Tonight, the Twins and the Brewers are turning back the clocks at Target Field—all the way back to 1948.
That year, Harry Truman was President, Scrabble was invented, gas was $.26/gallon and the Brewers wore these uniforms:
Tonight, both teams are paying tribute to the American Association teams that called their areas home 65 years ago.
The Twins will celebrate Minnesota baseball history by wearing throwback uniforms of the 1948 St. Paul Saints. That year, the Saints finished 86-68 and were the Triple-A affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Brewers will play as the 1948 Milwaukee Brewers. That year, the Brewers finished 89-65 and were the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Braves.
What do you think of these jerseys? If you like them, they’re available for sale online at the brewers.com shop.
Here’s another great tip from Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.
Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well.
TRAIN THE BRAIN THE RIGHT WAY FOR THE BEST BASEBALL RESULTS
In 1994, at the age of 31, perhaps the greatest basketball player of that generation and maybe of all generations decided to quit the NBA and become a professional baseball player. Yes, Michael Jordan, an extraordinarily gifted athlete retired (for the first time) from the NBA and gave everything he had in order to get a shot at the Big Leagues.
Certainly someone with such amazing athleticism and a legendary will to succeed could find his way on to a Major League roster…nope, it didn’t happen. Jordan’s .202 batting average for the AA Birmingham Barons was the beginning and end of his pro baseball “odyssey.”
You see, hitting successfully is not like lifting weights or even running a marathon. Hitting is a complex visual-motor skill that has to be learned. Picking up spin, speed and identifying direction of a pitched ball and then getting the bat to the right spot at the right time requires a skill set that doesn’t happen by accident.
When Michael Jordan’s brain was most receptive to making all the amazing neurological connections necessary to be a skilled baseball player, he was busy learning another sport. The bottom line is that at age 31, Jordan was too old for his brain to make the complex adjustments to play baseball at a high level.
So, you say, “Coach Tim, where are you going with this?” We need to understand there is a time in the life of our brain when it is better suited to learn. Ever wonder why kids can pick up a second language so much easier than us old fogies? The young brain is craving new stimuli and responds accordingly. The older brain is still growing but not with nearly the same appetite as it once had.
That’s pretty much why we work so hard on correct fundamentals at the Brewers Baseball Academy. I swear we can almost hear the brain cells multiplying when we’re around young players. The brain is a blank canvas or as some neurologists call it; an “engram.” Think of the brain as a blank DVD that only records what we send to it. That’s why it is so critical to not only learn the game at a young age, but to learn to play it correctly.
In my opinion and it’s an opinion shared by many others, what separates great baseball players from the rest of us mere mortals is their ability to collect and process data. Fielding thousands of ground balls, throwing thousands of pitches and seeing pitch after pitch after pitch is the data that our brain must collect and process in order for it to learn.
I can’t even imagine how many complex and nearly simultaneous pieces of data a hitter must process as a 95mph heater is hurled at him. To top it off, the body has about as much time as it takes to strike a match to act on the data. And yet, they do it. And they do it because they have observed and processed so much data over their baseball lives that they have achieved a level of “unconscious competency.”
Since data collection and processing is vital in acquiring fine motor skills, it is important that we try to reach game speed when we practice. I know what I am saying is very difficult to achieve at the youth level. But there are things we can do to send the right training messages to our brain.
For starters, use a stopwatch liberally. It’s easy to figure out how fast a typical runner gets down the line so when you are doing infield, put a stopwatch on your fielders and challenge them to get the ball to first base under that time. Turn double plays with a stopwatch and watch the pace of your practices pick up. Practices will not only be more fun but the “data” your players collect will be far more valuable for their developing baseball brains.
Another “data collecting” idea I’ve employed in the past is the use of a bat speed measuring device at indoor practices. Here’s a picture of one that I really like and that we use at camp. Wait until you see how much faster your kids swing the bat when each swing is being measured against their last swing as well as their teammates’.
Again, the point is to approach game speed in your training whenever possible so that learning can be optimized. It’s not hocus pocus. There is a scientific, neurological basis for learning baseball at a young age and it is paramount that the training messages we send to the brain are mechanically correct and approach the intensity that the brain/body will be asked to achieve in competition.
In short…Train young. Train right. Play right.
Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”
Everyone knows Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and since it’s nice and sunny out today, that gives us even more reason to start daydreaming about all the fun coming up in Wisconsin over the next few months: tailgating at Brewers games (#1!), cookouts, concerts, festivals, and of course, Summerfest!
Well, next Thursday, June 6, the Brewers take on the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:10pm and the first 10,000 fans 21 and older will receive a Summefest Fest Flag that includes a weekday admission ticket to Summerfest (a $9 value), which runs June 26-30/July 2-7, 2013.
I’m interested in seeing Phil Vassar, Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies on the side stages and I’m thinking about Luke Bryan and or/Tim McGraw for the headliners–what about you? For the complete Summerfest lineup, click here.
To purchase tickets for the June 6 game, please visit brewers.com.
In conjunction with the season-long Head & Shoulders #WHIFF program which benefits the RBI Leagues, MLB has declared that today is #WHIFF Wednesday.
If there are 200 strikeouts across the League, 5,000 fans can win prizes including MLB.com Shop discounts, MLB.TV trials and Head and Shoulders products. To participate, fans should tweet #Whiff @Brewers for their chance to win, as well as enter online here.
For those unfamiliar with the program, starting on Opening Day, for every “whiff” (strikeout) across MLB during the 2013 regular season, Head & Shoulders with Old Spice is making a $1 donation to the MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI ) program. The RBI program is the MLB youth initiative designed to give young people from urban and underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourages academic success and achievement, and teaches important life lessons and values.
MLB fans can take part in the “Season of the #Whiff” on Twitter all season long and help their team & community–the MLB Club with the most tweets each month will earn $10,000 for their local RBI Leagues!
In case you’ve missed it, this week, we’re taking our rivalry with the Twins to social media, where we’ve been engaging in some fun Twitter Tug-of-Wars and, most recently a “Follow Off”.
What’s a Follow Off, you ask?
Starting in pregame yesterday, we, along with the Twins, submitted the number of followers we have on the @Brewers and @Twins Twitter accounts. From that time through the end of tonight’s game, we’re holding a running tally.
The team that gains the most followers in this span of time will reward their fans by giving away a prize.
If the Twins win, they’ll give away a Joe Mauer autographed bat to one lucky follower and if we win, we’ll give away an Aramis Ramirez game-worn jersey from Opening Day to one of our followers.
Currently, we’re trailing just slightly behind the Twins, but I’m confident that Brewers fans will rise to this challenge.
So, for the rest of the day through tonight’s game, make sure you follow the Brewers on Twitter if you aren’t already and encourage your fans to do the same. Also, don’t forget to tune in to tonight’s broadcast and follow @FSWisconsin for updates on the competition.
It’s been a tough month for the Brewers on the field, there is no getting around that. In the face of that, Ryan Braun has committed to supporting the “Brewers Win, You Win!” promotion by funding a significant savings on tickets for an upcoming series.
The original promotion called for every Brewers victory between May 1 and May 30 to earn $1 off a Terrace Box ticket for the June 3 – 5 series vs. the Oakland Athletics. With just five victories this month, though, the Brewers outfielder has made a move to make sure that Brewers fans are rewarded despite the team’s struggles.
Regardless of how many wins the team records through the end of the month, fans will be able to buy a limited number of Terrace Box (regularly $24) and Loge Bleacher ($23) seats for just $8 (matching Braun’s uniform number). Braun is stepping up and subsidizing the savings through a financial contribution, which will cover up to 4,000 tickets for each of the three games against the A’s.
“We recognize that this has been a tough month for all of us; not just the players but also the fans,” Braun said. “The one constant has been the support of the community, and every one of us on the field has tremendous respect for the support we receive from the fans. On behalf of all of us on the field, we want to thank the fans and let them know that we really appreciate everyone being behind us during this rough stretch.”
Tickets for this promotion will go on sale this Friday at 9 a.m. at the Brewers Box Office, by phone at 414-902-4000 or by visiting Brewers.com/winwin. Fans can buy a maximum of eight tickets at the reduced price, and service charges will apply to phone and online orders.
“Ryan has always been a significant contributor to our Foundation and Community Relations initiatives, both financially and with his time,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We appreciate his contribution to ensure that this remains one of our most popular initiatives, offering a great value for fans.”
For additional information, please visit Brewers.com/winwin. We are lucky to have Braun wearing a Brewers jersey on the field and he has proved to be a great person off the field as well. Through promotions like this and his commitment to the Milwaukee community, he is one-of-a-kind. Here’s to a better June and we will see you all at Miller Park during the series against the A’s!
Entering this homestand, here’s an updated list of player entrance music for you.
However, it doesn’t take much for a player to change his tune, so to make sure you’re up-to-date, 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!
2013 AT-BAT WALK-UP MUSIC
Norichika Aoki: “Right Round” by Flo Rida
Yuniesky Betancourt: “No Hay Pa Nadie” by Los Desiguales
Jeff Bianchi: “Tonight” by Jeremy Camp
Ryan Braun: “Still in this” by B.o.B.
Hiram Burgos: “Muevete” by Wisin y Yandel
Marco Estrada: “Sail” by Awolnation
Mike Fiers: “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine
Yovani Gallardo: “My Time” by Fabolous
Carlos Gomez: “Started from the Bottom”
Alex Gonzalez: “Zumba” by Don Omar
Kyle Lohse: “Next Episode” by Dr. Dre
Jonathan Lucroy: “Fight Inside” by Red
Martin Maldonado: “Yo Naci pa Esto” by Don Omar and “Me Prefieres Ami’ by Arcangel and Don Omar
Wily Peralta: “Ponteme Melia” by Chimbala
Aramis Ramirez: None (at his request)
Logan Schafer: “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison
Jean Segura: “En Cualto Eh Que Tamo” by Chimbala
Rickie Weeks: “Rich as —-” by Lil Wayne
2013 PITCHING ENTRANCE MUSIC
John Axford: “New Noise” by Refused
Burke Badenhop: “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent
Hiram Burgos: “Muevete” by Wisin y Yandel
Marco Estrada: “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
Mike Fiers: The Saw Theme Song
Yovani Gallardo: “My Time” by Fabolous
Tom Gorzelanny: “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
Wily Peralta: “Ponteme Melia” by Chimbala
Francisco Rodriguez: “Sandunqueoso” by Tego Calderon
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. Last year, I also took most of these songs and turned then into a personal playlist on Spotify. I’m going to try to keep it updated during the season, so join me in listening if you’re like!
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?
Today, during the Brewers vs. Pirates game, we hosted our first-ever “Brewed For Her” event in the Gehl Club at Miller Park, an event geared toward women showcasing multiple products that are sold in the Brewers Team Stores, along with fashion tips, and interactive beauty stations highlighting new Brewers hair and nail accessories.
I was fortunate enough to attend this event with my mom so that I could review it for the blog.
The event began at noon today, an hour and a half before gates opened to the general public. This allowed attendees to time to shop the stores and visit vendor booths before the game began. Attendees received a special 20% savings on merchandise purchased during the event.
Here a few photos I grabbed of some of the various displays:
In addition, beauticians were on hand during the event to offer advice and give demonstrations–the station to have your nails painted and/or hair styled with purchased Brewers accessories was very popular.
Here’s a cool a Vine video I took at the station:
I really enjoyed meeting a lot of the attendees and talking to them about their experience. My mom told me she was afraid the event was going to be “filled with cute, pretty young things,” and that she would feel out of place, but she said she was happy to see that there were women attendees of all ages–including a few guys and a baby! There were also fans of every level– I met one woman who was attending her very first Brewers game with her daughter and others who were Season Seat Holders and attend 30+ games per year.
Here’s a little taste of the fun that was had:
If you notice in the gallery above, yes, there were a few guys in attendance, and that was fine with event organizers. We’re not here to exclude anyone, it’s just that the purpose of this event was to showcase all of the awesome apparel and accessories the Brewers Team Stores have to offer for women.
Cindy and Walker (pictured in the gallery) came from Madison for the event. Cindy is a huge fan and said she has come to 30-40 games per year the last few years. When I asked Walker how he felt about the event, he said he was having a good time; he also thought guys might like a similar event, noting, “Guys like food and free stuff, too!” And who knows, maybe we’ll be hosting a similar event in the future!
Attendees also received a Brewers vs. Pirates game ticket in the upscale Gehl Club at Miller Park, which includes an all-you-can-eat buffet and two complimentary beverages. There was a special menu for the event, including Hors d’oeuvres such as mini caprese skewers and island chips and dip; a selection of salads; a carving station featuring roasted tenderloin of beef; an action station featuring linguine marinara or alfredo; a main course of chicken scallopine layered with roasted apple, sweet potato, blue cheese and candied pecans; and also, ballpark fare.
Each attendee also left with a special Brewed for Her swag bag containing a variety of items (valued at $250!); items varied in each bag, but here’s a sample:
Kudos to Jill Aronoff, Chris Barlow and all of the staff that helped bring this event together. It was a rousing success-the only thing that could have made it better would have been a Brewers victory, as they fell to the Pirates, 5-2.
Many attendees commented that they hope we have this again next year and with that sort of feedback, we’ll definitely take that into consideration. Stay tuned to the blog for updates!
P.S. Also, in talking to fans, there is one other thing I want to clear up–there seems to be some confusion as some thought the Brewed for Her event was designed to replace Brewers All-Access, a very different behind-the-scenes look at Brewers Baseball and the front office. I have to tell you, this is not the case. Although unfortunately Brewers All-Access will not be held this season, Brewed for Her is a completely new and separate event coming out of the retail side of things.