Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Ryan Braun was named the Brewers nominee for the 2015 Hank Aaron Award.
“The nominees for the 2015 Hank Aaron Awards provide great insight into the considerable young talent in our game today,” Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said. “Hank Aaron was a tremendous all-around offensive performer, and I believe that the diverse skills and competitive spirits demonstrated by these 30 players throughout the 2015 season have honored the Hall of Famer’s enduring legacy.”
Fans can vote for the 2015 Hank Aaron Award exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the sixth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.
“It is truly a joy and an honor that the award recognizing the top offensive performers in the game has my name on it,” said Hank Aaron. “I am grateful to have some of my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans to assist in selecting the winners from this talented group of nominees.”
The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers – who combined for 16,697 hits, 8,712 RBI and 2,166 home runs – have all been personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.
Continuing through October 11, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2015 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2015 World Series.
Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout (2014); Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).
The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.
We’re in the midst of the 7th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which includes 341 screenings during its 15-day run. Tonight, one of those screenings is of the film, “One Man’s Trash,” directed by Annabelle Attanasio, the niece of Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio.
“One Man’s Trash” is a video short about a man on a mission to compost a bag of spoiled produce at the Brooklyn Grange. however, when he gets to Greenpoint, the hipsters won’t let him pass. The project was funded by NYU Green Grants. It will be screened tonight at 7pm CT at the Fox Bay Cinema Grill as part of “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story.”
Annabelle is a filmmaker from Brooklyn, NY, the founder of Alacrity Productions. She is also an actress, with roles on television shows such as “The Knick,” “The Slap,” and “House M.D.” Her upcoming film “Drooler” will also be released this year.
This is not the first time an Attanasio has had an event at the Milwaukee Film Festival. In 2013, the Milwaukee Film Festival hosted “An Evening with Paul Attanasio.” Paul, Mark’s brother and Annabelle’s father, is an award-winning Hollywood writer/producer. He has worked on projects like “Quiz Show,” “Donnie Brasco” and “House M.D.” Paul also returned to the festival this year to conduct a master class for screenwriters and students.
We highly encourage you to check out Annabelle’s film tonight and to visit the Milwaukee Film Festival in general through the end of its 2015 run on Thursday.
In keeping with their mission to positively impact the lives of children and families, the Brewers Community Foundation (BCF), along with Mark and Debbie Attanasio,” are also once again a big part of this amazing event. BCF is the Presenting Sponsor of the Milwaukee Film Festival’s Education Screenings program, which admits over 8,000 students from 1st through 12th grades for grade-appropriate screenings of festival films.
Hank the Ballpark Pup also stars in this year’s sponsor trailer for the festival, which was a collaborative effort with the Wisconsin Humane Society.
On April 6, Mariners Opening Day at Safeco Field, Matt Stolz began to pursue an ambitious goal for a good cause: to ride his bike to all 30 MLB ballparks by the end of the season while raising money and attention for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Milwaukee and Biking for Baseball, a Denver-based nonprofit that helps raise awareness and money for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
The 22-year-old Wisconsin native and recent University of Wisconsin graduate has a history of crazy charitable endeavors but he nothing like an 11,000+ mile ride across the country.
For the past six months, Matt has spent 180 nights on the road, pedaling 11,750 miles and finally, today, reaching his goal of biking to all 30 MLB ballparks.
Matt arrived around 10am this morning and the first thing he did was put on a clinic for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Milwaukee out at Helfaer Field.
“It was really great to see kids who had never before picked up a bat or ball start playing the game by the end of the clinic. And that it was right here in front of Miller Park was pretty special,” Matt said.
And after that?
“We started tailgating… I mean, what else would you do here in Wisconsin?”
For the majority of his trip, Matt cycled completely on his own, but said that sometimes people, even strangers, would reach out and want to ride with him for a day or two. He had no support vehicle and tried to get free lodging where he can from friends and family, or people he met during his journey.
“My favorite part of the trip was meeting the fans. I’m a huge baseball fan and I just enjoyed getting to meet other fans. Whether it was the Athletics fans in Oakland, the Braves fans in Atlanta, or the fans in New York, I enjoyed sharing my passion with individuals in every corner of the country. We may have different team alliances, but we all share a love of the game,” Matt told me.
While Miller Park is special to Matt because the Brewers are his home team and his family and friends were here to welcome him back, he says his favorite ballpark was PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
“The view is second to none,” he said.
Although he was getting to visit other ballparks, watching baseball and having fun meeting fellow fans, the journey was still physically and emotionally taxing for Matt. He said, “It was tough and there were hardships, but whether it was poison ivy, tornadoes, flooding or snow, I knew one way or another I was going to finish my goal. The challenges just made succeeding that much more triumphant.”
And succeed he did. Besides completing his journey, Matt raised about $30,000 in donations for a great cause along the way.
We’re proud of Matt and happy to have him and his family and friends out here at Miller Park tonight.
We congratulate Jorge Lopez and Orlando Arcia as recipients of the 2015 Robin Yount Performance Awards, given to the Brewers Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year.
Before tonight’s game, Brewers Manager Craig Counsell presented the awards to Jorge Lopez and Biloxi Shuckers Manager Carlos Subero, who was here to accept the award on behalf of Orlando Arcia.
Jorge was named the 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He spent the 2015 season with the Biloxi Shuckers, our Double-A Affiliate in the Southern League. There, he went 12-5 with a 2.26 ERA in 24 starts for the Southern League South Division Champions this season and his 2.26 ERA was only behind teammate Tyler Wagner for the lead.
Jorge struck out 137 batters, while walking 52. As he finished the season, he led the league in WHIP, tied for the league-lead in wins and placed third in strikeouts.
Jorge was named a mid-season and postseason Southern League All-Star as well as the Most Outstanding Pitcher of the Year. In addition, he was named Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Month for each of the last three months of the season. Jorge made his Major League debut and became the 18th player in franchise history to earn the win his Big League debut.
We also surprised Jorge by airing a congratulatory message from Jorge’s girlfriend and young son in Cincinnati.
Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy has the backstory.
The 2015 Minor League Player of the Year is Orlando Arcia who also spent the 2015 season with the Biloxi Shuckers. Orlando finished his first season at the Double-A level batting .307 with 37 doubles, 7 triples, 8 homers, 69 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 129 games.
The 21-year-old finished his 2015 campaign among the Southern League leaders in several categories, including doubles, at-bats, total bases, extra-base hits, RBI, slugging percentage, runs and average. Orlando hit .400 with 3 homers and 10 RBI in the Shuckers quest for the Southern League Championship.
Orlando was named the recipient of the 2015 Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence after an impressive all-around season at the plate and in the field, including just 13 errors in 585 total chances. This is the second consecutive season that a Brewers prospect has won the award. Orlando was named both a mid-season and postseason Southern League All-Star this year.
Accepting the award on Orlando’s behalf was Biloxi Shuckers Manager, Carlos Subero, who we also recognized tonight.
Carlos was recently named Southern League Manager of the Year. He led the Shuckers to a Southern League South Division First Half Championship and a 43-25 record, withstanding a 54-game road trip and into the Southern League playoffs during their inaugural season.
We also recognized area scout Charlie Sullivan who, along with Manolo Hernandez, were responsible for signing Jorge Lopez.
Jorge, Orlando and Carlos: Congratulations on a successful 2015 season!
Before tonight’s game, CEO of Waterstone Bank Doug Gordon, Executive Director of Brewers Community Foundation Cecelia Gore and Director of Development for the Sojourner Family Peace Center Heather Wolfgram were joined on the field by Kyle Lohse for a special “K’s For a Cause” check presentation.
Each time a Brewers pitcher recorded a strikeout at Miller Park this season, fans watched the numbers rise on the K’s for a Cause strikeout meter in right field. As each strikeout piled up, Waterstone Bank made a financial contribution to the campaign. They were joined this year by pitcher Kyle Lohse, who pledged to make an additional contribution to Brewers Community Foundation.
Proceed from the K’s for a Cause campaign have been tallied and will be directed to the Sojourner Family Peace Center, a non-profit community organization that exists to end domestic violence and create peaceful communities.
The K’s for a Cause campaign has been a resounding success. Waterstone Bank, Brewers Community Foundation and Kyle Lohse were proud to announce that, together, they have raised a total of $20,100 for the 2015 season for the Sojourner Family Peace Center. This brings the a two-year grand total to $39,600!
Thanks to Waterstone Bank, Brewers Community Foundation and Kyle Lohse for their tremendous donation and their ongoing commitment to helping the good work of the Sojourner Family Peace Center.
Before tonight’s game, Brewers players and coaches were escorted on golf carts throughout the parking lots to surprise fans with gifts as a way of thanking everyone for their season-long support. After batting practice, the players hopped on the carts and went for the ride.
Every Brewers player and coach handed out Brewers goodies to fans in the parking lots to show appreciation for their support. Many gave high fives and some even stopped for a quick snack at a tailgate.
The Attanasio family also participated in the event:
The gesture caught most fans by surprise as they really didn’t really expect to see Brewers players cruising through the lots on golf carts. It was a fun treat to see the reaction of the fans when they saw the players. There were a lot of double takes! It was also fun to see the reaction of the players, some of whom had never seen the extravagant tailgating that goes on before every Brewers game.
Were you in the parking lots tonight? Share your story with us in the comments section below!
Prior to tonight’s contest against the Chicago Cubs, Ryan Braun was named the 2015 “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year.” The award honored Braun who was voted as the Brewers player that best personifies the characteristics of hard work, a positive attitude and an aggressive approach to playing the game as voted on by fans, media members and We Energies.
Barry McNulty, We Energies Director of Corporate Communications, presented Braun the award in an on-field ceremony prior to the first pitch against the Cubs. The ceremony also featured members of the Brewers organization including Manager and 2009 We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year Craig Counsell and Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. Zach Stevens, winner of the “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year” Grand Slam Prize, was also present.
The Brewers outfielder received 56.8 percent of the total vote, whereas the other finalist, first baseman Adam Lind, received 42.3 percent. Braun was named to his sixth All-Star game and hit for a .285 average, .356 on base percentage and a .356 slugging percentage in 140 games in 2015. The eight-year veteran hit 25 home runs, giving him a total of 255 career home runs and making him the all-time franchise leader in the category, passing former leader, Robin Yount. Braun recorded his fourth career 20 stolen bases and 20 home run season, previously accomplishing the feat in 2009 (32/20), 2011 (33/33) and 2012 (41/30). He was also one of two players in the Major Leagues in 2015 with at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, joining only Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This is Braun’s third We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year award, as he previously won the award in 2008 and 2012. Other past winners include Jonathan Lucroy (2014), Carlos Gomez (2013), Nyjer Morgan (2011), Rickie Weeks (2010), Craig Counsell (2009), Prince Fielder (2007) and Bill Hall (2006).
All the ballots have been counted and the Brewers and We Energies will announce the winner of the 2015 “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year” in a pre-game ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Chicago Cubs. The award is presented to the Brewers player that best personifies the characteristics of hard work, a positive attitude and an aggressive approach to playing the game as voted on by fans, media members and We Energies.
The Brewers and We Energies also announced that Zach Stevens of Greenfield was chosen as the winner of the Grand Slam Prize package. Stevens voted for the award online at Brewers.com and had his name selected in a drawing. Stevens’ prize package includes participation in the “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year” pre-game ceremony, the opportunity to throw out a first pitch prior to tonight’s game, six Field Diamond Box tickets for tonight’s game, an authentic autographed jersey signed by the 2015 We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year, and a Club Level luxury suite for a 2016 Brewers home game.
Sixty lucky fans who voted online also won a pair of Field Infield Box tickets for a Brewers home game this season, compliments of We Energies.
Jonathan Lucroy won the award in 2014. Other past winners include Carlos Gomez (2013), Ryan Braun (2008 and 2012), Nyjer Morgan (2011), Rickie Weeks (2010), Craig Counsell (2009), Prince Fielder (2007) and Bill Hall (2006).
Ashley Honzik couldn’t believe it when she received word that she had been chosen to join the Brewers in San Diego for their final road series of the 2015 season.
“I thought, ‘Is this for real?’ When I submitted my photo, I knew there was a chance of winning a prize, but I was really just doing it for fun,” Ashley told me when we met up before yesterday’s Brewers vs. Padres game at Petco Park.
Ashley won the opportunity by being part of the #BrewersRoadCrew. All season long, we’ve encouraged fans who travel to support the team on the road, or who support the Brewers while on vacation or living afar, to submit their photos to brewers.com/roadcrew, as well as share them with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag.
We’ve picked one winner during each roadtrip this season to win a Southwest Airlines gift card and then, early in September, we drew the grand prize–a trip for two to see the Crew in San Diego.
Ashley submitted the winning photo of herself with her dad, Mark, back in June when the two traveled to catch the Brewers in Kansas City:
“That was right around Father’s Day, so we did a father-daughter trip,” Ashley said. “When I found out I won, I knew right away that I was going to take my dad. We’re both diehard Brewers fans.”
“I was in shock when she called me,” Mark said. “I said, ‘You’re kidding me.’ I mean, what are the chances…. I know there are a ton of great photos. I felt honored to get picked.”
The experience is extra-special for Mark, who lost his leg in an industrial accident in 1975. “October 10 will be the 40th anniversary of the accident and this seriously is the best gift ever to celebrate him and the fact that he’s able to do everyday things like go on a trip to watch his favorite team,” Ashley said. “He’s definitely one of the strongest people I know.”
Ashley said she’s been to about 6 or 7 ballparks and Mark’s been to about 5 or 6. The Honziks are from De Pere, Wisconsin, but they still travel down to Miller Park for at least 5-10 games every season.
For their prize, Ashley and Mark were flown out to San Diego courtesy of Southwest, where they stayed for two nights and attended two games (Wednesday night and this afternoon).
Neither Ashley nor her dad had ever been to San Diego, so they also squeezed in some other sightseeing, such as a boat tour, as well as sampled some of the great seafood the city has to offer.
Here are a few photos from their trip that Ashley was kind enough to share with me:
Thanks to Ashley and Mark for being such awesome Brewers fans and thanks to Southwest for supplying the prizes for the #BrewersRoadCrew contest.
And last but not least, thank you to all of the fans who have supported the Crew both on the road and at home all season long!