Results tagged ‘ Atlanta Braves ’
Last night, I was privileged to attend a special screening of “42,” the highly-anticipated Warner Bros & Legendary Pictures biopic of the late, great Jackie Robinson, with a special reception for community leaders, hosted in part by Brewers Community Foundation.
The showing, which took place at Mayfair Mall’s AMC Theatres, was one of just three private screenings in the entire country. In addition to Milwaukee, the other screenings took place in Washington D.C. (hosted by Michelle Obama) and in Atlanta, GA (with Hank Aaron in attendance), also last evening.
The movie is scheduled to open in theaters on Friday, April 12, but I’ve got a review for you here, plus details on a play based on Robinson’s life opening in Milwaukee called Jackie and Me.
First, in case you haven’t seen it, here’s the 42 trailer to whet your appetite:
Although the movie is called “42,” referencing Jackie Robinson’s jersey number, this story is not only about Jackie—it’s also about legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey, whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.
Because, in Rickey’s words, “There is more than playing. I wish it meant only hits runs, and errors-only the things they put in the box score. Because…a baseball box score is a democratic thing. It doesn’t tell how big you are, what church you attend, what color you are, or how your father voted in the last election.”
The movie opens in 1945 and chronicles Robinson’s journey from the Negro Leagues team the Kansas City Monarchs to the Brooklyn Dodgers’ AAA Club, the Montreal Royals and finally to his Major League debut on April 15, 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers (a date we now commemorate across MLB as Jackie Robinson Day).
I will warn you that there are a few scenes that are tough to watch—but then you remember that this is not just a fictional movie; it’s something that actually happened less than 70 years ago, and you think about how, if it’s so hard for you to watch, how hard must it have been for Robinson to endure?
That’s the feeling the filmmakers are trying to convey. And they don’t just want you to sympathize with Robinson (although that’s a key theme in the film)—they want to illustrate the type of man that he was, how primarily with help from Rickey, his wife, and a reporter named Wendell Smith, he prevailed in the face of the greatest of adversity and went on to not only break the color barrier, but become the 1947 Rookie of the Year and stolen bases champion, a six-time All-Star, and World Series Champion (1955).
Story aside for a moment, the acting in this film is just superb. Chadwick Boseman, a relatively unknown actor, gives an amazing performance as Jackie Robinson and Nicole Beharie, an actress of similar stature is stunning and gorgeous in her role as his wife, Rachel. And although I will admit that I had my doubts when I heard Harrison Ford was playing Branch Rickey (especially after reading this article), he surprised me with a very believable and powerful portrayal. The other actors in the film, particularly those playing Robinson’s teammates or rivals, also did an excellent job. Whether it was someone lovable who sympathized with Robinson and reached out to him; or someone despicable (and there are plenty), you could tell that each character and line of dialogue was specifically chosen by screenwriter Brian Helgeland and really (excuse the pun) hits home.
One of my favorite people in the story is Pee Wee Reese the Brooklyn Dodgers’ All-Star shortstop, portrayed by Lucas Black. His prowess on the field aside, Reese is also famous for his support of Robinson through the most difficult times.
In the movie he says to Robinson, “Maybe tomorrow we’ll all wear 42. That way they won’t be able to tell us apart.”
It’s a moment of levity and a moment of foreshadowing because, as you’re likely aware, each year on April 15, in an inspiring, league-wide effort, Major League Baseball teams observe Jackie Robinson Day. On this day, all players and on-field personnel wear the number “42,” in honor of his indelible legacy and commemorating the historic date when Baseball truly became our national game. This year, because the Brewers have an off-day on Monday, April 15, we’ll celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on April 16 when the San Francisco Giants come to town.
There’s also another Brewers-Robinson connection: First Stage Children’s Theater will feature the play Jackie and Me at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee. It will be performed April 12 through May 5 and Brewers Community Foundation and Rickie Weeks are serving as sponsors of the production. Tickets can be ordered online at firststage.org.
Now since the Brewers had a game last night, unfortunately none of our players were able to attend the screening. However, in Washington, in addition to the movie’s cast and crew, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals was in attendance on his off-day. He tweeted:
What an incredible showing tonight of the movie 42! So moving and just an unbelievable story! He’s a hero to all! #42 twitter.com/Bharper3407/st…
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) April 3, 2013
Likewise, some of the Atlanta Braves spent their off-day seeing the movie as well:
— Chris Johnson (@C_Johnson28) April 2, 2013
Pumped to be at the 42 Movie screening tonight!!! #42Atlanta
— Cory Gearrin (@CoryGearrin) April 2, 2013
Special off day, having a chance to watch the movie “42″. Such an honor to enjoy the story of a legend. #42Atlanta
— Justin Upton (@JUP_8TL) April 2, 2013
I hope you’ll take our recommendations and go and see this amazing film. I can’t wait to hear what you think. Please share your comments/reviews below.
On Sunday, June 23, we’ll host Polish Heritage Day at Miller Park for the game vs. the Atlanta Braves and all fans in attendance will receive a Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages Polish Sausage Bobble.
The Polish Sausage will be featured wearing a “Piwowarzy” jersey, which is the Polish translation for Brewers.
Individual tickets are on sale now! Plus, the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages Polish Sausage Bobble game is included in the 20-Game Sunday Plus Plan!
3/18/13 Update: This just in! A photo of the Polish Sausage Bobble–What do you think?
-John and Cait
For Brewers fans, it’s been quite the September to remember. Over the last 29 games, the Crew is 23-6 and, so far this month the Crew has gone 14-4, including three-game sweeps against the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Crew is now 4-0-1 over their last 5 road series and has gone 12-5 over the last 17 road games.
During that time, according to the website coolstandings.com, the Brewers chances of making the 2012 Postseason have risen dramatically from .6% on September 1 to 17.5% as of today.
Currently, just one team—the St. Louis Cardinals—is ahead of the Brewers in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot. They lead by only 2.5 games as of the time of this post.
And, of course, there is still plenty of work to be done. The Brewers face a tough four-game set against the Washington Nationals and then a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, both teams that clinched playoff berths yesterday.
However, then we return home for our final six regular season games of the year, three against the Houston Astros (September 28-30) and three against the San Diego Padres (October 1-3).
And, as we know, thanks to you guys, the best fans in baseball, we’ve got a home field advantage at Miller Park that is second to none. The Brewers have always had one of the best home records in baseball. Last season the team set a franchise record with 57 wins at Miller Park. This season, the Brewers are 46-29 at home including winning 19 of their last 22 home games. The Brewers tied a Miller Park record with nine straight wins from August 20 – September 12.
Brewers fans have remained positive this season and maintained that “never say die” attitude. Despite any apparent adversity, we all continue to believe in our team.
In fact, there’s a term for Brewers fans believing in the Crew. It’s something we’ve noticed that has been catching on across various social channels already and we’re jumping on board because, yes, like you, we #BREWLIEVE.
— Curt Hogg (@YouAStupidHogg) September 16, 2012
Oh dang, my bad I gotta get with it…#BREWlieve
— Manny Parra (@MannyParra26) September 13, 2012
Are you starting to #BREWLIEVE?? Brewers win again 9-7 sweeping the Pirates on the backs of Weeks and Ramirez!!!!
— 1250 WSSP (@1250WSSP) September 21, 2012
— Jim Henderson (@JimHenderson51) September 21, 2012
Comeback Crew. #Brewlieve
— Sophia Minnaert (@SophiaMinnaert) September 21, 2012
— Timber Rattlers (@TimberRattlers) September 20, 2012
So, as of now, the Brewers are hanging in there, winning games and doing their part. You can do yours by coming out and showing your support for the team during the final homestand of the season and spreading the #BREWLIEVE message to your friends.
Tweet using the hashtag to tell them why you #BREWLIEVE in the Crew. Share the graphic on Facebook and/or download your I #Brewlieve Facebook Timeline image here.
While no one knows how things will pan out, one thing’s for sure: MLB’s addition of two more Wild Card teams and a single elimination game in each league has certainly added to the excitement of the playoff push.
On Wednesday morning, Commissioner Selig told MLB.com’s Mark Newman, “It’s been amazing. It’s fascinating to watch the different things that have happened. We’ve got great division races, we’ve got a little of everything. You really judge how well we’ve done by the number of teams Labor Day and then post-Labor Day that are still in the hunt. Even I didn’t think we could do this well.”
Keep the faith, Brewers fans! #BREWLIEVE!
-John and Cait
Note: With the second Wild Card format for 2012, the three division winners in each league will await the survivor of a one-game playoff between the Wild Card teams in each league. Both games are slated for Friday, October 5, two days after the end of the regular season. Barring weather disruptions, the Division Series field of four teams in each league will begin the following Saturday and Sunday.
Back in March, we announced that the legendary “Mr. Baseball,” Bob Uecker, will be honored on Friday, August 31 with a statue placed outside of Miller Park near the Home Plate Plaza.
Well, it is now August and we’re extending our celebration of Mr. Baseball all month long with photos, our favorite “Ueckerisms” and more across our various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
We also want to hear from you! On Twitter, post any photos you may have, or share your favorite memories of Uecker, or listening to Uecker, in 140 characters or less using the hashtag: #Uecker.
Not on Twitter? Share your stories by posting in the comment fields below our various Uecker pictures on Facebook, or email your personal photos to: JohnandCait@brewers.com (Subject line: UECKER).
We’ll compile some of the best fan submissions and share them here on the blog.
An iconic figure for the franchise, Uecker has provided the soundtrack of summer to generations of fans listening to Milwaukee Brewers games on the Brewers Radio Network. His irreverent style and knowledge of the game are unrivaled and his talents have also been known to audiences worldwide for years through his work on television and film projects.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Uecker’s first Major League game and, while Uecker’s roots will always be in baseball (including six seasons as a player and 42 years as a Brewers broadcaster), his career includes an incredible base of performing and entertaining all featuring one common thread – he always leaves the audience laughing.
Uecker blasted onto the national scene as an entertainer in 1969. A visit with Al Hirt led to Johnny Carson booking Uecker for an appearance on the “Tonight Show.” The chemistry between Uecker and Carson was immediate, and it led to approximately 100 encore appearances. Uecker soon became one of the most sought-after guests on the Talk Show circuit as appearances followed on the “Mike Douglas” and “Merv Griffin” shows, “Late Night with David Letterman” and even a hosting role on “Saturday Night Live.”
Highly respected in the industry, Uecker was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001 and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Hall of Fame this past spring.
Uecker’s credits go far beyond guest appearances and play-by-play. In 1985, he launched a television acting career as one of the stars of ABC’s sitcom “Mr. Belvedere,” which put 122 episodes into syndication. He also hosted two syndicated television shows, “Bob Uecker’s Wacky World of Sports” and “Bob Uecker’s War of the Stars.”
One of Uecker’s most memorable roles came as the anchor of arguably the most successful advertising campaign in the history of television – The “Miller Lite All-Stars.” For years, Uecker served as the captain of the crew that acted in spots promoting Lite Beer from Miller.
As a film actor, Uecker starred in what is widely regarded as one of the best baseball movies of all time, serving as a radio announcer in the film “Major League.” He followed that up with a reprised role in the equally popular “Major League II.”
Uecker’s national sports broadcasting experience included serving as color commentator for ABC Sports coverage of Monday Night Baseball, League Championship Series and World Series, and NBC’s Major League Baseball Game of the Week.
A former catcher who spent six seasons in the Major Leagues, Bob authored a book entitled “Catcher In the Wry,” a humorous look back on the years he spent with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. One of his career highlights as a player came in 1964 when he was a member of the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Despite his national attention and success, Uecker has always worked toward helping others. His charitable efforts benefit many organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Uecker will be the fourth person to be honored with a Miller Park statue. Hank Aaron and Robin Yount were the first to be recognized with statues that were unveiled on April 5, 2001, the first year of Miller Park’s existence. The first two statues were donated by the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Foundation. On August 24, 2010, Major League Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers Owner Allan H. (Bud) Selig became the third honoree when his statue was unveiled in an afternoon program.
The statue will be cast in bronze, measure over seven feet in height not including the base, and is being designed and produced by Brian Maughan, who (along with Douglas Kwart) also created the Aaron, Selig and Yount statues.
Specific details related to the statue unveiling & ceremony on August 31 will be announced later this month.
Please join as we celebrate all month long!
The readers have spoken!
Far and away the biggest request that came through was from readers wanting to hear about the new scoreboard: the installation, graphics, making the display ‘pop’, etc.
Well, there is a group of people working together on this effort and that group includes Rick Schlesinger, EVP-Business Operations, Teddy Werner, Sr. Director-Business Operations, Aleta Mercer, Vice President-Entertainment & Broadcasting, Cory Wilson, Coordinator-A/V Production, Kathy Schwab, Sr. Director of Marketing, Jeff Harding, Sr. Graphic Designer, and me.
There is also one more person in that group–a very important person as he is the guy who will be responsible for operating that new scoreboard.
Although you may not know him by name, Deron Anderson, our Director of A/V Production, has a hand in many other areas that directly impact your in-game experience, from highlight reels and music clips to the stats that are displayed and the replays that are shown.
Top: Deron Anderson, behind Miller Park’s old video board.
Bottom: Construction begins on the new scoreboard. The whole thing will be a video board!
As you can see from these photos, things are well underway with the installation of the new scoreboard, so I tracked Deron down to find out how this offseason compares to the others he’s weathered.
Deron was hired for Miller Park and thus began his career with the Brewers in January 2001. That means that Deron, like Miller Park, is coming up on his 10th Anniversary in 2011.
In addition to being a Brewers fan, Deron is highly involved in sports overall.
In his spare time, the father of three (Michael, 11, Natalie, 8, and Scott, 4) coaches Michael’s park and recreation basketball team, is the assistant coach for Michael’s Little League team and is also the assistant coach for Natalie’s soccer team. All of the running around to different practices keeps Deron and his wife, Lynnette, quite busy, but Deron also manages to play on a men’s 35 and over baseball team as well, when time allows.
Deron is also involved in the community. When I caught up with him, he had just returned from Audubon Middle School, where the students were participating in the Connect a Million Minds event, a town hall-type internet meeting hosted by Al Gore. Afterward, in conjunction with the meeting and the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Program , Deron was part of a panel, speaking to the kids about the technology he uses in his career.
As Director of A/V Production, Deron’s primary focus is game production, and in that role, he certainly works with lots of different applications of technology.
The cameras Deron is referring to are separate from the television cameras. There are three static cameras on tripods, located in center field, high home and first base, along with one roving, wireless camera. In 2011, there will be a fourth static camera added, located at high third.
“The biggest questions I get are about replays and the music that is played,” Deron told me.
Deron and his staff must comply with Major League Baseball rules on a lot of what they do, following a set of scoreboard and audio system regulations known as “Bulletin D-12.” Among other things, Bulletin D-12 dictates which replays can and cannot be shown inside the ballpark.
Deron recalled an instance where this rule put him in a bind. Back in 2004, when Ben Sheets had his 18-strikeout game against the Atlanta Braves, Deron had an important call to make.
Deron noted that television does not have any restrictions on what they can show, so if you’re at a game and you’re wishing a play would be shown again on the scoreboard, if you’re near a television or in the concourse, you can always look up and see if you can catch it again.
“I like my music, but I know most people don’t,” Deron joked. “We look at what songs the local radio stations are playing, what the top songs are on iTunes and sometimes the players request songs. Most players request their own at bat music.”
“At one time, he had truck sound effects. Another time he had an air raid siren. I give him credit, some of the things he comes up with are really cool,” Deron said.
Although many of Deron’s main and most highly visible responsibilities are during the season, like the rest of us, Deron has a busy offseason ahead of him, with this one probably being the busiest of all.
Here is an example of a video that Deron put together for the end of the 2010 season.
They assist the marketing department in radio production, create highlight videos for sales staff, take care of any gameday staff hiring and scheduling and work on our two big offseason events: Brewers On Deck and Arctic Tailgate.
This offseason, however, with the installation of the new scoreboard, things are a little different.
The new scoreboard, designed by Daktronics, Inc., will be massive. The new video board features a single screen, pure 1080p high-definition display, and will be the fourth-largest scoreboard in Major League Baseball at 5,940 square feet (110 ft wide x 54 ft. high). The only larger boards in Major League Baseball are at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium (8,900 square feet), Houston’s Minute Maid Park (planned for 7,000 square feet), and Phoenix’s Chase Field (6,200 square feet). The new video board will replace the existing 1,296 square foot video board (48 ft. wide x 27 ft. high) and the 2,432 square foot matrix board. In terms of pixels, it is 2184 wide x 1080 high.
Deron and Cory will have to learn how to use the new board, as well as what will work on the larger display and what won’t. They’ve interviewed numerous animation companies and are getting set to create the new look for the board.
“There will be a lot more 3D animation,” Deron said.
“No, that just means that from a look perspective, the images will not just be flat. They will have more depth to them. So, no, you won’t have to wear the glasses. That’s stereoscopic imaging, with the glasses,” Deron clarified.