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Brewers Mini-Marathon, Presented by Sendik’s Set for September 10

The fifth annual “Brewers Mini-Marathon, Presented by Sendik’s” is set for Saturday, September 10, and registration is now available online at brewersmini.com.  The race has offered a half marathon and 10K since 2013 and will now include a 5K course as well.

MB-15_Brewers_Mini-Social-Square_Updated

All three races begin and end at beautiful Miller Park and offer courses that take runners through the Miller Valley, past the Harley-Davidson Museum, Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) and along the Miller Park warning track. 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 and May of 2017, a participant medal and a “tech” shirt.  A post-race tailgate party outside Miller Park with live music will also take place for runners and spectators to enjoy.

Great course support will be provided with aid stations featuring drinks and misting stations. Refreshing snacks and drinks will be provided by Sendik’s Food Market at the finish line. Spectators will have plenty of free parking available at Miller Park and will be invited inside to watch participants run along the field warning track while being shown on the scoreboard.

Through the race’s first four years, participants have helped to raise over $205,000 to benefit the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc.) and childhood cancer research in Wisconsin.  Fundraising for the MACC Fund is supported by Brewers Community Foundation and participants can create their own fundraising page at brewersmini.com and submit online donations.  Individual fundraisers will get the chance to have their name entered in a raffle for great prizes.  The top three fundraising groups will win a special prize.  Previous fundraising prizes have included signed Brewers memorabilia and once-in-a-lifetime experiences at Miller Park.

Runners who register before April 29 will receive discounts. Early registration pricing is $65 for the Mini-Marathon, $45 for the 10K and $25 for the 5K.  Regular registration prices for the Mini-Marathon and 10K are $75 and $55 respectively for those who register April 30 – July 29. Late registration, available from July 30 – September 6, is available at $85 for the Mini-Marathon, $65 for the 10K and $30 for the 5K. Race packets can be the picked up during Packet Pick-Up at Miller Park on Thursday and Friday, September 8 and 9, 2016.  Last minute registrations will be accepted for the mini-marathon, 10K and 5K for, respectively, $100/$80/$35 at Packet Pick-Up if space is available.

Complete race details, a course map and other information can all be found at brewersmini.com.

Brewers Announce Complete Schedule for 2016; Updated Schedule Includes Home and Road Game Times

Today we announced the complete schedule for the 2016 season, which includes all home and road times.

2016 Brewers Schedule

The Brewers open the regular season at home against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, April 4 at Miller Park (1:10 p.m.) in the start of a six-game homestand over seven days.  The season-opening homestand concludes with a weekend Interleague series against the Houston Astros.

The first road trip of the season features a three-city trip, spanning eight games over nine days, while traveling to St. Louis (April 11-14), Pittsburgh (April 15-17) and Minnesota (April 18-19).

The Interleague schedule features games against each team in the American League West Division, as well as four games in the border battle against the Minnesota Twins.  The Interleague schedule begins against the Houston Astros at Miller Park from April 8-10, and continues with a four-game home/away series against the Twins from April 18-21.  The Crew will take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for three games from May 2-4 at Miller Park, and will face the Seattle Mariners over a three-game series from August 19-21 at Safeco Field.  The team also plays a pair of two-game series against the Oakland Athletics – June 7-8 at home, and two weeks later, June 21-22, at O.co Coliseum.  The Brewers conclude Interleague Play with a three-game trip against the Texas Rangers from September 26-28 at Globe Life Park in Arlington during the final week of the regular season.

The Brewers will play at home on Memorial Day, May 30 vs. St. Louis and Labor Day, September 5 vs. Chicago-NL.  The team will visit the nation’s capital for the Fourth of July to open a three-game set against the Nationals (July 4-6).

Most weekday night games at Miller Park will start at 7:10 p.m. (May 2, July 25, and Monday night games in August will start at 6:20 p.m.).  Weekday day games at home in April and May will start at 12:40 p.m. (except for Opening Day and Memorial Day, which will start at 1:10 p.m.).  Sunday games and weekday day games at Miller Park from June through September will start at 1:10 p.m. (except Wednesday June 1, which will start at 12:40 p.m. and Labor Day on September 5, which is a 12:10 p.m. start time).  Most Saturday home games will begin at 6:10 p.m.

All game dates and times are subject to change.

Brewers On Deck Attendees Announced

Over 50 Milwaukee Brewers players, alumni, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 31 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 14 and under.  Tickets on the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.  On the day event, cash is the only accepted form of payment for admittance. A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at Brewers.com/ondeck through January 29.

Once again food donations will be accepted through Hunger Task Force. Donations can be dropped off at two main entrances to the Wisconsin Center, located at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and 4th Street and Wells Street.

Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include (all subject to change):

Damien Magnifico

PLAYERS MANAGER ALUMNI
Orlando Arcia Ramon Flores Shane Peterson Craig Counsell Don August
Jacob Barnes Matt Garza Brett Phillips COACHES Jerry Augustine
Yhonathan Barrios David Goforth Michael Reed Darnell Coles Jeff Cirillo
Michael Blazek Junior Guerra Domingo Santana Joe Crawford Rollie Fingers
Ryan Braun Josh Hader Will Smith Derek Johnson Jim Gantner
Keon Broxton Adrian Houser Tyler Thornburg Marcus Hanel Larry Hisle
Chris Carter Jeremy Jeffress Jonathan Villar Jason Lane Ken Sanders
Garin Cecchini Taylor Jungmann Tyler Wagner Pat Murphy Gorman Thomas
Trent Clark Corey Knebel Colin Walsh Ed Sedar Greg Vaughn
Clint Coulter Jorge Lopez Carlos Subero Paul Wagner
Tyler Cravy  Martin Maldonado Lee Tunnell
 Zach Davies  Jimmy Nelson Matt Erickson  Bob Uecker
 1/20/16 Update: We’ve had some additions to our lineup! New attendees noted in RED. For those asking, yes, Bob Uecker will be attendance as well!
1/22/16 Update: Sorry, fans! We regret to inform you that Robin Yount is no longer able to attend the event.
1/22/16 Update: Sorry, fans! We regret to inform you that Scooter Gennett is no longer able to attend the event.

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family.  Autographs and photos from Brewers players, coaches and alumni; interactive games in the Kids Area; Q&A sessions and Klement’s Main Stage game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt, a 50/50 raffle, live auction and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

During the event, the Brewers will unveil a new book – Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood Our City. The Book is published by SHARP Literacy, Inc. and is sponsored by Brewers Community Foundation and Ryan Braun.  It tells the story of two children who share their differing experiences of Milwaukee and are attempting to figure out how they fit in.  It also features informational sections that weave together iconic Milwaukee institutions and neighborhood-based landmarks with important themes in common.

Explore MKE

SHARP Literacy, Inc. is a non-profit organization that enhances future life success by energizing urban children and motivating them to identify themselves as confident, capable scholars and lifelong learners by inspiring engagement in reading, writing and research through hands on interaction and visual arts.

Details regarding autographs include the following:  Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced next week) will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry sheet which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center.  The Premier Entry sheet will be exchanged for a numbered coupon to be entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players.  Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session.   There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $25 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature.  There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions.  The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session.

Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted at a later date.  The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia.  For additional information, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.

Autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation.  Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.

A detailed schedule of all Brewers On Deck activities will be released at a later date, so stay tuned!

-Cait

@CMoyer

Mike Schwartz Named Director of Food & Beverage Hospitality

Today we announced that Mike Schwartz has been named Brewers Director of Food and Beverage Hospitality. In this position, Schwartz will take the lead on the Club’s long-term food and beverage strategy at Miller Park, with a particular focus on quality and customer service.  He will also manage the day-to-day relationship with Delaware North Sportservice, the Brewers’ concessionaire at Miller Park.

“Mike’s considerable experience in the food and baseball industries gives him an ideal skill set to lead the partnership with Delaware North Sportservice, with the ultimate goal of providing our fans with the best food and beverage experience in all of sports,” said Brewers Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Teddy Werner.

Mike Schwartz has returned to the Brewers staff in a new capacity.

Mike Schwartz has returned to the Brewers staff in a new capacity.

Schwartz returns to the Brewers after spending the last two years with the Kraft Heinz Company.  He started with Kraft in September 2013 as a Senior Associate Brand Manager, spending time in New Product Development before helping lead and manage the JELL-O brand.  In 2015, he was promoted to Brand Manager, overseeing a wide variety of condiments and sauces in the company’s Foodservice division.  His additional experience includes working for the Hillshire Brands Company (2010-13) on iconic brands such as Ball Park and Jimmy Dean.  Prior to his work in the food industry, Schwartz spent six years with the Brewers in the Baseball Operations department (2004-09), most recently as Coordinator of Baseball Research and Special Projects.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to the Brewers,” said Schwartz.  “I could not be more excited to join such a talented team in order to help reimagine the food and beverage hospitality experience at Miller Park.”

A 2004 graduate of Indiana University, Schwartz earned a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Marketing and Management, and Business Management. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree in 2011 from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  Schwartz and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children, sons Matthew and Nathaniel, and daughter, Thea.

Brewers Announce Minor League Coaching Staffs; Additional Changes Made to Player Development Department

Today we announced the Brewers Minor League coaching staffs for the 2016 season in addition to several changes to the Club’s Player Development department.

Eduardo Brizuela has been promoted to assistant farm director after spending the previous three years as director of Latin America scouting and operations. In his new role, Brizuela will be based out of the Brewers Maryvale, Arizona complex year-round.

In addition to his duties as Assistant to Director, Player Development, Tony Diggs will add the title of roving outfield coordinator. Diggs will continue his role as manager as well, but will move from Rookie Helena to Rookie Arizona. This marks his return to the team that he managed from 2008-12, which included an Arizona League championship in 2010.

The entire coaching staff at Triple-A Colorado Springs will return for a second straight season. The team will be managed by Rick Sweet and will be joined by Pitching Coach Fred Dabney, Coach Bob Skube, Athletic Trainer Aaron Hoback and Strength and Conditioning Specialist Andrew Emmick.

The Double-A Biloxi Shuckers, who advanced to the Southern League Championship Series in their first year of play, will have a new manager. Former Brewers First Base Coach Mike Guerrero will lead the Shuckers in 2016. This marks his return to the Double-A level, where he served as manager of the Huntsville Stars from 2010-11.  Pitching Coach Chris Hook, Coach Sandy Guerrero, Athletic Trainer Steve Patera and Strength and Conditioning Specialist Nate Dine will all return to the staff.

Joe Ayrault returns for his fifth season as manager of the Class-A Brevard County Manatees. He is joined by Pitching Coach David Chavarria, Coach Ned Yost IV, Athletic Trainer Tommy Craig and Strength and Conditioning Specialist Jonah Mergen, who are all returning. Edwin Maysonet joins the staff as the newest coach. He retired from playing at the end of last season after spending 12 seasons in the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers systems. Maysonet reached the Major Leagues in 2008 and 2009 with the Astros and played 30 games for the Brewers in 2012.

There will be three new members on the Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers staff next season. Manager Matt Erickson will return for his sixth season along with Pitching Coach Gary Lucas, Coach Chuckie Caufield and Athletic Trainer Jeff Paxson. Coach Al Leboeuf moves from the Rookie Arizona Brewers to take the same position with the Timber Rattlers. Ben Mendelson joins the T-Rats as the strength & conditioning specialist. He previously served in the same role with the Arizona League Brewers last year.

The Helena Brewers will feature an entirely new staff in 2016. The team will be led by Manager Nestor Corredor, who served as the Arizona Brewers Manager last season. He is joined by Pitching Coach Mark Dewey, who also serves as the Brewers assistant pitching coordinator, and Coach Liu Rodriguez, who served as coach for Wisconsin in 2015. Reggie Williams joins the staff as a coach after serving in the same role for Brevard County last year. Jeff Bodenhamer will become the team’s athletic trainer. This will be his first season with the Brewers after spending the previous 11 seasons in the Texas Rangers organization. Alistair Matthews rounds out the staff as the strength and conditioning specialist. He served in the same role with the DSL Brewers in 2015.

Rolando Valles and Steve Cline will join Tony Diggs’ staff as pitching coaches at Rookie Arizona. Valles joins the Arizona crew in Maryvale as pitching coach after serving in the same position with Helena last season, while Cline will return for his 16th season with the team. The team will feature Coach Hainley Statia, who joins the team after retiring from playing following last season. Statia played 10 seasons professionally with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Brewers. Matt Deal has been named the Arizona Brewers athletic trainer. Deal spent the 2015 season with the DSL Brewers and was an athletic training intern with the Major League club in 2014.

Victor Estevez moves from coach to manager and will lead the DSL Brewers in 2016. He is flanked by Pitching Coach Geraldo Obispo and returning Coaches Luis de los Santos and Joan Abreu. Jose Pena will move from manager to coach. Alex Mena returns as the team’s athletic trainer for the second straight season and will be joined by new Strength and Conditioning Specialist Sam Hoffman.

The complete Minor League coaching staffs are listed below (new staff members/assignments are in bold):

MILWAUKEE BASED STAFF
Farm Director Tom Flanagan
Manager, Administration – Player Development Mark Mueller
   
ROVING STAFF  
Field Coordinator & Catching Instructor Charlie Greene
Pitching Coordinator Rick Tomlin
Assistant Pitching Coordinator (will also serve as Helena’s Pitching Coach) Mark Dewey
Hitting Coordinator Jeremy Reed
Roving Infield Coordinator Bob Miscik
Asst. to Director, Player Development/Roving Outfield Coordinator Tony Diggs
 
MARYVALE BASED STAFF
Assistant Farm Director Eduardo Brizuela
Athletic Training Coordinator Frank Neville
Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Tim Gifford
Physical Therapist Kevin Truitt
Coordinator, Arizona Complex/Video Operations Matt Kerls
Maryvale Clubhouse Manager Travis Voss
 
COLORADO SPRINGS SKY SOX (AAA)
Manager Rick Sweet
Pitching Coach Fred Dabney
Coach Bob Skube
Athletic Trainer Aaron Hoback
Strength & Conditioning Specialist Andrew Emmick
BILOXI SHUCKERS (AA)
Manager Mike Guerrero
Pitching Coach Chris Hook
Coach Sandy Guerrero
Athletic Trainer Steve Patera
Strength & Conditioning Specialist Nate Dine
BREVARD COUNTY MANATEES (A)
Manager Joe Ayrault
Pitching Coach David Chavarria
Coach Ned Yost IV
Coach Edwin Maysonet
Athletic Trainer Tommy Craig
Strength & Conditioning Specialist Jonah Mergen
WISCONSIN TIMBER RATTLERS (A)
Manager Matt Erickson
Pitching Coach Gary Lucas
Coach Al Leboeuf
Coach Chuckie Caufield
Athletic Trainer Jeff Paxson
Strength & Conditioning Specialist Ben Mendelson
HELENA BREWERS (R)
Manager Nestor Corredor
Pitching Coach Mark Dewey
Coach Liu Rodriguez
Coach Reggie Williams
Athletic Trainer Jeff Bodenhamer
Strength & Conditioning Specialist Alistair Matthews
ARIZONA BREWERS (R)
Manager Tony Diggs
Pitching Coach Steve Cline
Pitching Coach Rolando Valles
Coach Hainley Statia
Athletic Trainer Matt Deal
 
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE BREWERS (R)
Manager Victor Estevez
Pitching Coach Geraldo Obispo
Coach Luis De Los Santos
Coach Jose Pena
Coach Joan Abreu
Athletic Trainer Alex Mena
Strength & Conditioning Specialist Sam Hoffman
Coordinator Manuel Vargas
 

 

Thank You, Readers!

Happy New Year, readers!

I start 2016 filled with extreme gratitude for you, the loyal Cait Covers the Bases readers!

Once again, you’ve made this blog a Top 100 MLB Pro Blog (#4 to be exact).

Clearly you have a hunger for Brewers stories and information as congratulations are also in order for fellow Brewers bloggers Adam McCalvy (Brew Beat), #17 in MLB.com Beat Writers; Jeff Levering (Minor Details), #21 in MiLB Pro Blogs; Brewer Nation, #3 in Fan Blogs; and Brewers Farm Report, #29 in Fan Blogs.

To view the complete list of Top MLBlogs, click here.

Thank you again for reading. I look forward to continuing to provide you with more fun and informing content in 2016 and beyond.
Cheers!
Cait

@CMoyer

 

Voting Begins for Free-Shirt Fridays

Back by popular demand, Free-Shirt Fridays will return to Miller Park for the 2016 season. All fans in attendance during each of the seven Friday home games from June through August will receive a complimentary Brewers–themed T-shirt (available in both medium and extra-large sizes).

The Brewers are once again giving the fans a voice as they will ultimately decide the designs for each of seven Free-Shirt Friday giveaways.

T-ShirtFridays_Twitter

Beginning today, a dozen possible T-shirt designs will be posted at Brewers.com/shirtvote. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite designs, ranking their top seven choices in order from one to seven. Their first choice will receive seven points, their second choice will receive six, and continuing to their seventh and final vote which will receive one point. Voting will remain open until 5:00 p.m. CT on Friday, January 22.

Once the results are in, they will be tabulated and the seven winning designs will be revealed during a special presentation at Brewers On Deck on Sunday, January 31.

While individual tickets are not yet on sale, fans can guarantee their spot at Miller Park for Free-Shirt Fridays – plus receive free Opening Day tickets – with a Brewers 10-Pack, on sale now at brewers.com/10packs or by calling (414) 902-HITS (4487).

Additionally, fans can share in the excitement of counting down to Brewers Opening Day by following the Brewers on social media, and also enter to win a pair of 10-Packs, tickets to Opening Day and roundtrip airfare on Southwest Airlines, by posting their creative countdown photos on Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtag #SeeUApril4. For additional information, please visit brewers.com/countdown.

 

There Is No Offseason For… The Retail Department

Our latest installment of There Is No Offseason For… brings us to the Brewers Retail Department.

I sat down with Jill Aronoff, Senior Director of Retail and Merchandise Branding; Nathan Jaeckels, Retail Merchandising Manager; and Dave Siever, Authentics Manager, to discuss how they work year-round to provide fans with the latest and greatest in Brewers gear.

The Brewers Retail Department works year-round to provide you with the latest & greatest in Brewers gear! L-R: Nathan, Dave and Jill.

The Brewers Retail Department works year-round to provide you with the latest & greatest in Brewers gear! Here, they pose with the Timeless Ticket. L-R: Nathan, Dave and Jill.

As head of the department, Jill’s main job is to work as a liaison between Delaware North, our concessionaire, and the Brewers.  Delaware North runs our food and beverage service at Miller Park and they also run our retail operations.

Jill works with her counterparts at Delaware North on retail, helping to ensure that the right product is in the stores, with the right sizing and quantities and that it’s represented to the Club’s standards.

In addition to that, Jill’s department also runs our Authentics program (more on that in just a bit), as well as any specialty orders to fulfill front office needs, such as uniforms for gameday staff, or a gift for sponsors.

Jill’s been working in retail since she was 16 years old.

“Retail is in my blood,” she says. “I’ve worked for almost every major retailer, as well as studied textiles and clothing, with a fashion merchandising emphasis and a minor in apparel production.”

Jill got her start as intern for Macy’s, which brought her to San Francisco. After that, she added companies such as Nordstrom, The Gap and Timberland to her resume before making what she describes as a “career focus change” at Levi Strauss.

At Levi’s she started to delve into the marketing and target marketing aspects of the business.

“I feel like I got my second degree from Levi’s because I really learned a lot about target marketing, relationship building, et cetera. I helped start Levis.com and created their email campaigns. The original dot com craze hit and I branched out and started working at a startup. That’s how I got into sports,” she says.

Jill started working for a company called Quokka Sports, which partnered with NBC to produce the NBC Olympics website. Jill began working on the Sydney Olympics Store website, the America’s Cup website and other extreme sports that Quokka was involved in before making a connection with the CFO at the Oakland Raiders, which eventually led to a new position for Jill in the front office of her favorite NFL team.

“They didn’t have any openings but they created a job for me. I started running their fan club. I did a rewards program for them. I created their database. I ran their online store. I took over all the email marketing campaigns for their whole organization. I did marketing for the online store and the brick and mortar stores. Then I got recruited to come here,” she says.

Here, Jill is mainly involved in our brick and mortar stores at the ballpark, as the Brewers online store is run through Major League Baseball. However, Jill must work very closely with MLB, as the league has certain vendors and product licensees from which she can order. In addition, she attends multiple retail summits both in-season and during the offseason, where she is checking out the new offerings from vendors and placing orders.

Jill also helps manage the uniforms on the field.

“If there’s a new uniform I work with MLB on what that new uniform will look like. I work with the licensees like Majestic and Nike to make sure that’s represented on the field,” she said.

Jill noted that MLB and Majestic Athletic work together to make changes to the on-field uniforms in order to help improve the fabric performance, comfort and flexibility.

Jill says that for her, the main difference between in-season and the offseason is that is that the days are longer during the games.

“For retail, there is no offseason. The store is open every day, except Sundays during the offseason. We’re still going strong. Daily it doesn’t stop for us,” Jill says.

She also says that during the offseason, the focus shifts slightly to more planning and organizing, while during the season, it’s more implementing. Either way, they have a lot going on all the time.

For those unfamiliar with the retail industry, it might surprise you to learn how far in advance merchandise is ordered.

For example, items expected to hit the stores this coming spring were ordered by Jill’s team back in July and by the time the offseason hits, they’re starting to look at the fall line for the next season.

I asked Jill what some of the new styles and trends are that we have to look forward to and she told me, “Sports is pretty good about following the trends you see outside with the different textiles and patterns. There’ll be great fabrication, a lot of burnouts, and a lot of foil applications that we’ll be seeing. We definitely try to make sure we have something for everybody from the very first Brewers fan born two months ago, to the fan that’s been a fan for over 70 years. We have something for everybody, every size, fit, style.”

Jill’s team will add in novelties and last minute items as well.

Jill’s staff is comprised of Nathan and Dave, both Sport Management majors from Cardinal Stritch. Nathan and David have a big hand in the Club’s Authentics program, which encompasses game-used items, autographed items, and specialty collector’s items.

Nathan got his start with the Club in 2011 as one of our College Ambassador interns. While in that gig, he helped Jill out with a few projects, which led to further positions as Jill’s assistant in a part-time role, until he recently became a full-time member of the staff.

Nathan’s primary role involves Authentics, where he helps to run the online auctions on mlb.com; tracks and fulfills all the sales related to our Authentics items; and runs the @MILAuthentics Twitter account.

Nathan also works with Jill to come up with fun promotions for the Brewers Team Stores at Miller Park, like the “Moonshot Markdown,” where, if a player hits a home run during the game, fans can get $5 off that player’s t-shirt or jersey for the remainder of the game; or “10 for The Win,” where fans get 10% off that day’s winning Famous Racing Sausage items; or the #HanksHangout Twitter promotion.

This offseason, he says he’s working on recapping last year, projections for next year and budgeting.

“I’m looking at what type of Authentics products we want to bring in next year, inventory management, and helping come up with more fun promotions for fans next season,” Nathan said.

Dave got his start with the Brewers in 2006, working in the Clubhouse as a bat boy. As he grew in that role, he graduated to working more inside the Clubhouse, where he helped take care of the players’ needs in terms of Clubhouse set-up and take down, and dealing with their equipment—making sure that everything was stocked and ready to go for the game.

Dave’s familiarity with the players and their equipment gave him a unique edge when the job for Authentics Manager was posted in 2013.

“I had a lot of experience and background with equipment and that kind of stuff,” he said. “It’s basically knowing a story behind each piece of equipment that we’re dealing with.”

Dave’s primary job now is managing the Authentics kiosk behind Section 111 on the concourse. Items are also available in the Brewers Team Stores, via the Brewers Authentics Shop on MLB.com (where a portion of the proceeds goes to Brewers Community Foundation) and they’ll have an area at Brewers on Deck at the end of this month.

“We work closely with MLB to authenticate anything we get from the Clubhouse—bases, bats, baseballs, jerseys, you name it,” Dave said.

The authentication process is quite interesting. MLB provides authenticators at every game. Their job is verify the authenticity of broken bats, jerseys, bases, baseballs, or any other items that we request. A hologram sticker containing a 6-digit number and two letters is then applied to the items. Fans who purchase the items (they can even preorder some of it) can then visit the MLB website where they can enter the code, which will bring up a description of the item.

Dave works with Nathan to maintain the current inventory and also to obtain new items. This offseason, one unique item they acquired were some Miller Park turnstiles. They sold 19 in a matter of a week.

“Anything that represents Miller Park or the Brewers is fair game to get authenticated, but it all comes down to what customers want, how unique it is,” Dave said.

“It’s the story behind the product,” Nathan added.  “After Martin Maldonado’s walk-off on Mother’s Day, we got his Gatorade-soaked jersey. We got Jungmann’s MLB debut jersey, Ryan Braun’s 250th career home run ball, et cetera.”

Depending on what the item is, some of the items are kept for the Brewers archives, given to the players as mementos, or turned around to be sold to fans. They even get items pertaining to other team items. For example, Kris Bryant’s first home run was here at Miller Park, so they were able to sell the bases from that game.

“You get some really unique merchandise that die-hard fans, collectors really appreciate,” Nathan said.

“I think our department is one of the most fun because we get to interact with the fans every day,” Jill noted.  “We get to help them take home a piece of the game and help them feel like they’re a part of the team.”

With under just over a month to go, Jill, Nathan and Dave—like most of us—are looking forward to Spring Training where this year, the store in Maryvale, Arizona is set to open on February 11.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to check out our new uniforms and the new merchandise in the store. Even though I’ve worked here for years and a majority of my wardrobe contains some sort of Brewers insignia, for me, it’s kind of like going back-to-school shopping. I need to get a few new items to start the year (or season) off right.

I’m sure Jill and her staff have picked out some great stuff we have to look forward to.

-Cait

@CMoyer

Brewers 10-Packs on Sale Tomorrow; Plans Include Free Opening Day Ticket!

The calendar has turned to 2016 and Opening Day is within sight. Fans can secure their tickets to Opening Day for FREE with a Brewers 10-Pack, which goes on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. There are six enticing plans to choose from, including the popular Fan’s Choice Plan which returns for 2016. All plans feature 10 home games, plus Opening Day or any other game of the fan’s choice as their FREE 11th game.

In addition to tickets to Opening Day, each of the six plans offer a unique experience. The Weekend Plan features a total of five giveaway dates, including three All-Kid giveaway items – the Jonathan Lucroy Replica Jersey on May 15 vs. San Diego, the Bernie Paint-Your-Own Bobble on May 29 vs. Cincinnati and the Lucroy Chest Protector on August 28 vs. Pittsburgh. This plan also features two All-Fan giveaways, including the Barking BobbleHank on June 12 against the New York Mets and the Bob Uecker Talking Alarm Clock on July 10 against the division-rival St. Louis Cardinals.

The Premier Plan includes contests against all four division rivals (with two games against both the Cubs and Cardinals), a matchup against AL West opponent Houston Astros on April 9 and a Saturday matchup vs. the defending NL champion Mets. The plan also includes tickets to the Ryan Braun All-Fan Bobble giveaway on May 1 against Miami.

The Friday Plan includes a string of six Free-Shirt Friday giveaways starting with the June 10 matchup against the Mets and ending on August 26 when the Brewers host the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The popular Fan’s Choice Plan returns for the 2016 season and provides the ultimate flexibility for fans to select 10 games that fit their schedule from a list of 50 Brewers regular season home games. Fans can choose from several Interleague matchups, a variety of weekday and weekend games, All-Fan giveaway dates, Free-Shirt Fridays and more.

Packages start at $160 per seat in the Terrace Reserved ($16 per game) and can also be purchased in the Terrace Box for $250 ($25 per game), Loge Outfield Box for $340 ($34 per game), Club Outfield Box for $420 ($42 per game, no wait staff), Loge Infield Box for $420 ($42 per game), Field Outfield Box for $420 ($42 per game) and Loge Diamond Box for $500 ($50 per game).

Brewers 10-Packs offer several additional benefits, including guaranteed seat location (excluding the Fan’s Choice Plan), a personal account representative and priority access to postseason tickets. In addition, 10-Pack Ticket Plans offer great savings on ticket prices. In 2015, 10-Pack holders saved up to 35% off the demand-based individual game price. Each 10-Pack account will also receive three exchange vouchers that can be used to exchange unused tickets for another game.

Fans interested in purchasing 10-Packs are encouraged to call (414) 902-HITS (4487) or visit Brewers.com/10packs for more information. A complete list of all six 10-Pack packages is available online at Brewers.com/10packs

Additionally, fans can share in the excitement of counting down to Brewers Opening Day by following the Brewers on social media, and can enter to win a pair of 10-Packs, tickets to Opening Day and roundtrip airfare on Southwest Airlines—by posting their creative countdown photos on Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtag #SeeUApril4. For additional information please visit brewers.com/countdown.

Brewers Sign Free Agent First Baseman Chris Carter

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed free agent first baseman Chris Carter to a one-year contract. To make room on the 40-man roster, the team designated catcher Josmil Pinto for assignment. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

“We are pleased to be able to add Chris to our organization,” said Stearns. “Over the past three seasons, Chris has proven to be one of the most consistent power threats in the game. We believe that his skills and experiences will complement our team well and provide additional production to our lineup.”

Carter, 29, has hit 90 home runs over the last three seasons (29, 37, 24), which ranks eighth in Major League Baseball. He started 112 games for the Astros this past season (105g at 1B, 7g at DH) and led the team in walks (57).

Carter was a key component in the Astros capturing an American League Wild Card spot in 2015 as he batted .353 (12-for-34) with 6 HR and 10 RBI over the team’s final 15 games, beginning September 18. Of anyone with at least 35 plate appearances during this stretch, Carter led the Major Leagues in OPS (1.376) and slugging percentage (.971) as the Astros edged the Angels by one game to earn a postseason berth.

Carter continued his hot hitting into the playoffs as he batted .294 (5-for-17, 3bb) with 1 HR and 1 RBI. He started at first base in all six of Houston’s postseason games and fell a triple shy of the cycle in Game 3 of the American League Division Series vs. Kansas City (3-for-3, 2r, 1rbi).

Originally selected by the White Sox in the 15th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Carter is a career .217 hitter in the Major Leagues with 109 HR and 280 RBI in 528 games with Oakland (2010-12) and Houston (2013-15).

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