Results tagged ‘ Bob Uecker ’
The Brewers just issued this press release regarding the hiring of Joe Block as their radio play-by-play announcer. We look forward to working with Joe in 2012 and beyond!
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers and NewsRadio 620 WTMJ today announced that Joe Block has been named as play-by-play announcer on the Brewers Radio Network. Block will join Hall of Fame lead announcer Bob Uecker in the booth, replacing Cory Provus who joined the Minnesota Twins broadcast team last month.
Block, 33, comes to the Brewers with more than 10 years of broadcasting experience. He has called the action for more than 900 professional baseball games, including the Jacksonville Suns (2003-2006), Great Falls White Sox (2007) and Billings Mustangs (2010), among others. He also handled play-by-play for select games during the Expos final two seasons in Montreal (2003-04).
“We had a tremendous number of qualified candidates interested in this position, and the process for finding the right person for this role was very comprehensive,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “Joe is someone who brought a unique skill set and background to the table. His play-by-play work is terrific, he has a quick wit and as a Midwestern native he has a genuine love for the area. We think the fans will enjoy his work alongside Bob very much.”
Block will team with Uecker, who this season will be marking the 50th Anniversary of his first Major League Baseball game as a player.
“Joe and I spent some time together and I think he’ll be a great addition,” said Uecker. “Joe sounds good on the air, he’s a Midwest guy and he wants to be in Milwaukee as a part of the Brewers. Bottom line, all of those are important qualities that will make him successful here.”
Recently, Block served as Postgame Show host on radio for the Los Angeles Dodgers on KABC-AM (2011) and was Radio Studio host for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets (2007-2011). He also has handled play-by-play for major college basketball and football on Comcast Sports Southeast for the past 10 years.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Joe to Newsradio 620 WTMJ and the Brewers Radio Network,” said Steve Wexler, Executive Vice President of Journal Broadcast Group. “It was apparent very quickly that he’d be a great fit in our community and on our station.”
“I’m excited to start working with Joe very soon to begin to develop a strong relationship with our Brewers’ radio listeners and sponsors,” said Carl Moll, Director of Network Operations for Journal Broadcast Group.
A native of Roseville, Mich. and a 1999 graduate of Michigan State University, Block and his wife, Bethany, currently reside in Los Angeles but will be relocating to the Milwaukee area prior to Spring Training.
“I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with one of the all-time greats in Bob Uecker and help bring everyone in Wisconsin their Brewers on the radio for years to come,” Block said. “Bob and I have talked about how much fun we’ll have in the booth all summer and I can’t wait to get started.
“I’m newly married, and Bethany and I are eager to become active and proud Milwaukeeans.”
Block will make his official Brewers debut at the annual “Brewers On Deck” Fanfest, scheduled for the Frontier Airlines Center on Sunday, January 29.
Today, thousands of Brewers fans gathered at the Summerfest grounds for the Brewers Playoff Rally, a special event to help give our National League Central Division Champions a proper send-off into the Postseason.
The Brewers Playoff Rally began at 4:00 p.m. at the Miller Lite Oasis with an appearance by The Good Rebels (formerly Pan Am), a band out of Los Angeles led by Dan Attanasio, son of Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio. The band succeeded in getting the fans appropriately pumped up with lively original tunes, a few cover songs and some “Let’s Go Brewers, Let’s Go!” chants. And, as if he didn’t already have enough to celebrate, it also happened to be Mark Attanasio”s birthday today, so the band also led the crowd in a rousing sing along of “Happy Birthday” to him.
After The Good Rebels performance, Bernie Brewer and the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages made an appearance on stage, followed by Brewers Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker, who was hosting the event, along with other Brewers broadcast personalities Bill Schroeder, Cory Provus and Craig Coshun; Hall of Famer Robin Yount; Mark Attanasio; and General Manager Doug Melvin. Each received a warm welcome from the crowd.
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for– the crowd went wild as the Division Champs filed onstage to thank fans for their support and, at the same time, get everyone excited for what we hope will be a long run into October.
For those that were there or who were watching on Fox Sports Wisconsin, you know that there were many memorable moments as the players were individually introduced and interviewed.
There was the raucous cheer for Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke; the spontaneous chants of “One More Year” and “M-V-P” that erupted from the fans when Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, respectively, were introduced; the extra-loud receptions for hometown hero Craig Counsell; and of course, the energetic Nyjer Morgan, who was the perfect player to lead off the rally and incite the fans with the “beast mode” gesture.
As the We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year, Morgan quickly became a fan favorite this year, due in part to his outgoing personality, passion, hard work and aggressive approach to playing the game.
“Is America ready for Tony Plush in the World Series?” Bill Schroeder asked him in an interview.
“I’m proud to be a Brewer right now! Ahhhhh!” Morgan exclaimed.
Fans were assured that Morgan is going to continue to be himself (and Tony Plush) by bringing that energy and spark to the team throughout the Postseason as Jerry Hairston, Jr. revealed this to the crowd, “On the bus over here, Tony Plush said that if and when we win the World Series, he is going to do a Michael Jackson dance in front of all of you guys!”
And speaking of things Brewers fans have to look forward to, Mark Kotsay also gave the fans something to cheer about when he said that he hopes to be standing back on the stage in “three and a half weeks with a ring.”
And it was Kotsay who also said to the crowd, “I thought you guys would chant ‘one more year’ for Craig Counsell!”
Then they did.
“I was a 12-year-old in 1982. I waited with the rest of you. Now we’re going back almost 30 years later and we want to take it one step further than they did!” the Wisconsin native and fan favorite Counsell exclaimed.
He also gave well-deserved credit to the fans: “All you have to do is look at our home record and you know how much our fans meant to us,” he said.
Ryan Braun was the last to address the crowd.
“I hope today is the first of many celebrations for us,” he said.
After the players departed to more cheers, Five for Fighting took the stage.
Five For Fighting, like The Good Rebels, is also out of Los Angeles. The band is fronted by singer/songwriter John Ondrasik and has multiple critically-acclaimed and award-winning records to their credit. Their breakthrough came in 2001 with the Grammy-nominated song “Superman” from the Platinum certified “America Town” (Aware/Columbia) CD. In 2004, Ondrasik and the band recorded the Platinum-certified album, “The Battle For Everything,” which yielded the retrospective hit, “100 Years.” Other recent records include “Two Lights” (2006) and the first live Five For Fighting CD titled “Live” (2007).
Earlier in the afternoon, I had the chance to speak with Ondrasik.
A born-and-raised native of the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, Ondrasik’s interest in music and sports began at a young age. A fan of the L.A. Kings (NHL), Ondrasik named the band after a punishment in hockey–five minutes in the penalty box for fighting.
When it comes to baseball, Ondrasik admits that he is a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, but told me that it is easy to jump on the Brewers bandwagon.”
“It’s very exciting. It’s a fun team” he said.
As a California native, Ondrasik is also familiar with many names on the Brewers roster including pitcher Randy Wolf who spent two seasons with the Dodgers, Manager Ron Roenicke who spent 10 years with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on their coaching staff, and Ryan Braun, who coincidentally attended the same high school as Ondrasik, Granada Hills High.
As a big sports fan, Ondrasik says he has been fortunate to have the opportunity to play many special sporting events.
Prior to the Brewers Playoff Rally, his most recent sports-related appearance was a September 11th half-time tribute during the Cowboys vs. Jets game.
“It was a very respectful and very moving ceremony. There were a lot of survivors there, so that was an honor to play,” Ondrasik said. “I’ve also had a lot of fun, too, whether it was the Daytona 500 or the NHL All-Star Game–again, as a sports fan, these kinds of things are really fun to do. My guitar player is also a huge baseball fan. He was actually born in Milwaukee, so he’s very excited to be here.”
Five for Fighting also has a song about baseball. “The Best” was featured on the soundtrack for Everyone’s Hero a 2006 computer-animated film about the sport.
“A lot of the dads and moms out there who have Little Leaguers will appreciate that song about playing catch with your little ones,” Ondrasik said.
His interest in sports has also led to him writing a column for Sports Illustrated and a blogging job with the Kings.
So, as a self-proclaimed sports aficionado, where does Ondrasik think the Brewers will net out in Postseason play?
“Hopefully you win the World Series and we can play your victory party!” he said with a smile.
Fans at the event also had the chance to purchase the latest Brewers Postseason t-shirts, hats and other souvenirs at the Rally as the Brewers merchandise trailers were on site.
Just as a reminder, if you’re still looking to gear up before the home games against Arizona this weekend, you can visit the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park, which has extended Postseason hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
For more information on all of the Brewers Postseason information, check out brewers.com/postseason, which will be continually updated with information on everything pertaining to the Brewers Postseason.
If you’ve been to an Admirals game lately, you’ve probably noticed that the Admirals sport our “ball and glove” logo on their game jerseys. That’s because the Brewers are the exclusive jersey sponsor of the team.?
The Brewers sponsorship includes being the Admirals’ official jersey sponsor, as pictured here on left wing, Linus Klasen.
We have had a great partnership with the Milwaukee Admirals have over the years. Announcements during the game, dasherboard signage at the Bradley Center, radio spots during broadcasts, special Brewers giveaways and a combo ticket package are also part of the relationship between our two Clubs.
This Friday, February 18, marks the first of our two “Brewers Nights” with the Admirals this season, featuring a Brewers/Admirals Bob Uecker Bobble Head for the first 5,000 fans in attendance. [Some of you may remember Bob Uecker as the plaid-jacket sporting Admirals spokesman in the mid 1990s (again, another crossover between the clubs).] This Friday’s Uecker Bobble Head is one of four bobble heads that the Admirals are giving away this season.
The second game is Friday, April 1, where the first 2,500 fans will receive a Brewers/Admirals Seat Cushion.
Both of these games are available as part of our “2-Man Advantage” ticket package, which is a great deal. For just $16, you’ll get one ticket to one of these Admirals home games and one Terrace Reserved ticket to your choice of the Friday, April 22 Brewers vs. Astros game or the Friday, May 20 Brewers vs. Rockies game this season.
In honor of our first Brewers night of the season, I visited the Admirals during practice last week to conduct a fun photo shoot with the photographer both of our teams share, Scott Paulus, and Kelly Candotti, our Marketing & Promotions Coordinator.
The guys had lots of fun and were great sports as we set up different shots that mixed baseball and hockey for this story and future promotional collateral surrounding our partnership. Note: The “ball and glove” logo is not shown on the jerseys in the photos seen here, as they were taken during a practice session.
I also had the chance to sit down with the very talented-and very busy- Milwaukee Admirals center and former UW-Madison star, Blake Geoffrion, to discuss his personal success, the Admirals’ success, the Admirals-Brewers partnership and his love for both hockey and baseball.
This past year has been a whirlwind for the 23-year-old. Winning the 2010 Hobey Baker award. Joining the Admirals during their 2010 Calder Cup Playoff run. Throwing out a first pitch at Miller Park. Scoring 10 goals and 23 assists so far this season. Becoming a bobble head.
The Plantation, Florida native actually played both baseball and hockey growing up and, if things had gone differently, we might have been seeing Blake in a Brewers uniform instead of wearing the Brewers logo patch on his Admirals jersey.
A good-hitting catcher in high school, Blake could have accepted a scholarship with a Division I school, but instead choose to play hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Blake comes from a hockey family and is a fourth-generation hockey player, so it is no surprise he decided to skate his way to success.
Blake’s great-grandfather, Howie Morenz, played for the Montreal Canadiens, the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers, winning the Stanley Cup three times with the Canadiens. His grandfather, Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion, also played for the Canadiens and the Rangers and won the Stanley Cup six times with the Canadiens. Both were also elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. In addition, his father, Dan Geoffrion, played in the NHL with the Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques.
So how did Blake decide to become a Badger?
“For me personally, it was kind of a gut feeling thing. I looked at bunch of other universities, but I fell in love with the campus as soon as I stepped on it and there was no question about it, that’s where I wanted to go.”
As a forward at UW-Madison, Blake was named the 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award recipient during his senior year. Wisconsin has had 10 top-10 finalists, but Blake is the first Badger to take home college hockey’s top individual honor.
“It was incredible. I always tell people the best way to describe it was, I was so happy I blacked out during my whole speech. I don’t remember one word of it. I had to re-watch it to see what I said. It was an incredible feeling and I’m very thankful for all the people that helped me get to that point and my teammates, obviously, as well,” Blake said of the honor.
Criteria for the award include strength of character on and off the ice, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
Shortly after receiving the award, Blake was introduced to both Admirals and the Brewers.
Blake joined the Admirals during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs and also got to the throw out the first pitch before a game at Miller Park when the UW-Athletic Department was honored during a pre-game ceremony last June.
It’s easy to tell that he is proud to be here.
“I love playing for the Admirals. I love eating on State Street. I love golfing up in Kohler. I love watching the Green Bay Packers and Badgers sports,” Blake said.
“I love going to Brewers games. I’ve been to a bunch of MLB stadiums and I think the Brewers have the nicest stadium I’ve ever been to, for sure. This summer, I’ll probably be around a little bit more than I have been in the past and I definitely plan on going to more Brewers games. I love Fielder, that’s my boy.“
This season, Blake has played well for the Admirals and recently became the first AHL player in more than 16 years to be named Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks. Blake was also honored with his own bobble head on February 4. That night, he put up a four-point performance, scoring the game-winning goal and assisting on three others to lead Milwaukee to a 4-2 win over Rockford.
The Admirals are currently tied for second place with the Peoria Rivermen in the West Division, one point behind the Houston Aeros, the opponent that they face this Friday night.
“The team has been playing some really exciting hockey lately, so I encourage everyone to come out,” Blake said, “Plus, you get the Bob Uecker Bobble Head, which I really think looks just like him!”
Last Friday morning, I made my way over to the Press Box to speak to a group of students from a high school in Jackson, Wisconsin, a city about 30 miles away from Miller Park.
As part of an educational field trip, the students’ teacher had scheduled a tour of the ballpark and had requested to hear from someone on the topic of marketing for a Major League Baseball Club.
This type of request is actually more common than one might think, but really, it shouldn’t be a surprise, given the volume of tours that our good friends in Brewers Enterprises churn out.
In my last article, I briefly mentioned Cory Congemi, Coordinator of Helfaer Field and Miller Park Tours, but then, after a special e-mail request from a reader and my experience on Friday, I decided to dedicate another post specifically to Cory and the Tour Guide that day, Lou Montgomery.
Let’s start with Cory.
Cory is entering his fifth season with the Club. Having started out as an Intern/Helfaer Field Staff/Tour Guide, Cory is now in his second season in his current role with Brewers Enterprises.
Cory Congemi, Coordinator of Helfaer Field and Miller Park Tours
Cory oversees a staff of about 15 Tour Guides and 15 Helfaer Field Staff.
Helfaer Field, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is the beautiful youth baseball and softball facility built in the shadow of the Brewers’ Major League home and on the exact site of old County Stadium.
Reservations for the field went on sale last Monday and that’s kept Cory busy.
“Roughly 70 percent of the reservations are for Little League teams. Then, we’ve got other events, like Corporate Outings,” Cory said.
The Brewers Front Office even reserves Helfaer Field every year for our staff Kickball Tournament.
For Little League games, the popular timeslots are in the evening, when the kids can play under the lights.
On Brewers game days, there is a tailgate timeslot, three hours prior to the Brewers game, which is when a lot of Corporate Events take place.
While the Miller Park Grounds Crew also takes care of Helfaer Field, Cory’s Helfaer Field Staff handles everything else. They are jacks-of-all-trades, from running the scoreboard and sound system to serving as Guest Relations Staff and Ushers.
Surprisingly, Tours are keeping Cory busy right now, too, even in January.
While Walk-Up Tours are only available during the season, Group Tours can be booked all year long, even in 30 degree weather, like it was on Friday morning, when I put on my coat and headed over to the Press Box.
Tour prices range from $5/person for educational groups to $10/adults, $6/for children and senior citizens for the Walk-Up Tours.
The tours typically last about 70 minutes and include the Dugout, Luxury Suites on the Club Level, Visiting Clubhouse, Press Box, the Home Radio Broadcast Booth and other behind-the-scenes attractions.
Cory’s Tour Guides gave tours to over 300 groups and thousands of people on walk-ups last year.
“Something that’s really become popular is the specialized group tour,” Cory said.
There are three specialized group tours that run a little longer and will cost you a little extra–$15/person for regular groups, or $10/person for educational groups–but they are well worth it.
“There is the MVP Tour, which includes the Batting Cages, Media Interview Room and the Party Suites. Then there is the Technical Tour, which takes you into the Boiler Room, Chiller Room, Stadium Control Room and more. Finally, there is the Scavenger Hunt Tour, which had definitely been growing in popularity,” Cory explained.
The Scavenger Hunt Tour is a great team-building activity. After a regular tour, the group is split into teams. Each team gets a worksheet filled with questions, which, when answered correctly, gives the team a final hint, which leads them to their final destination, where they will receive a special surprise supplied by the Brewers.
Over the course of a year, I find myself speaking to many of the educational groups.
Cory confirmed that many of the groups request a speaker from someone in the organization. When asked which departments were requested most often, Cory told me that groups often like to hear from Accounting and Human Resources but…
“You are definitely the most popular by far,” Cory said.
“I’m quoting you on that,” I said, smiling.
I know that by “you,” he really meant the Consumer Marketing Department as a whole, since I am not the only one in Marketing who gets recruited for these speaking engagements.
It seems that lots of groups are interested in Consumer Marketing because what we do is so visible. They want to know who is behind the advertisements they see on the digital billboards, in the newspaper, or online. They are interested in what a typical day is like in our department.
On Friday, this particular tour group was interested in not only what the Marketing Department does, but also in what it takes to get a job or internship with our organization.
Having started my career as an intern with the Brewers, this was something I could speak to personally. I told them that internships provide invaluable experience while one is still in school, helping students narrow down what they would like to do once they graduate, and just as importantly, internships can help them figure out what they don’t want to do as well. I also stressed the importance of excellent communication skills in this and any field they were interested in pursuing.
I hope that I made a positive impression and that they enjoyed their tour of the ballpark.
Even if I bored them, how could they not enjoy their tour with Lou Montgomery as their guide?
Like many of the folks I’ve spoken to for this series, Lou has been working at Miller Park for many years. The 2010 season will be Lou’s 24th season with the Club, but the difference with Lou is that he didn’t start working for the Brewers until he was 64 years old.
The year was 1987. Lou had recently retired from his career as an Industrial Engineer for GE. He and his wife, Marian, were eating at a fast food restaurant one day when some younger people started harassing an older couple.
The man in the booth next to them could see the situation from where he was sitting and he got up, went over there, talked to them and got a hold of the manager.
When he returned to his seat, he said aloud to no one in particular, “I work at County Stadium and we don’t put up with stuff like that.”
Lou, who had been a baseball fan all his life, couldn’t help asking, “You work at County Stadium? What do you do there? “
The man replied, “I’m an Usher and we don’t put up with behavior like that.”
Lou and the man struck up a conversation. The man mentioned that the Brewers would be hiring new people in a couple of weeks.
“Just go down there and tell them that Al, an Usher at the East Gate, recommended you,” the man told Lou.
The rest is history.
Lou Montgomery, Miller Park Usher and Tour Guide
Lou began working at County Stadium as an Usher on the Mezzanine Level and has loved every minute of it.
“One of my fondest memories was seeing Robin Yount get his 3000th hit,” Lou said. “It was an exciting time, too, when Paul Molitor had his hitting streak.”
After working as an Usher for nearly 11 years, Lou took on an additional role as a Tour Guide at County Stadium.
Joyce Paulson, one of the other Ushers who is also a Tour Guide, knew that Lou and his wife were very involved with their church as Tour Hosts for trips to the Holy Land and Europe and she thought he’d be perfect for the job.
As Tour Hosts, Lou and his wife organized and recruited people for the educational trips. They made sure the travelers got to their destinations on time and kept everything on schedule.
With that kind of experience, Lou easily qualified for the Tour Guide position at County Stadium. He gave tours there for three years and then transitioned over to Miller Park in his dual role as an Usher and Tour Guide.
“Here at Miller Park, everyone is interested in going into the Visitor’s Clubhouse and many of the fans are interested in the Press Box and Home Radio Broadcast Booth because Mr. Uecker is such a popular guy,” Lou said.
Fans taking a Miller Park Tour will get to step inside the Home Radio Broadcast Booth.
Being a former Industrial Engineer, it is no surprise that one of Lou’s favorite things to talk about is the roof.
“The roof is the only one of its kind and many people are interested in hearing about that,” he said.
Miller Park’s roof is a popular tour topic.
Lou turned 88 years old last Sunday, and at his age, one might expect him to have some cool stories about the Milwaukee Braves and their historic run here in the late ’50s.
Lou never saw the Milwaukee Braves play, though, because he didn’t move to Milwaukee until 1966, the year after the Braves left Milwaukee.
Lou was born and raised in a small town called Tell City, Indiana, where he was a Sports Editor for the school paper and Student Manager for the football, baseball and basketball teams.
“I went out for football and baseball, but I weighed about 130 lbs. The coach said he was going to have to cut guys, but he would need some Student Managers. I thought about it overnight and figured I was going to be cut, so I volunteered to be a Student Manager,” Lou said, laughing at the memory.
Later, Lou also kept high school sports stats for a local radio station and got more involved with baseball when he co-managed a Little League team and even became the Business Manager of a semi-pro baseball team, the Tell City Grays of the I-K League.
“The I-K League stood for Indiana and Kentucky. It’s no longer in existence, but my job as Business Manager was to ask for donations for uniforms and equipment,” Lou said.
With no local Major League team to follow, Lou had grown up a Cubs fan in part because of the powerful WGN radio signal.
“My dad and his younger brother were Cubs fans, and we’d listen to the games as kids and I became a Cubs fan as well,” Lou said.
Even after Lou moved to Wisconsin and the Brewers franchise came to Milwaukee in 1970, he figured he could still be a Cubs fan in Milwaukee because the Brewers were in the American League.
“Then they did me a disservice, putting Milwaukee in the same league,” Lou joked, talking about the Brewers move to the National League in 1998.
“So you had to choose a loyalty…” I pressed.
“Oh, that wasn’t too difficult,” Lou laughed.
Although he was never a season ticket holder, Lou went to many games as a fan between 1970 and 1987, when he started working for the Club. He was even fortunate enough to have attended the 1982 playoffs and World Series.
Over those years, Lou fell in love with the team and that love only increased once he started his job at County Stadium.
Lou’s current Usher position at Miller Park is inside the Press Box, making sure everyone has the proper credentials. I asked him if, as such a big fan, it’s been difficult for him to adhere to the old adage, “No cheering in the Press Box,” especially during the 2008 Wild Card season.
“Sometimes you do have to restrain yourself a little bit,” Lou agreed.
Like all of us, Lou can’t wait for the baseball season to get underway. He’s ready to listen to the Spring Training Broadcasts and he’s looking forward to Opening Day and the official start of his 24th Season.
“I am very thankful to work for the Brewers. I never dreamed as a kid from a small town in Southern Indiana that I would be doing something like this,” Lou said.
I know both Cory and I are thankful for Lou and so are the many satisfied fans who have been fortunate enough to take one of his tours or interact with him in the concourses of Miller Park over the years.
Is there someone you’d like to see profiled in this feature? E-mail us at email@example.com.
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