Back by popular demand, T-Shirt Fridays will return to Miller Park for the 2015 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). And for the first time, fans decided the designs for each of the seven T-Shirt Friday giveaways through an online vote earlier this year.
Down in Arizona, we had an early shipment of the t-shirts delivered to Maryvale and several of the Brewers players were excited to get the shirts–and model them–for us.
Take a look:
Tickets for the T-Shirt Friday dates (as well as all of the other home games) are on sale now at brewers.com.
Watch the Milwaukee Brewers take on the Colorado Rockies and enjoy a pregame Singles Mix and Mingle hosted by It’s Just Lunch on Wednesday, April 8.
With the Singles Night ticket package, you’ll get a game ticket in the Dew Deck (our singles section for the night), a full buffet, two complementary drinks, and the opportunity to enjoy the game with other single Brewers fans. Plus, It’s Just Lunch will host a creative game to help everyone meet and mingle and create a relaxed, casual environment.
For more information, or to order tickets, call (414) 902-4641 or visit brewers.com/singles.
As the NCAA Basketball Tournament gets underway, we’re all feeling a little bit of that March Madness.
And, although UW-Madison is competing again this year, the particular “March Madness” I’m referring to in this case is baseball related.
We’re now less than three weeks from Brewers Baseball returning to Milwaukee and the madness has hit full tilt. We’re ready for the Boys of Summer to return from Arizona and bring back some more of that warmer weather that we got a taste of earlier this week. We’re ready for America’s Pastime done the Wisconsin way, with tailgating, Sausage Races and Bernie’s slides.
How will we cope the next few weeks? Well, we’ve got a few more Spring Training games that we can watch and listen to and in addition to that, there’s that other March Madness that I alluded to, an entertaining diversion that makes that time until Opening Day go by quicker.
Like most of America, we’re sure you found time to fill out a bracket. That’s why we asked some of the Crew to do the same.
A few of the participants, like Brewers reliever Rob Wooten, who is a diehard fan of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and a former Tar Heel himself, really get into it.
You can tell that both Rob and Corey Knebel, who played for the University of Texas, picked with their hearts while Matt Clark, a former LSU Tiger, picked with his head.
Others, like Brewers pitchers Kyle Lohse, really don’t follow basketball all that closely, but find it is still fun to participate in the bracket challenge.
But that’s the thing with March Madness– the tourney can be so unpredictable that a basketball fanatic has just as much of a chance as a coin-flipper.
Follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks “net” out.
For those watching the games, you might recognize a familiar voice. Our own Brian Anderson has full slate of NCAA tourney duty:
Want to hear more from the Brew Crew on the topic of March Madness? Check out this article by Blane Ferguson, a journalism student at ASU.
Today we announced the return of the Club’s community initiative “Beyond the Diamond,” which features a series of community outreach events that will take place throughout the season. The program is built around a partnership between Brewers players, coaches, alumni, Brewers Wives and team personnel working hands-on in the community. The community events are funded in part by Brewers Community Foundation and focus on the areas of health, education, recreation and basic needs.
“Beyond the Diamond” events this year will include the “Strike Out Bullying Pep Rally,” hospital and military visits, a playground build and much more. Each month from May through August, players, coaches, alumni and team personnel will be divided into groups to attend one of the following community outreach events:
May 11 (Education) Strike Out Bullying Pep Rally Contest:
Students from across the greater Milwaukee area have been asked to submit a one-page essay about what their school is doing to “Strike out Bullying.” The winning participant’s school will be awarded a visit from Brewers players and other Brewers personnel, along with Brewers apparel, game tickets for that day and transportation to and from Miller Park. In addition, the student with the winning essay will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at that night’s game.
June 23 (Basic Needs) The Salvation Army Feed the Kids Media Event:
Brewers Players, wives and staff will assist The Salvation Army with pre-packing bag lunches that will be distributed in underserved areas in support of their “Feed the Kids” Summer Lunch program. The event is sponsored by Brewers Wives and Brewers Community Foundation.
June 27 (Recreation) KaBoom Playground Build:
Brewers Wives and staff will assist organizers from KaBoom and residents of the local community to build a new playground at Eastbrook Academy. Brewers Community Foundation is a presenting sponsor of the playground.
July 19 (Recreation) Brewers Bowl-a-Thon:
Brewer pitcher, Matt Garza will partner with teammates to host the Brewers Bowl-a-thon. The proceeds from the event will support Brewers Community Foundation.
July 21 (Health) Children’s Hospital Visit:
Brewers players and alumni will make bedside visits and take Brewers memorabilia to the pediatric patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
July 31 (Education) Read Aloud Day:
Brewers players and wives will visit the Next Door Foundation and read books to the kids in the new “Rookie Training Room” that was sponsored by The Brewers Wives and Brewers Community Foundation. Books will be donated to the group by Brewers Community Foundation.
August 18 (Health) Military Q&A Visit:
Players and alumni will take part in a Q&A at Clement J. Zabloicki VA Medical Center with veterans.
Additional information on each program will be made available prior to each event.
Ah, the rare off-day during Spring Training. Yesterday was one of just two offdays for the Crew this spring and many of the players marked the occasion by heading out to the golf course for Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic, which was held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
A number of the Brewers players and coaches, along with several other celebrities participated in the event, which benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Prior to the tournament, Bob addressed the crowd, as did Bailey, a 14-year-old whose Wish was granted in April of 2012. Bailey chose to go fishing in Hawaii and spoke eloquently about what that experience mean to him and his family in terms of raising their spirits.
Here are a few highlights from the day:
And, here’s a slideshow:
While no Brewers were in the winning groups, everyone had a blast; and, most importantly, the tournament raised over $30,000 for Make-A-Wish.
On Thursday, March 19, community members will have the opportunity to work together as a team and make a difference in the Greater Milwaukee area by participating in Match Day. This 24-hour online giving event, coordinated by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, in partnership with Brewers Community Foundation (BCF) and other local funders, will support 20 different basic needs organizations that serve as a lifeline to thousands of individuals and families in need.
Match Day offers individuals, businesses and others a chance to support the organizations in our community that are helping meet individuals’ basic needs. Individuals can donate to one or more of the 20 participating agencies. Thanks to more than $830,000 in matching funds contributed by a pool of funders including Brewers Community Foundation, The Ceres Foundation and Meijer, each donation made online on Thursday will be proportionately matched. Over the past three years, more than $7.6 million was raised overall through the event.
“We are thrilled to once again be a part of this event,” said Brewers Community Fund Executive Director Cecelia Gore. “Through the support of Mark and Debbie Attanasio and BCF, members in our community will have the opportunity to see their contribution multiplied to make an even greater impact.”
Donations could feed a family that may otherwise go without food this week, aid a veteran who is struggling from post-traumatic stress disorder or provide shelter to someone who has just lost their home.
To make a donation, please visit MatchDayMKE.org on Thursday. Simply search through the 20 participating agencies you wish to support and make a debit or credit card gift of $10 or more. The gifts will be matched proportionately, based on the total amount raised by each organization that day. All donations are tax deductible and nonrefundable. As part of the Brewers Community Foundation’s financial contribution to Match Day, eight nonprofits will be chosen throughout the day to receive an extra $1,000.
Mark and Debbie Attanasio and Brewers Community Foundation are co-sponsors for Match Day, along with The Ceres Foundation and Meijer. Other supporters include The Faye McBeath Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, along with several other contributors.
The nonprofits benefitting from the funds raised include:
- Advocates of Ozaukee
- Cathedral Center
- Center for Veterans Issues
- Community Advocates
- Family Promise of Washington County
- Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
- Food Pantry of Waukesha County
- Friends of Abused Families
- Guest House of Milwaukee
- Hebron House of Hospitality
- Hope Center
- Hope House of Milwaukee
- Hunger Task Force
- Milwaukee Rescue Mission
- Pathfinders Milwaukee
- Sojourner Family Peace Center
- The Salvation Army
- The Women’s Center
- Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center
The baseball season is a long one–162 games in 180 days–and that doesn’t even count Spring Training and those 30 Cactus League games.
However, the pace is different in Spring Training. While the games are still important, the time down here is very much about taking a look at different players, trying out new things, working out the kinks and building team chemistry.
With two weeks of practice before the Spring games begin and with the bulk of the Cactus League games being day games, that also gives players a little more free time before they go back to work in Milwaukee and the grind sets in.
So what do a lot of the guys like to do with their down time in Arizona?
While first and foremost, many treasure the extra time with their families before the regular season gets underway:
Aside from that, they can also enjoy some of their hobbies that might fall by the wayside once the regular season starts, like going fishing:
On this Brewers roster in particular, however, you’ll find many of the pitchers in particular hitting the links.
Last year, during Spring Training, you’ll recall that Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and I hit the links and took on Kyle Lohse in a match that ultimately led to him joining Twitter (#YoureWelcome!).
It’s been well-documented that Kyle is the best golfer on the team by far, but that doesn’t stop his teammates from trying to take him on in various challenges–scrambles, best ball with strokes per side, etc.
And, earlier this spring, I had the pleasure of tagging along with Kyle and a couple of the guys again on two separate occasions to take some pictures and video–all in the name of work, of course.
First, I headed out with Kyle and Matt Garza to Lookout Mountain Golf Club.
This award-winning course sits among the magnificent North Phoenix Mountains and offers panoramic views of the amazing Arizona landscape. Case in point: Hole #10 is the signature hole here at Lookout Mountain. You’re 14 stories high on the tee box and, from this video of Kyle’s tee shot on the hole, you can see that it lives up to its name “Picturesque Pointe.”
This outing was really not much of a match. Matt doesn’t profess to be a great golfer; he was just out there to have fun—with the goal to beat Kyle’s score on at least one hole.
While Matt didn’t achieve that goal this time, he did have what I’m told was a better day that usual and ended up tying Kyle on 4 holes.
Personally, this was my first round of the season, so I was a little rusty; the par-3 9th in particular had my number. The hole was 80-yds for me and I blew it over the green on the tee shot and it was all literally downhill from there. In this video of my shot, you’ll also see where Matt ended up on his tee shot on this hole (that’s Kyle narrating, obviously):
Despite this hole and another two blow-up holes, I was able to tie Kyle on at least 3 holes and actually beat him on 2. He and I each had two birdies in the round, which was cut short due to darkness.
One other thing worth noting from this outing: Matt Garza broke his 3-wood on a tee shot during the round. None of us are quite sure how this happened. One minute he was teeing it up and the next, he was holding his broken club. But even despite this setback and not beating Kyle on a hole, he was a great sport, never once showing frustration, just chatting the entire time and laughing a lot.
Here are a few more photos from that round:
The second time I had the pleasure of hitting the links, it was to test out a new product called the Golfboard.
When I saw the PGA tweet about this combination golf cart/seque/scooter/skateboard, I knew our guys would love it because many of our players use scooters as transportation between the parking lot and the Clubhouse at Miller Park.
The good folks at Golfboard were kind enough to set us up with two Golfboards for a round of golf at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, so I joined Kyle Lohse and Will Smith to document the experience.
After a brief tutorial, the guys quickly picked up on the boards, which are extremely easy to learn, fun, and most importantly for these guys, safe.
The guys were zipping around the course in no time flat. Here’s a short video Kyle took:
I also brought the GoPro and we hooked it up to the Golfboard. Here’s a tour of the 9th hole, courtesy of Kyle. (Note: The ride felt much smoother than this video portrays!)
And here’s a shot Kyle hit while the GoPro was still running:
Here are some other fun photos from the round:
It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field.
Whether it’s fishing or golf, or another hobby, it is good to see the guys get a chance to relax and unwind now because we know once the regular season is underway, there will be little (if any) time for those things.
Speaking of time to relax and have fun, today is one of just two offdays in the Spring Training schedule and I’ll be back out on the golf course with Kyle, Will and a bunch of other players, coaches and celebrities for Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic. Stay tuned for more photos and videos!
Special thanks to Lookout Mountain and Westin Kierland (and Troon Golf) for letting us hack on your courses; and of course, special thanks to Golfboard for letting us test drive your gamechangers.
In the Brewers Clubhouse, pitcher Will Smith is affectionately referred to as “the third most famous Will Smith,” as his teammates lovingly rank the lefty behind the football player Will Smith (formerly of the New Orleans Saints) and, of course the Will Smith–the American actor, producer, rapper, and songwriter.
Growing up, one would guess that sharing a name with someone so famous could be viewed either positively or negatively. While having a famous name can grab attention, quite certainly, our Will Smith has heard his fair share of jokes in his 25 years on the planet.
One can choose to let it bother him or her, or one can embrace it.
And embrace it Will has. Last year, the Brewers bullpen starred in a Will Smith medley video; Will donned a Fresh Prince of Bel Air baseball jersey; and, this year at Brewers On Deck, Will went undercover to see what people really thought of the Brewers–and him, often getting confused for the actor.
But now, Will has decided that he’s had enough from afar. It is time he got the chance to meet the “other” Will Smith and he’s offering the the actor the chance to come visit him in Milwaukee.
He sat down the other day and penned this letter/invitation:
This is the start of the #WillMeetsWill campaign. Join in on Twitter and Instagram and we’ll see if we can organize our efforts and get Will Smith out to Miller Park this summer to meet his namesake.
We are pleased to welcome another special guest to today’s game. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin and Arizona, today is Adam’s Wish Day at Maryvale.
Adam Fritz, 16, and his family traveled from New Berlin, Wisconsin to fulfill Adam’s wish to attend Brewers Spring Training and meet Ryan Braun.
Prior to the start of the Brewers vs. Reds game, Adam took a behind-the-scenes tour of Maryvale where he received his own uniform and had the chance to meet with several Brewers players during batting practice.
He also enjoyed some quality one-on-one time with Ryan Braun, talking with him and even getting to play catch.
Adam is a pitcher on his high school team back home and Ryan was very impressed by his arm.
“My favorite part was getting to meet Ryan Braun,” Adam told me. “We talked about baseball, where I’m from…and he told me I’m an inspiration to him.” Ryan, who gave Adam his batting gloves straight off his hands after BP, also surprised Adam with a baseball bat inscribed, “To Adam, Continued success in all that you do! Keep fighting! All my best-Ryan Braun.”
Adam also threw out the first pitch:
Here are a just a few photos from Adam’s special day:
Adam was accompanied by his parents, Kevin and Michele; his brother, Austin and his brother’s girlfriend, Lizzy. The family is here for the week and plans to tour Chase Field and attend another Brewers game at Maryvale.
We have a special guest with us at today’s game. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin and Arizona, today is Kelci’s Wish Day at Maryvale.
Kelci, 9, and her family traveled from Milwaukee, Wisconsin down to Arizona on Saturday. They’re here until Wednesday and today and tomorrow are the crux of the trip–she’s fulfilling her wish to attend Brewers Spring Training.
Prior to the start of the Brewers vs. Royals game, Kelci took a behind-the-scenes tour of Maryvale, had the chance to meet with several Brewers players & coaches during batting practice (including her favorite player, Carlos Gomez) and also threw out the first pitch–to another favorite, Jonathan Lucroy:
Tomorrow, she has the opportunity to tour Chase Field and attend the Brewers game again.
When I asked Kelci why this was her wish, she said, “I like watching baseball.”
When I asked her why, she said, “There are barely any fights. I like how they bat and stuff.” Seems like as good a reason as any!
Here are a just a few photos from Kelci’s special day:
Kelci was accompanied by her parents, Dewey and Karen; her sister Kylee; her aunt, Lynn; and her grandmother, Ann.