Brewers players and Front Office staff headed out on the concourse before tonight’s game armed with autographed baseballs, ticket upgrades, ticket vouchers for future games, food & beverage vouchers, Kids Club kits, merchandise and more–with the intent of giving it all away to Brewers fans, no strings attached.
This was no April Fools’ Day joke, instead it was part of our Brewers Fans First program. Tonight was just a fun way to kick off the 2014 season, by surprising fans and thanking them for their support.
Here are a few more photos from tonight so far, I’ll update this post with more later as they roll in.
Were you one of the lucky fans we ran into tonight? Share your comments with us below, or tweet/Instagram us your photos using #BrewersFansFirst.
Now you can take home a Hank that’s almost as cuddly as the #BallparkPup himself!
Yes, plush Hank toys are available at the Brewers Team Store at Miller Park. They retail for $20 and 20% goes to the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Chef John is at it again, putting his own touch on the soul food classic meal of Chicken and Waffles available for the Opening Series at Miller Park’s “Double Clutch” stand.
We think you’ll really enjoy the Buttermilk fried chicken and rosemary and thyme-infused waffles, covered with cayenne maple syrup, arugula, endive and pecan slaw–two to an order.
A popular dish in the South, the Chicken and Waffles are $9 and available through the Opening series with the Atlanta Braves.
Also available is a Smoked Turkey Chili, served in a bread bowl. That is $9 as well.
The Double Clutch stand is on the Loge Level outside section 215 (on the first base side of the press box).
-John & Cait
If you were at any of the Exhibition Games this weekend, along with taking in the new changes around the ballpark, you might have found yourself taking in some new music as well, especially as our players walked up to the plate, or our pitchers entered the games.
For players, this is often an important decision. What brief part of a song is going to send a message to the fans—and what do I want that message to be? Do I keep the same song that I had last year? What’s the hit that is going to produce the most hits? Is it a superstitious thing, do I want fans to sing along, or do I just use my favorite song right now?
And, it’s a big deal because sometimes, fans might not remember your exact career batting average or ERA with the team, but they just might remember your at-bat song.
Take these blasts from the past, for instance, which were very distinctive and will probably always stick out–in my mind, at least–as being associated with a certain player at a certain time: Tyler Houston using Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out” (2001); Frank Catalanotto and Mark Kotsay using The Outfield’s “Your Love” (2009; 2011—”Josie’s on a vacation far away….”); or Brooks Kieschnick entering the game to George Strait’s “Cowboys Like Us” (2004).
So, if you’re like me and you’re attuned to the tunes, you’ll probably enjoy seeing this list—and updating your iPod playlists accordingly.
DID YOU KNOW? Make sure you download the free MLB At The Ballpark App! In addition to check-in offers, ballpark maps, game updates and more, one of the really cool features is “Ballpark Music.” Like a song you hear? Check it out on At The Ballpark–and you can even download it right there! No Shazam necessary!
2014 AT-BAT WALK-UP MUSIC
Bianchi – “Tonight” by Jeremy Camp
Braun – “Still in this” by B.o.B
Davis – “Gangsta Rap Made me do it” by Ice Cube
Estrada – “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
Gallardo – “My Time” by Fabolous
Garza – “Toss it Up” by Tupac
Gennett – “Courage to Grow” by Rebelution
Gomez – “All me” by Drake
Lohse – “Next Episode” by Dr. Dre
Lucroy – “You’re Going Down” by Sick Puppies
Maldonado – “Watch Out for this” by Major Lazer
“Odio (Remix)” by Baby Rasta
Overbay –“Given to Fly” by Pearl Jam
Peralta – “Ponteme Melia” by Chimbala
Ramirez – None (at his request)
Reynolds – “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” by Jake Owen
Schafer – “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison
Segura – “Pa Que Tu Me Saluda” by Don Miguelo
“Dando Coriente” by El Alfa
Weeks – “Trophies” by Drake
2014 PITCHING ENTRANCE MUSIC
Duke – “Outsiders” by Eric Church
Estrada – “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
Gallardo – “My Time” by Fabolous
Garza – “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” by Tupac
Henderson – “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC
Lohse – “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine
Peralta – “Ponteme Melia” by Chimbala
F. Rodriguez – “Sandunqueoso” by Tego Cableron
Smith – “Hell Yeah” by Rev Theory
In case you weren’t aware, in addition to At The Ballpark, we do keep a list of these songs on brewers.com and try our best to update it accordingly, so you might want to bookmark this page for future reference.
So now, what about you? What’s your favorite, or most memorable Brewers at-bat song? And, if you were a player, what song might you choose as yours?
This season, the Head & Shoulders“Season of the Whiff” is back and smells better than ever. Last season, we encouraged fans to support local RBI Leagues by tweeting #WHIFF at their Club Twitter handle for every strikeout they saw, resulting in over $140,000 in donations for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI).
And this season, they are upping their game. In addition to donating $1 to the national RBI program for every strikeout during the 2014 MLB regular season, the seven MLB teams with the most #Whiff tweets each month will win donations for their local RBI leagues.
Here’s how Brewers fans can help! When a Brewers pitcher strikes out an opposing batter, make sure to jump on Twitter and tweet: #WHIFF and include our handle, @Brewers.
Simple as this:
That’s all you have to do! Each month, if we’re in the top 7 teams, we can win anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 for our local RBI program. AND the team with the most #Whiff tweets for the season will receive an additional $20,000 donation!
About the RBI Program
Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities, is a urban youth baseball initiative that was developed by former scout and Major Leaguer John Young in Los Angeles in 1989 to provide youth an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of baseball.
The RBI program encourages participating in baseball while providing youth with a positive, team-oriented activity that challenges them mentally and physically. The program also uses baseball to emphasize academics and community responsibility.
So… I don’t know about you, but I’m never one to back down from a challenge. See a whiff, tweet a #Whiff @Brewers and let’s win some money for a great cause!
A bet is a bet. And Brandon Kintzler lost one to Kyle Lohse. That’s why he’s the batboy for tonight’s Exhibition Game at Miller Park vs the Kansas City Royals.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Brandon said. “Whatever entertains the guys to kick off the year. And I can’t wear big-league stuff. I have to wear my own jersey so everyone knows it’s me. In Rookie Ball, you have to batboy, so I have experience. I know to watch the umpire, watch what he needs. I’m probably going to get really tired; it will be my conditioning for the day.”
So what are the events that lead up to this? I sat down with both Brandon and Kyle individually to get both sides of the story, and, okay, I’ll admit it–stir the pot a little. Read on.
You see, it all started in Spring Training at Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic, when Brandon was in the winning group:
“After that… He popped off that he was just as good as me,” said Kyle, who is basically a scratch golfer and well-known for his golfing prowess in the clubhouse. “He didn’t back down from a one-on-one challenge. Leading up to it, he was even talking smack about how he out-drives me and maybe I might need strokes. I was like ‘Alright. Whatever. Pick a course, we’ll go play it.’ I wanted to be fair, so we picked a course that I hadn’t played, didn’t know anything about,” he said.
“We wanted a course that we hadn’t played,” Brandon confirmed. And that’s how they landed at Moon Valley Country Club. “I had heard it’s a long, tough course, a lot of target golf.”
Of course, after all of the buildup to the match, they had to put some stakes on it.
“I wouldn’t agree to a bunch of bets, so at the end he said–and I think he was joking–’loser batboys Exhibition Game‘ and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do that,” Brandon said. “Last time I played with him at his course, he beat me by one hole, and by like two strokes, so it wasn’t like it was going to be an unfair match.”
But this time, their match was not as close. Kyle ended up winning by 11 strokes, shooting a 74 to Brandon’s 85.
“It was definitely my chipping. And sand. I probably gave 8 strokes away from chipping and sand alone,” Brandon lamented. He also chalked it up to a lot of “bad luck.”
“There was one drive where we both hit in the fairway, but mine bounced left into the sand trap. It was literally two feet from his ball. I had a lot of bad luck,” Brandon, who played competitive Junior Golf a little as a teen, explained.
“You know old guys gotta get luck,” he continued, taking a not-so-subtle dig at Kyle, who is 35-years old and six years older than him.
“I outdrive him so, he’s gotta get luck. He needed all the luck he could get….Make sure you put that in there,” he added.
“And Kyle was really nice during the round,” he continued. ” He knows I had a lot of bad luck and he had some good luck, but then he shows up to the field and makes it sound like I was terrible. He even brought in a Championship belt. He said he crushed me, but they don’t know about the round before. He’s just mad because I have the Bob Uecker title. He’s a totally different person on the course and off the course.“
Kyle refutes this. “I show up, I don’t know anything about the course, just like he doesn’t… and I beat him by 11 strokes. There’s not a lot of bad luck that happens when you’re on the fairways or greens, right? So when you’re constantly off the fairways and off the greens, I don’t know if you call that bad luck, or not being able to keep the ball in play. There are two ways you can look at it.”
“I got a couple grays in my beard,” he continued, “But you know, it is what it is. Older, wiser, better? I don’t know. My 74 could have been like a 68 if I had made some other putts. I didn’t miss too many greens. I went into it with prior experience, beating another guy on the team, another ‘young fella’–[Johnny] Hellweg. He popped off about my golf game… I gave him 20 strokes and I beat him by 41 so I went into it knowing…. With Brandon, the third hole was when I knew it was over because it was a driving hole, a par-4, even for me, a ‘short hitter,’ so I hit 3-iron. Just wanted to keep it in play. He hits driver, got lucky that it was in play, then had to play a shot under and through a tree, ended up in a bunker, went from that bunker to 60-yds past the green into a fairway bunker and from that bunker back into the same bunker he was just in, you know, so I knew then that experience was going to carry me through the match.”
As for the belt? Kyle tells me it serves a dual purpose. “I went to the store and picked up a little belt so I could make sure he knew I was the champ, but we have card games in the clubhouse and we have a champion of the day. From now on, that person will get the belt.”
“I think of it like back in the day when Tiger dominated,” Kyle told me. “You know, whenever he was in that final group, everyone kind of wilted around him? It was kind of the same thing. That’s what happened to Hellweg and I knew that if I just kept the ball in play–I don’t care if I get outdriven–I’m gonna keep it in play and put it on the green. Not too many bad things can happen when you do that.”
And, long story short, that is how Brandon Kintzler ended up as a batboy for tonight’s game.
But still, Brandon wants a chance at redemption: “I will get a rematch at some point,” he said.
Kyle is not so sure.
“What happens in boxing when the champ defends his title? Do they automatically give a rematch to the other guy, or does he have to fight a few more battles and work his way back up? The way I look at it, he got knocked out in the first round, he’s been knocked way down in status. I’m not even sure he’s third or fourth best golfer on the team right now with the play he put out. After he works his way up, he can challenge me again, but it’s going to be awhile.”
Speaking of challenges… in his interview tonight, Kyle failed to mention another golf match that took place earlier in Spring Training down in Arizona. We’ll have more on that to come here on the blog.
Fans attending Opening Day at Miller Park on Monday now have the unique chance to be featured in an upcoming Instragram-built video project called #MyBrewersOpener.
We’re looking to create a commemorative “InstragraMovie” built solely from hundreds of Instagram photos — YOUR photos depicting YOUR experiences attending Opening Day at Miller Park.
Capture it all — from the time your day starts until the final out. All you need to do is include #MyBrewersOpener in your Instagram pictures on game day and — even better — one lucky Instaphotographer could win four tickets to the Brewers game at Miller Park against the Cubs on April 27, 2014!
These videos are pretty cool, check out this one from last year’s World Series:
So make sure to document your whole day on Instagram, include the hashtag and celebrate the Brewers!
Please note: the official hashtag for Opening Day is simply #BrewersOpener, so use that elsewhere on social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) to following the conversation. By adding in the “MY” on Instagram, that’s the best way we can find the photos you’ve meant to share with us/enter in the promotion.
Earlier this year, we announced plans for several new additions to Miller Park in 2014 and, today, with just five days left before the #BrewersOpener, we were ready to show some of them off.
Here’s something we are both personally psyched about: the arrival of AJ Bombers. The popular restaurant and bar – with locations in Milwaukee and Madison – will occupy the outside space formerly known as the Plaza Pavilion, along the west side of Miller Park near the right-field gate.
AJ Bombers will offer cheeseburgers, egg rolls, tater tots, shakes, custards, specialty concrete mixers and more. The menu will also include homestand specials, such as city-themed burgers as well as player-favorite burgers. Stay tuned to the blog as we will continue to update the new menu items AJ Bombers will rotate in throughout the season.
To start off the season (beginning at this weekend’s Exhibition Games), AJ Bomber’s special custard concrete concoction is “Bernie’s Concrete: The Cracker Jack.” It’s custard mixed with beer, caramel, salted peanuts and caramel corn—and it’s delicious. Here’s Bernie, enjoying his tasty treat:
Brewers Authentics Kiosk
- A new custom portable millwork display for the Brewers Authentics Collection (game-used items) has been added along the first base side of the Field Level concourse behind the Klement’s Grand Slam Grill. Follow @MILAuthentics on Twitter for updates on the latest game-used merchandise available!
- This is a great place to get that unique gift idea. Did the Brewers play on a date that is special to you? Wedding day? Birthday? Anniversary? First ever game? You can purchase game-used items from that day at this location.
Brewers Team Store by Majestic Expansion:
- The Brewers Team Store by Majestic, located in Miller Park’s Hot Corner, underwent a 300-square foot expansion which accommodates a larger footprint for “Brewed for Her” merchandise and apparel.
- In addition to the new AJ Bombers fare, here are some new pizzas & wraps fans can expect to see at Miller Park this season. Stay tuned to the blog for “What John & Cait Ate” concession reviews on these items and more all season long!
Earlier this month, we told you that TGI Friday’s at Miller Park was undergoing renovations. It’s now complete and looks great! The newly-redesigned Fridays has a fun, energetic vibe with a dramatically redesigned bar.
Toyota Territory Redevelopment
- The Toyota Territory in right-center field has undergone development from a private group amenity to a destination open to all fans in attendance at Miller Park. The renovated Toyota Territory has been converted from what was previously a 24-person private group space into an area capable of entertaining over 100 fans. At 1,493 square feet, the Toyota Territory will offer a unique view to take in a game.
Other new additions to look forward to in 2014 include the following:
- Unlike the statues that surround Miller Park’s Home Plate Plaza, the new Bob Uecker statue will be in the last row of the Terrace Level at Miller Park. The statue will pay tribute to the popular Miller Lite “All Stars” ad campaign which featured Uecker’s famous tagline, “I must be in the front row.” The statue will sit atop the Uecker Seats in Miller Park’s Terrace Level (Section 422), and will feature an open seat next to it, allowing for a perfect photo opportunity. The statue was designed by Brian Maughan, the artist of the four statues outside Miller Park on the Home Plate Plaza.The Uecker Statue will be unveiled on April 25.
- The “Brewers Wall of Honor” will commemorate Milwaukee Brewers players, coaches and executives who played prominent roles with the organization. The Wall of Honor will be a permanent exhibit on an exterior Miller Park wall adjacent to the Hot Corner entrance. Honorees will be recognized with a bronze plaque affixed to the wall, with their image and a brief synopsis of their Milwaukee baseball career etched onto the marker. The plaques are designed by Matthews International, designers of the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.The Wall will be unveiled in June.
East Lot Tailgate Pavilions
- The East Lot Tailgate Pavilions have been refurbished with new wood fascia and signage.
- Three flag poles (one 25-foot flag pole and two 20-foot flag poles) have been installed on the landing behind Section 238, which is located beyond the left-center field wall. The American flag will fly on the 25-foot flag pole, while the Wisconsin State flag and a Brewers flag will fly on the 20-foot flag poles.
- The Miller Park scoreboard is the same, but detail-orientated fans might see some cosmetic differences with the in-game graphics. Here is a sneak peak of how the board will look during a game.
- Approximately 150 flat screen televisions have been installed throughout the Miller Park concourses, replacing existing CRT televisions, to provide fans with the HD feed of the game.
Also on the construction front, the home clubhouse underwent some minor renovations, including the addition of three lockers in the coaches’ locker room and an expansion of the players’ dining room area. Other improvements to Miller Park include updates to the executive office lobby, new flooring in the Brewers Team Store at the Home Plate Gate, the addition of grow lights throughout Miller Park and the installation of a fire suppression system in the scoreboard control room and IT server room. In addition, the infield and outfield playing surface was replaced with new sod in October.
The Toyota Territory, Brewers Team Store by Majestic expansion and Authentics Collection kiosk was designed by Uihlein-Wilson Architects. Design work for AJ Bombers was handled by Flux Design.
- John & Cait
Making the team is one thing. Signing a contract is another.
Today, we presented Hank with an official contract, which he carefully reviewed. We hoped he wouldn’t drag his tail because we think we got the pick of the litter.
But not to worry, after careful consideration, he “paw”-tographed it, giving it his stamp of approval.