday, September 21 vs. St. Louis Cardinals @6:10pm

Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Chevrolet

The evening will include numerous giveaways and prizes and one lucky fan will even win a 2014 Chevy Cruze LS.

All fans in attendance will receive a 2013 Brewers team photo and a 2014 Brewers magnetic schedule.  In addition, all fans will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win fabulous prizes, including autographed memorabilia, gift certificates to the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park, a suite night for 14 guests to a game at Miller Park next season and many additional prizes from team corporate sponsors (prizes are subject to change). For additional information, visit Brewers.com/fanappreciation.

  • Sunday, September 22 vs. St. Louis Cardinals @7:05pm

Brewers Scratch-Off Card Giveaway

All fans will receive a Brewers scratch-off card revealing something for every fan!

2014 Brewers Magnetic Schedule Giveaway

All fans will receive a 2014 Milwaukee Brewers Magnetic Schedule.

Tickets for these games  are available at the Miller Park Box Office, online at Brewers.com or by calling the Brewers ticket office at (414) 902-4000.

We hope to see you back here at Miller Park!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Brewers On Deck, Presented by Time Warner Cable, set for January 26 with FREE Admission

Today, we announced today that admission for Brewers On Deck, presented by Time Warner Cable, will be free of charge for all attendees in 2014.  Set to take place on Sunday, January 26, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. Brewers On Deck is the winter fan festival that bridges the gap between the Wisconsin winter and Spring Training.

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“As another way to say ‘thank you’ to our fans for their incredible support this year, we wanted to do something very special as we head into the 2014 campaign,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We are committed to delivering the best fan experience possible, both at Miller Park and in our off-site events, and we expect that free admission to Brewers On Deck will be very popular.”

Today’s announcement is part of a series of fan appreciation initiatives unveiled by the Brewers during the final two months of the season under an umbrella program known as “Fans First.”  Last month, the team provided $10 vouchers for free concessions, merchandise and game tickets at Miller Park to all fans during the month of August.

The free admission is applicable to the 2014 Brewers On Deck event only. Typically, admission ranges from $9 to $20.

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family.  Autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games in the Kids Area, Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters, vendor booths with baseball memorabilia, the Brewers Community Foundation Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

Details on autograph sessions and tickets will be announced at a later date.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Brewers Announce 2014 Schedule; Opening Day set for Monday, March 31 at Miller Park

Today, we announced the schedule for the 2014 Brewers season, the 45th season for the Club in Major League Baseball.  The team will open 2014 at home against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, March 31 with the start of a brief three-game homestand at Miller Park.  The Brewers will then travel to Boston to play the Red Sox for three games, April 4-6, and to Philadelphia for a three-game set over four days with the Phillies, April 7-10.

Brewers 2014 chedule-Release

In addition to traveling to Boston, the Brewers’ Interleague schedule will feature games against each team in the American League East Division, including a three-game weekend series against the New York Yankees at Miller Park from May 9-11.  The Baltimore Orioles make a visit to Miller Park for the first time since the 2008 season when the teams meet from May 26-28.  The following week, the Brewers will play back-to-back two-game series with the Minnesota Twins – June 2-3 at Miller Park and June 4-5 at Target Field.

The month of July begins with a two-game road series at Toronto and ends with a three-game series at Tampa Bay (Milwaukee last played in Toronto and Tampa Bay during the 2005 season).  The Blue Jays will travel to Milwaukee for a two-game series at Miller Park from August 19-20 to close out Interleague play.

The longest homestand in 2014 will be 11 games from September 4-14 against St. Louis (4g), Miami (4g) and Cincinnati (3g).  The team will have one 10-game road trip that will take place at Chicago-NL (May 16-18), Atlanta (May 19-22) and Miami (May 23-25).  The final two road trips of the season include a pair of 9-game, 10-day trips.  The first of the final two trips will take place in San Diego (August 25-27), San Francisco (August 29-August 31) and Chicago-NL (September 1-3), and the second will take place in St. Louis (September 16-18), Pittsburgh (September 19-21) and Cincinnati (September 23-25).

The Brewers will play at home on Mother’s Day, May 11 vs. New York-AL; Memorial Day, May 26 vs. Baltimore; and Father’s Day, June 15 vs. Cincinnati.

The Brewers will also play a pair of exhibition games before the start of the season at Miller Park against the Kansas City Royals.  The two teams will meet Friday, March 28 at 7:10 p.m. and Saturday, March 29 at 1:10 p.m.

Weekday night games at Miller Park will start at 7:10 p.m.  Weekday day games in April and May will start at 12:10 p.m. (except Memorial Day which is a 1:10 p.m. start), while all Sunday games and weekday day games from June through September will start at 1:10 p.m.  Saturday home games will begin at 6:10 p.m. (note – several Saturday game times will be announced at a later date).

All game dates and times are subject to change and road game times will be announced at a later date. Click this link to download your copy of the 2014 Brewers Schedule.

 -John and Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Get Your Free Brewers Tervis Tumblers at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic, Plus Enjoy a Sale on Bases!

As we get ready to enter the final homestand of the 2013 season, the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park is offering fans a great deal. This Friday, fans spending $150 or more at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic will receive a set of  two Brewers Tervis Tumblers FREE, while supplies last.

Brewers Tervis

In addition, starting Friday, there will be a sale on game-used bases at the Brewers Authentics Kiosk, located behind Section 111.  All bases will have a sale price of $175 each, including day-of-game bases, until Sunday, September 22, or while supplies last.

Brewers Bases

Brewers Bases

We hope to see you out here at Miller Park during this homestand!

Cheers,

–CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

Hellweg and Rogers Pick Up Brewers Robin Yount Performance Awards

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the recipients of the 2013 Robin Yount Performance Awards, which recognizes the Brewers Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year.  Right-handed pitcher Johnny Hellweg was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year and first baseman Jason Rogers was named Minor League Player of the Year.

“We congratulate Johnny and Jason on their great seasons and well-deserved recognition,” said Brewers President of Baseball Operations – General Manager Doug Melvin.  “In his first season at the Triple-A level, Johnny showed why he was chosen as the top pitcher in the Pacific Coast League and we’re excited to see him contribute at the Major League level.  Jason had a great finish to the season in the Southern League as the league’s top run producer while playing nearly every game this season.  This is also a reflection of our player development and scouting staffs as they work hard to provide young players the opportunity to play in Milwaukee.”

Johnny Hellweg

Johnny Hellweg

Hellweg, 24, spent the majority of the season at Triple-A Nashville and was named the 2013 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, going 12-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 23 starts (125.2ip, 44er).  He led the PCL in winning percentage (.706) and opponent batting average (.228) and was among the leaders in ERA (2nd) and wins (T2nd, 12).  The 6’9” right-hander won 11 of his last 12 decisions with Nashville and was named to the 2013 All-PCL team.

Hellweg made his Major League debut with the Brewers on June 28 at Pittsburgh.  He has made four appearances (three starts) with Milwaukee and is currently in his second stint with the Brewers.  Additionally, he made one start at Class-A Wisconsin on July 15 and picked up the win in a 6-2 Timber Rattlers victory vs. Lake County.  Hellweg was selected as the Brewers Pitcher of the Month for July (4gs, 4-0, 0.75era, 24ip, 2er).  The Missouri resident is in his second season as a member of the Brewers organization after being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last July in the Zack Greinke trade.

Jason Rogers

Jason Rogers

Rogers, 25, played the entire season at Double-A Huntsville, where he batted .270 with 22 HR and 87 RBI in 133 games.  He led the Southern League in RBI and ranked among the leaders in HR (T2nd), total bases (3rd, 225) and extra-base hits (T4th, 49).  Rogers was selected as an All-Star for the second straight season (Midwest League All-Star in 2012).

Rogers earned Brewers Player of the Month honors in July (.338, 24-71, 7hr, 20rbi) and August (.333, 34-102, 5hr, 15rbi).  He was drafted by the Brewers in the 32nd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Columbus State University.  This marks the second straight season that a Huntsville first baseman has been named Brewers Player of the Year (Hunter Morris, 2012).

Former winners of the award who are currently on the Brewers include Logan Schafer (2009) and Yovani Gallardo (2006).  Other Brewers who have one the award but are not currently on the active roster include Taylor Green (2011), Mat Gamel (2008) and Ryan Braun (2006).  Hiram Burgos (2012) and Mike Fiers (2011), who have both spent time on the Brewers roster this season, also each have won the award.

Hellweg and Rogers will be honored prior to the Brewers game on Saturday, September 21 when the Brewers take on St. Louis at Miller Park.  In addition to Hellweg and Rogers, Helena Brewers OF Michael Ratterree will also be recognized that night for his 2013 Pioneer League Most Valuable Player Award he recently received.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Brewers Community Foundation Announces $5 Million Mark Reached in 50/50 Raffle Ticket Sales

If you have been to a Brewers game in the last four years, surely you have seen the Brewers Community Foundation 50/50 Raffle Ticket sellers working the crowd in their bright orange t-shirts.  Today, at a press conference to announce the 50/50 Raffle has reached the $5 million mark in sales, the results of one program that BCF and the 50/50 Raffle have benefited was showcased.

The “Miracle League” field is a custom-designed field that features a special cushioned, rubberized playing surface that allows access for the visually impaired and those in wheelchairs.  The league allows all children to play organized baseball, regardless of ability.  Joe Block hosted today’s press conference at the Miracle League field on 91st and Brown Deer on Milwaukee’s Northwest side.

“The Miracle League is a stellar example of our commitment to identify quality non-profit organizations that are making a difference,” said Executive Director of BCF, Cecelia Gore.

Following today’s press conference, Milwaukee Miracle League players joined Brewers players Marco Estrada, Brandon Kintzler and Jonathan Lucroy on the field for a little exhibition game.

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“As a Brewers player, I’m really pleased and honored to be here to represent the team and players today,” Lucroy said.  “It’s important for me individually and my teammates here to contribute to these causes and help others who need it.  It gives me a lot of pleasure to do that for others.  My teammates talk very highly of the city and the people here.  The support we have from the fans and the organization itself is awesome, we love playing here.  It is a generous community and we , too, like to give back like so many fans have given back through the raffle.”

The BCF 50/50 Raffle is currently in its fourth season.  The raffle eclipsed the $1 million mark for the 2013 season on July 7—the earliest date that milestone has been reached since the inception of the raffle in 2010.

Now in its fourth season, tickets for the BCF 50/50 Raffle are sold for just $2 throughout Miller Park from the time gates open during every Brewers home game. For each game, half of the net proceeds are given to a lucky fan and the other half benefits Brewers Community Foundation.  Some of the non-profit programs previously supported by the Foundation include Arts at Large, Beckum Stapleton Little League, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, COA Youth and Family Services, Felix Mantilla Little League, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, Make-a-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, Sojourner Family Peace Center, Susan G. Komen of Southeast Wisconsin, UPAF, United Way, YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, and YWCA.

“We’ve raised $1.4 so far this year to date, which is about $75,000 more than this time last year,” Gore added.  “I would say this has been a grand success.  We have the nicest raffle sellers I could ask for and they know that their efforts assist BCF with our ability to provide grants to more than 200 non-profit organizations.”

The press conference also featured a former 50/50 Raffle winner.  Theresa Porter, won the 50/50 Raffle on Opening Day in 2012 and took home over $20,000.  She took her family on a trip and continues to buy tickets at every game she attends.  That, in turn, convinces her entire row to buy tickets because she tells the story of winning the raffle at every game she attends.  Also, she is a breast cancer survivor herself and knows the importance the 50/50 Raffle to the Milwaukee community.

“After seeing the Miracle League Field here, it shows how this raffle really helps,” Porter said.  “As a breast cancer survivor, I feel that I too have benefited from what the raffle does on both ends.”

Through BCF, Mark and Debbie Attanasio continue their pledge to have the Milwaukee Brewers serve as leaders in the community. The BCF 50/50 raffle provides one of many opportunities to make a difference. Brewers Community Foundation harnesses the pride, passion and commitment of Brewers fans, players and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

Brewers Community Foundation, Inc. is the official charitable arm of the Milwaukee Brewers.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

 

$1 Hot Dogs on Labor Day at Miller Park, FS Wisconsin To Host Hot Dog Eating Challenge

Tomorrow the Brewers will celebrate the traditional end of summer with a celebration of summer’s favorite treat: the hot dog.  Hot dogs will be just $1 tomorrow at Miller Park as the Brewers take on the Pirates at 1:10 p.m. at Miller Park.

Our friends at FS Wisconsin will celebrate with a hot dog eating challenge throughout the game.  Craig Coshun, Jerry Augustine and Sophia Minnaert will eat as many hot dogs as they can during the game tomorrow to benefit the Brewers Community Foundation.

They will be at the FS Wisconsin desk in right field throughout the game.  Brewers television announcer Bill Schroeder will buy the hot dogs they eat and Schroeder, Brian Anderson and FS Wisconsin producer Michael Vettor will all give $10 to the Brewers Community Foundation for each hot dog eaten by Coshun, Augustine and Minnaert.

If you are here at Miller Park you can enjoy $1 hot dogs and Brewers baseball.  If you can’t make it to Miller Park, tune in to the Brewers on FS Wisconsin to follow the progress of the hot dog eating challenge on television!  Enjoy the holiday!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

A Miller Park Reunion

Before today’s Brewers game, the reunion took place of a special relationship that began at Miller Park just about a month ago.

You might remember the story of “The Miller Park Mystery Man.”  Sarah Kooiman wrote about a simple, kind gesture Chad McLaughlin carried out at Miller Park on Sunday, August 4.  Chad and his friends sat next to the Kooiman family and struck up a conversation Isaiah Kooiman, Sarah’s son.  Chad promised Isaiah a baseball by the end of the game and came through with that promise.

McLaughlin and the Kooiman’s went their separate ways after the game and Sarah felt she wasn’t able to say a proper thank you.  She penned a blog to “The Miller Park Mystery Man” that got a lot of attention and the story took off from there.

Cait and I caught wind of the story and wrote about it on the blog and were able to connect with both Kooiman and McLaughlin.  The Brewers invited them to today’s game for a little reunion so a proper thank you could be said.

Before the game today, McLaughlin, along with his guests and the Kooiman family met in the Brewers dugout.  They all enjoyed Brewers batting practice together and shared stories about how they both found out their simple story of kindness became ‘the’ story in Milwaukee for a few days.

“I was just folding my laundry after work and I heard on the news ‘We are looking for Chad McLaughlin, the Miller Park mystery man.’  I thought it was kind of strange especially for something I didn’t think twice about,” McLaughlin said.

Sarah Kooiman did a number of interviews for various media and was happy for the opportunity today to say “Thank You” to McLaughlin.

Baseball is a great game and with it comes stories like these that make you love the game even more.  Kindness like this is infectious and hopefully, we hear more stories like this day in and day out.  I was very happy to be a part of this reunion today and hope it is a memory everyone can share for year’s to come.

Enjoy some pictures from today’s meeting below:

Chad, Isaiah and Sarah before today's game.

Chad, Isaiah and Sarah before today’s game.

 

Sophia Minnaert of FS Wisconsin interviews Isaiah, he starts kindergarten in two days.

Sophia Minnaert of FS Wisconsin interviews Isaiah, he starts kindergarten in two days.

 

Chad opens his present from the Kooiman's

Chad opens his present from the Kooiman’s

 

A nice momento given to Chad today.

A nice momento given to Chad today.

 

Chad and his guests along with the Kooiman Family were treated to a game at Miller Park today.

Chad and his guests along with the Kooiman Family were treated to a game at Miller Park today.

 

Isaiah and Chad share a moment before the game.

Isaiah and Chad share a moment before the game.

 

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

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