May 2014

Tim’s Tip: Moment of Truth #3-Bend Your Wrists and Wave Bye-Bye to a Good Swing

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for more from Coach Tim!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

“MOMENT OF TRUTH #3”

BEND YOUR WRISTS AND WAVE BYE-BYE TO A GOOD SWING

If you’ve been following my last few posts you know that I’m discussing four critical times in the swing sequence. First of all, I apologize for the delay. Academy enrollments have been keeping us running. I’ve labeled these four critical points the Four Moments of Truth. Overly dramatic? Maybe a tad. But after analyzing thousands of hitters, it’s become clear that a breakdown at any of these Moments of Truth (MOT) will severely limit the hitter’s chance for success.

In order to illustrate MOT #3 let’s go back to MOT #1. Check out the angle of Ryan Braun’s wrists at Heel Down.

Braun

The angle of the bat and Ryan’s top hand is just about 90 degrees.

It’s at this moment that so many hitters lay their wrists back resulting in what the Big Guys call “laying off the bat head.” This results in a longer swing (not good). This wrist angle change will result in the back elbow sliding underneath too fast and too early which drops the bat head below the hitting zone. The bat is then making contact at an aggressive uphill angle and the result is a swing under the ball or a top-spin grounder.

Poor Connection

This young hitter has laid his wrists back and caused the bat head to drop too far too fast.

So, what do we want the hitter to do with his wrists as he begins the swing?…nothing. The hitter maintains the cocked wrist angle until they unfold just before contact. Fight the urge to make some kind of an adjustment prior to that.

See how Martin Maldonado keeps his wrists cocked even as his hands pass by his hip.

See how Martin Maldonado keeps his wrists cocked even as his hands pass by his hip.

The wrists explode into the ball at contact…but not before. That’s why maintaining the cocked wrist angle is MOMENT OF TRUTH #3.

In my next post I’ll look at MOT #4… “Roll Your Wrists and Hit the Exit Ramp Off the Hitting Highway.” Until then, if you’re gonna swing might as well swing hard.

 

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

 

 

 

Brewers Community Achievers: Ethan Glaus

The Brewers Community Achievers Program presented by AllState recognizes residents throughout the state of Wisconsin each month during the season for displaying extraordinary efforts in their community.

All adults and school-aged children throughout the state of Wisconsin are eligible to participate in the program. Fans can nominate their Community Achiever online or pick up a nomination form at the Guest Relations Booth on the Field Level Concourse at Miller Park during the season.

The second honoree of 2014, Ethan Glaus, was recognized on the field prior to tonight’s Brewers vs. Orioles game at Miller Park.

Last year, Ethan’s favorite teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer and was absent for much of the school year. Ethan decided to string hundreds of tiny pink ribbons on a fishing line to hang in the teacher’s classroom to welcome her back to school. He also decided to raise money for the fight against cancer. Ethan purchased different colored ribbons; pink for breast cancer, yellow for childhood cancer and blue for prostate cancer. He wrote letter to his school and parent’s employer asking for donations in support of Relay for Life. In return for their donation, Ethan provided donors with his special ribbons.

Ethan Glaus was honored with a Brewers jersey before tonight's game.

Ethan Glaus was honored with a Brewers jersey before tonight’s game.

Thank you, Ethan for making a difference in the community!

Do you know someone who is a Community Achiever?

Perhaps they started a neighborhood clean-up program, volunteered to prepare meals for their elderly neighbors or even performed some feat of heroism. Nominate them today by clicking here.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Gomez Surprises His Number One Fan

Prior to tonight’s Brewers-Orioles game at Miller Park, Carlos Gomez selected his “Number One Fan,” Jordan Hynum out of the stands and surprised her by offering her the opportunity to throw out the first pitch.

Carlos and Jordan first met on Gomez’ bobblehead day on April 27 at Miller Park when Carlos was signing autographs for fans before the game. That is when FOX Sports Wisconsin cameras captured the meeting and her emotional response to the hug from the Brewers All-Star. The footage went viral as it showed the 15-year-old Fort Atkinson girl crying tears of joy after meeting Carlos.

The Milwaukee Brewers responded by offering tickets to Jordan to tonight’s game, but Carlos and the team had another surprise waiting for them….

So, earlier today, when Jordan sent out this tweet. She had no idea what was in store for her:

Carlos surprised Jordan by pulling her out of the crowd for her to throw out the first pitch prior to tonight’s game.

Jordan/Carlos

Carlos came out of the dugout before tonight’s game to surprise Jordan Hynum, his number one fan. Photo: Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Brewers

“Adrenaline took over, it was very cool,” said Jordan, shortly after the pitch, which was thrown for a strike as the sophomore at Fort Atkinson High School has played softball.

Jordan throws the ceremonial first pitch for a strike.

Jordan throws the ceremonial first pitch for a strike.

She says she received overwhelming response from family and friends in the days following the video footage and that even strangers will recognize her and say, “Aren’t you the girl who cried on TV?”

But that’s okay. In this case, they were happy tears.

Carlos Gomez and Jordan Hynum

Carlos Gomez and Jordan Hynum, after Jordan threw out the first pitch prior to tonight’s game.  Photo: Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Brewers

And, when we asked her why Carlos is her favorite player, her eyes misted over again as she said, “Because he is a good person and plays with all his heart.”

He sure does. As if on cue, minutes later, Carlos hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the first to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead.

–John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Fan-Created Commercial Debuts Tonight

Earlier this spring, we put out a call for your most creative Brewers TV spot ideas with our “Create a Commercial” contest.

We let you vote on the final three and, in a close race, Jesse Jirik from Milwaukee was declared the winner.

Jirik had the chance to direct the spot, titled “Yes,” earlier this month with the help of Madison-based production company, Provideo.

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In Jirik’s winning commercial, a man takes his advice and cues from a beloved Carlos Gomez Bobblehead (who always seems to agree with his decisions) – much to the chagrin of his wife. View Jesse’s original submission here. 

And tonight, it debuted prior to the game at Miller Park, will air on FOX Sports Wisconsin during tonight’s Brewers broadcast, and, you can also see it here, online.

Jesse also received a Brewers prize package including a Brewers director’s chair and tickets to tonight’s game, where I caught up with him.

“It’s really neat to see it come to life, from an idea to TV,” Jesse said.

He said he enjoyed the production aspect he most: “It’s amazing how much work goes into :30 of TV,” he said.

Congratulations, Jesse–we hope you are as pleased as we are with the final product!

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

 

 

Congratulations to Jessica Wagner, Winner of the Brewers Pet Calendar Photo Contest!

As we told you earlier this month, we’re creating a Brewers Pet Calendar, featuring photos of the players and coaches with their pets and/or animals from the Wisconsin Humane Society, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the organization.

We also held a contest for one lucky fan and his/her dog to be included in the calendar alongside Hank.

And today, Jessica Wagner and her yellow lab, Ruger, from Wausau joined Mark Reynolds, Logan Schafer and Hank this afternoon for a photo shoot by Brewers photographer Scott Paulus:

Jessica Wagner

Jessica Wagner

 

Stay tuned for more details on when the finished piece will be for sale.

Cheers!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Join Brewers Players & Coaches for a Special Koos for Kids Fundraiser Next Sunday

Brewers bullpen catcher and Racine native Marcus Hanel (otherwise known as “Koos”) has always had a desire to help children and so, about 10 years ago, he formed “Koos for Kids,” a charity focusing on helping terminally ill and disadvantaged children in the area.

Over the years, Koos for Kids has been able to help numerous terminally ill children by purchasing them laptops, iPads, zoo passes, airline tickets, animals…whatever it might be that makes their days a little brighter.

They’ve also purchased over 3000 winter coats for disadvantaged children in the local area, as well as organized and run the Challenger Baseball League, where over 60 children with special needs can come and be part of a team and learn the game of baseball.  And there are countless other ways they have helped the local community, thanks to the support of many businesses and caring individuals.

This coming Sunday, June 1, you have the opportunity to help support this terrific cause.

The Brewers take on the Chicago Cubs at 1p.m. that day and, following the game, Marcus, along with Brewers players and coaches, will be making their way to the Milwaukee County Zoo for a Koos for Kids event.

Koos for Kids Fundraiser

 

For just $25, you’ll receive a ticket to the zoo (good all day), zoo parking, dinner, a special Q&A with Brewers coaches emceed by Bill Schroeder and Sophia Minnaert, autographs from Brewers players and the opportunity to participate in auctions and raffles. Of course proceeds from the event go to the Koos for Kids organization, where they are used to give back to the community. 

Marcus recently tweeted out a list of players scheduled to appear at the event:

And, I spoke with Marcus the other day and he told me that sales for this annual event are strong, but if you hurry, you can still get in on the fun. Click here to reserve your ticket today!

Why not make it a doubleheader of Brewers fun? Be sure to get your tickets to the Brewers vs. Cubs series, too!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

 

Double Clutch Menu Item for the Orioles Series: Baltimore Pit Beef Sandwich

Today, the Brewers kicked off a eight-game homestand here at Miller Park . First to town are the Baltimore Orioles and a we’ve got some Baltimore flair on the menu at the Double Clutch for the next three games.

The Baltimore Pit Beef Sandwich is served with tiger sauce on a kaiser roll with house-made chips for $12.00.

Baltimore Pit Beef SandwichPit beef is Baltimore’s version of barbecue: beef grilled crusty on the outside, rare and juicy inside and heaped high on a sandwich.

In addition, the Spaghetti-in-a-Meatball will also be available for $9.50.

As always, the Double Clutch is located outside section 215 on the Loge Level for the three games of the Orioles series at Miller Park.

–CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

Memorial Day at Miller Park

Today, in celebration of Memorial Day, the Brewers and Orioles are wearing special camouflage caps and jerseys to honor those currently serving in the Armed Forces and Veterans of the Armed Forces.

Brewers Camo

Fans can purchase replicas these caps and jerseys and MLB and MLB Advanced Media will donate 100% of the net proceeds from sales to Welcome Back Veterans, an awareness and fundraising initiative to address the mental health needs of returning veterans with the goal of helping them transition back to civilian life.

In addition, fans can purchase the game-worn jerseys and caps from today’s game. For more information, follow @MILAuthentics on Twitter.

The ceremonial first pitch was a simultaneous pitch by representatives from all five branches of the military.

Memorial Day Miller Park

 

IMG_9170

The American Flag was presented by the honor guards from the U.S. Army recruiting battalion-Milwaukee, Navy Operation Support Center-Milwaukee, and the 128th Air Refueling Wing-Wisconsin Air National Guard and the national anthem was performed by Wisconsin Army National Guard Sgt. Zach Henningsen, who is home from deployment.

Sgt. Zach Henningsen

We also held a special PNC Major League Moment. (Typically reserved for Sunday home games, at participating PNC Banks, kids 6-13 can enter to win an on-field appearance with a Brewers player during the national anthem, along with tickets, a cap, a baseball and photos, courtesy of PNC Bank.)

IMG_9165 IMG_9168

 

In addition, the Club donated a block of tickets to the USO and this group of active duty soldiers was upgraded to the owner’s seats as our small way of saying “Thank you for your service.”

IMG_9174

In the 7th inning today, God Bless America will be performed by Air Force Veteran and Brewers employee Bob Kozlowski.

And, at 3:00 pm, we will join MLB in taking part in the National Moment of Remembrance, an initiative we’ve participated in since 1997. Across the league, games in progress will pause to observe a moment of silence followed by a commemorative video.

The National Moment of Remembrance was created to remind all Americans of the importance of remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, provide an opportunity to offer a collective, unified expression of gratitude; and to help younger Americans understand the significance of Memorial Day.

Whether you’re here at Miller Park, or spending time with family and friends, we encourage you to pause, reflect, and join us in honoring those who have served and continue to serve our great country.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

 

 

Join Hank on a Walk Through Miller Park with the Hank Stamp Book

Fans 16 & under can pick up a free Hank Stamp Book at any of the Brewers Team Stores and join the Ballpark Pup on a tour of Miller Park while collecting stamps from 12 locations around the stadium.  Once fans collect all eligible stamps for today’s game they can take their stamp book to Brewers Team Store by Majestic in the Hot Corner to claim vouchers for free Brewers tickets.

Hank Stamp Promo

After today, fans should continue to bring their Hank Stamp Books to games and visit the Brewers Authentics Kiosk to collect the rest of the Pitchers Stamps. Once the booklet is completely filled, fans can go to Bernie’s Chalet Custom Shoppe to get the Bernie Brewer Bonus Stamp. While there, fans can fill out a Grand Prize Entry Form to become eligible for the Grand Prize Drawing on Monday, July 14.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

Miller Park Voted Wisconsin’s #1 Group Outing

Miller Park was recently voted Wisconsin’s #1 Group Outing by the readers of Wisconsin Meetings Magazinea well-respected quarterly publication which is written by and caters to meeting planners.

We're proud of this distinction!

We’re proud of this distinction!

 

Readers of the magazine are made up of professional meeting planners; organizations and club leaders; corporate travel agents; and sales and marketing executives.

This news appears on page 31 of the Winter 2014 Edition:

Miller Park was named Wisconsin's Best Group Outing by Wisconsin Meetings Magazine!

Miller Park was named Wisconsin’s Best Group Outing by Wisconsin Meetings Magazine!

To be named the state’s best group outing by a group of individuals who plan events for a living is certainly a noteworthy honor and something we are very proud of.

With All-Inclusive Areas, tailgate facilities and more–and with group tickets starting as low as $9 eachMiller Park is the perfect destination for groups of all sizes and budgets. Plus, our experts in group planning will be by your side from start to finish to ensure your event comes to life exactly as you envisioned while making the planning process a breeze.

From school groups and corporate outings to bachelor and birthday parties–and everything in between, you’ll be your group’s MVP when you taken them on Wisconsin’s Best Group Outing at Miller Park.

For more on groups at Miller Park, visit brewers.com/groups.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

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