Results tagged ‘ jim Gantner ’
The first time Erika Brown made the U.S. Olympic Curling team, guys like Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, and Juan Nieves graced the Brewers roster.
It was 1988 and the then 15-year-old was headed to Calgary for the XV Olympic Winter Games where curling would debut as a demonstration sport.
It’s now 2013 and Erika, a lifelong Brewers fan and Wisconsin native, is on the road to Sochi, hoping for the chance to compete in her third Olympics in a sport that’s always been a family affair.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Erika began curling in 1980 at the age of 7, taking after her mom, dad and brother, who all played the sport.
“In 1988, I remember being there with my family. My parents were there. My dad was our coach and my mom was our alternate on our team. The ceremonies were overwhelming,” she reminisced.
Erika made her second trip to the Olympics 10 years later, in Nagano in 1998.
“I think in 1998, we all were more experienced. We had different expectations. We had competed at that time for 10 years on a world stage. Nagano was great. Curling had gained more recognition and popularity by that time. There was great fan support and fun crowds. It was amazing!”
Erika’s team won the Women’s Curling Championship in Green Bay earlier this year, which qualified them for the Olympic Team Trials. And it felt extra special that it happened in her home state in front of family and friends.
“There were lots of Wisconsin curling fans there and it was fun to be in such a fun sporting town, too. We were right near Lambeau Field.”
The Olympian also adds accomplished golfer to her resume—she was the Wisconsin State High School champ in 1990 and 1991 and twice the City of Madison women’s champion as well.
“I don’t get a chance to play as much as I want to anymore, but golf is a great compliment to curling. There are a lot of similarities—repetitive motion, timing, strategy,” Erika said.
Although Erika has since moved to Ontario with her husband (a three-time World Champion curler himself) and children, she’s still a Brewers fan at heart and follows the team from afar.
“Growing up, we were always Brewers fans. We were members of the Brewers Fan Club, the year they won the pennant, in 1982. I remember my dad would get home at 5pm and we would get in our van. We’d stop to get pizza and eat it on the drive to Milwaukee for the games. We went to 17 games that season, we were all into it.”
In addition to curling and golf, Erika was well versed in many other sports growing up, including little league.
“I played infield, so I tried to emulate Robin Yount,” she said with a laugh.
Gorman Thomas was her favorite player and Erika even has photos of herself with Stormin’ Gorman and many of the members of that ’82 team from a Kids Picture Day that season:
And, although she didn’t make it to any playoff games, she says she also has a photo from the night the Brewers won the pennant.
“It’s one of my favorite photos. My brother and I have all of our gear on the night they won the pennant and we’re in our living room, celebrating,” she said.
So, while Erika continues to cheer on the Brewers, we’ll continue to cheer on her and the other Olympic hopefuls on the road to Sochi.
Erika’s next stop is North Dakota for the Olympic Team Trials, Sunday, November 10 through Sunday, November 17.
“With Curling, it’s such a combination of skills. Fitness has become a really integral part of the game. As a skip [Editor’s Note: The skip is the captain of the team, responsible for determining strategy], what I love is how strategic and cerebral it is and the experience is a huge factor. Having played for so long, that’s helpful and that’s why I like the position I play and the strategy that goes into the game. The other great thing is my teammates. We all work together and lift each other up. For me it’s created friendships and lifelong bonds.”
We already know Brewers fans are everywhere—and we hope there’s one more in Sochi next February.
The Brewers are back from a long road trip and that means Brewers Community Foundation Week kicks off at Miller Park tonight!
The Brewers are set to face the Reds tonight to start a four-game set and fans will have the opportunity to take a photograph with various Brewers alumni starting when the gates open until 7:45 pm. Photos will be available for $10 per person, per session (for example you can take photos with all eight alumni in the four separate sessions for $40), at the BCF Week tables on the Field Level concourse next to Guest Relations (outside section 116). Fans will need to provide their own camera for their photos. The schedule of alumni is as follows (subject to change):
5:45 – 6:15 p.m.
Paul Wagner and Ken Sanders
6:15 – 6:45 p.m.
Craig Counsell and Larry Hisle
6:45 – 7:15 p.m.
Gorman Thomas and Jim Gantner
7:15 – 7:45 p.m.
Jerry Augustine and Dave Nelson
Don’t forget, the Ultimate Auction is open for bidding all week. Check it out for some wonderful, one-of-a-kind opportunities!
Cait’s Summer Reading List: Reviewing Haudricourt’s “100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die”
I recently finished reading a new book about the Milwaukee Brewers entitled, “100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.” The book was written by Tom Haudricourt of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, with a foreword by Jim Gantner.
Haudricourt, who has covered the Milwaukee Brewers and baseball for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (and Milwaukee Sentinel) since 1985, has witnessed many of these items firsthand. This is his third book about the team (he is also the author of Brewers Essential and Where Have You Gone ’82 Brewers?) and “100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” covers everything from Brewers Baseball arriving in Milwaukee (1970) through recent triumphs such as the 2011 NLCS appearance.
Mixed in among seminal and paramount moments in Brewers history are funny and bizarre items, along with things that true Brewers fans find essential to the game experience, like the Famous Racing Sausages, Bernie Brewer, tailgating and more. [John is even mentioned in a sidebar within the book, how cool is that?!]
With an average of 2.5 pages dedicated to each “thing,” the book is a quick and easy read. And, although I very much like Haudricourt’s style of sports reporting, this book is a welcome departure from that objective point of view. Instead, each item reads like its own little vignette, complete with quotes—either directly from the person or people mentioned within it, or from another source, such as a newspaper or interview at that time.
In his introduction, Haudricourt notes, “The Brewers…do not have 100 years, or even half that, of history,” which is true, with the Club in just its 44th season–but that does not mean it does not have 100 (or more) items that merited inclusion in this book. And, although I am in my eleventh season with the Club (wow, I’ve been here for one-quarter of its existence!) and I was born and raised in Milwaukee as a Brewers fan, there are still many of these key moments of Brewers history that occurred before I was born (i.e. the 1982 World Series) or when I was too young to remember (1987 Team Streak).
And then I think about all of the Brewers fans who are younger than me, or those who have moved to Milwaukee in the last few years and this is really a book that needed to be written.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan from the days of Harvey Kuenn and Paul Molitor or a new supporter of Ron Roenicke and Ryan Braun, this book contains everything Brewers fans should know, see and do in their lifetime.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you want to call yourself a True Blue Brew Crew fan, you should have to read this book and be tested on the contents, the most important facts about the team, traditions and what being a Brewers fan is all about. Players should be provided with a copy when they sign their contracts. What’s that saying? In order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been? In only 44 seasons, we have a rich history and I’m confident that in the direction we’re headed, it’s only going to get richer.
I don’t want to give too much of the book away, but I can tell you that I crunched some numbers to get my personal “stats”:
- Of the 100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, there are 14 “Things To Do” and I’ve done them all.
- Of the 100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, there are 86 “Things to Know” and, of course, after reading the book, I now know them all, but:
- Of the 86 “Things to Know,” I was alive for 71 of them.
- Of those 71, I remember being aware of 46 of them at the time (i.e. some happened when I was too young or wasn’t following as closely).
- Of those 46, 29 of them happened since I started working here (2003).
- From there, I tried to make a list of the ones for which I was actually physically present, but it got difficult to do, so I’ll just call out a few of the more specific things mentioned that I’m proud to say I witnessed in person:
- April 27, 2004: Chad Moeller’s Cycle
- April 28, 2004: Brewers huge comeback win against Cincinnati Reds
- May 16, 2004: Ben Sheets’ 18 strikeouts vs. Atlanta Braves
- September 28, 2008: Brewers Clinch the Wild Card
- September 23, 2011: Brewers Clinch NL Central Title
I’ve also included a photo gallery of some of the “Things” included in the book, but you’ll have to read it then come back to place which ones I’m referencing!
The book is currently available for sale in the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and at other booksellers.
Once you’re done, I’d be curious to know what you think. Did Tom leave anything out? Let me know in the comments field below.
Finally, I’ve got a copy to give away to one lucky blog reader who is the first person to email me (email@example.com) with the correct answer to the following trivia question:
What team did Doug Melvin swing a massive nine-player deal with on December 1, 2003, which six players did we acquire from that trade AND what was the common name Brewers fans used to reference those collective players at the time?
UPDATE: We have a winner! Congrats to Michael from Iowa who knew that this was a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks in which the Brewers received: Wisconisn native Craig Counsell, second baseman Junior Spivey, first baseman Lyle Overbay, catcher Chad Moeller, and lefthanders Jorge De La Rosa, and Chris Capuano, players collectively known as the “Six-Pack”. [Note: I would have also accepted "Brewerbacks"!]
Two weeks ago, I previewed the Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Classic at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin and yesterday, I was fortunate enough to play in it.
This was the fourth year of Davey’s tournament and it’s been held at Blackwolf since it’s inception. I was especially excited to be playing the course this year, as the Original Championship Course is the site of the 2012 Women’s U.S. Open (July 2-8).
Indeed, when I arrived at the course, you could see signs of preparations for the Open, from trailers in the parking lots and tents set up around to the property to bleacher structures in the making and merchandise in the pro shop.
Blackwolf Run has two 18-hole courses and for Davey’s tournament, we played the Meadow Valleys course. [For the Open, Blackwolf Run will return to its original single-course configuration, comprised of holes 10-18 of the Meadow Valleys course and holes 1-4 and 14-18 of the River course. That means, when we were on the back nine at Davey’s tournament, we were playing a U.S. Open course!]
Upon check-in, participants were provided with a locker and inside, assorted goodies were waiting for us, including a polo shirt, cap, headcovers and golf balls.
Then, the morning started off with a golf clinic led by American Club golf pros and a putting contest, along with a buffet brunch.
Each foursome in the tournament was paired with a celebrity golfer to make up a five-person team. Team play consisted of a Scramble Format with team prizes awarded to the top finishers.
Among the many celebrities in the tournament were former Brewers players Jay Aldrich, Jerry Augustine, Sal Bando (also a Brewers GM), Jim Gantner, Pete Ladd, Damian Miller, Willie Mueller (who was also in the movie Major League as “Duke”), Ken Sanders, Gorman Thomas, Greg Vaughn, Paul Wagner and Robin Yount; former UW-Badgers, Derek Engler, Tyler Donovan and Tarek Saleh; Evan Fitzgerald, CBS-58 Sports Anchor; Bruce Froemming, former MLB Umpire; Jason Grimsley, former MLB pitcher; Greg Matzek and Bill Michaels, radio personalities; Greg Meyer, NFL Referee; and Tony Smith, a former Milwaukee Bucks player and current FSWisconsin broadcaster.
My group consisted of Cecelia Gore, Executive Director of Brewers Community Foundation; Fred and Leo, friends of Davey’s from Florida; and our celebrity, former Brewers relief pitcher, Jay Aldrich. Drafted by the Brewers in 1982, Aldrich played for the team in 1987 and 1989; he also played for the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles in his career. He currently resides in the Milwaukee area and, thankfully for our team, is an avid golfer.
The tournament was a shotgun start, so our group began on hole 7, a par five, which we promptly eagled. We got off to a really hot start in our round and, with the exception of one bogey, never really looked back.
We had a ton of fun in our group and each member contributed equally, playing to his or her strength. For example, Cecelia made at least three putts for us that were outside of 10-feet. My claim to fame is a (75% of the time) long, straight drive, which, being female, I get to hit from the Ladies’ tees, a considerable advantage on a course like Blackwolf Run. With Fred and Leo being from Florida, they get to play lots of golf, so they had lots of clutch shots; however, I would say Jay was definitely the “pro” in our group.
We finished the day at -8, which was good, but not good enough to win the tournament.
Each hole also consisted of different challenges with opportunities to win various prizes for things like longest drive, longest putt, or closest to the hole. Our team came close on a few of the challenges, but didn’t hold up in the end.
We didn’t mind at all because despite an early threat of rain, we had wonderful weather, a fun day, the chance to play a beautiful championship course and, most importantly, we were helping a great cause: Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa and Brewers Community Foundation. Open Arms is a non-profit organization that provides shelter, clothing, protection and basic healthcare for what is now home to many children orphaned due to the Aids epidemic in South Africa. Davey has served as Board of Director for over four years.
Following golf, there was a reception and silent auction, and then dinner with a live auction. During dinner, we learned more about Open Arms and heard stories about the children whose lives we were helping, all by taking a day off of work to play golf. It was a very touching and moving presentation and I’m so happy that this event has been able to raise money to support the organization, which Davey and many others have dedicated a lot of time and energy into making a success.
For more information on Open Arms, please visit the website at http://www.openarmshome.com.
Here are some more photos from the day and I hope to see you out at the tournament next year! (PS-Any ringers, please ask to be put in my group!)
The Fourth Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament hosted by Brewers Director of Alumni Relations and FOX Sports Wisconsin broadcaster Dave Nelson is scheduled to be held a week from this Monday, on June 11 at Blackwolf Run Golf Course in Kohler, Wisconsin.
This year, I am very excited to be playing in the 18-Hole Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Tournament, which begins at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, and dinner.
Celebrity guests scheduled to golf in the tournament include former Brewers players Jerry Augustine, Sal Bando (also a Brewers GM), Jim Gantner, Pete Ladd, Willie Mueller (who was also in the movie Major League as “Duke”), Ken Sanders, Gorman Thomas, Greg Vaughn, and Paul Wagner; Bruce Froemming, former MLB Umpire; Jason Grimsley, former MLB pitcher; Greg Matzek, radio personality; Greg Meyer, NFL Referee; and Tony Smith, a former Milwaukee Bucks player. [Celebrity golfers are subject to change.]
I don’t know yet who I will be paired up with for the tournament, but I would be honored to play with any of these celebrities! And, not only is the field stellar, but the course, which has been the site of the outing for all four years, is amazing as well.
I’ve been fortunate enough to play Blackwolf Run just a few times and it is one of my favorites. They have two 18-hole courses and the tournament will be hosted on the Meadow Valleys course.
I’m especially excited to be playing Blackwolf Run this year, as the Original Championship Course is the site of the 2012 Women’s U.S. Open (July 2-8).
For the Open, Blackwolf Run will return to its original single-course configuration, comprised of holes 10-18 of the Meadow Valleys course and holes 1-4 and 14-18 of the River course. That means, when you’re on the back nine at Davey’s tournament, you’ll be playing a U.S. Open course!
This is the second time the course will host that tournament. In 1998, when I was a young, impressionable golfer on my high school team, my dad took me up there for the entire week, including the day of the 18-hole playoff between Se Ri Pak and amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn, which included an extra two holes on top of that in sudden death before Pak was finally crowned as champion. I remember getting to meet my idols, like Annika Sorenstam and having the time of my left watching some of the best golf I have ever seen.
Registrations are being accepted as foursomes only and a celebrity golfer will be paired with each group to make up a five-person team. Team play will consist of a Scramble Format with team prizes awarded to the top finishers. The tournament is limited to 30 foursomes and, if you haven’t signed up yet, I’m told there is still space available, but it is moving quickly! Registration fees are $2,500 per foursome.
Besides the tournament itself, a golf clinic led by American Club golf pros and a putting contest will take place at 9:30 a.m., and a buffet brunch will be served prior to play. After golf, there will be a cocktail hour with a Silent Auction followed by dinner and a Live Auction.
For those who do not wish to golf, tickets to the reception and dinner only are available for $150 per person.
An additional preview event has been added on Sunday, June 10th, consisting of a golf experience at Whistling Straits followed by a cocktail reception and dinner at the Championship Locker room. Rates for the preview event vary pending participation and sponsorship level.
Proceeds will benefit Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa and Brewers Community Foundation. Open Arms Home for Children is a non-profit organization that provides shelter, clothing, protection and basic healthcare for what is now home to many children orphaned due to the Aids epidemic in South Africa. Dave Nelson has served as Board Director for over four years.
For additional information, sponsorship opportunities, or to sign up for this memorable golfing experience visit http://www.brewers.com/davey or contact event chair, Johanna Perrini, at (414) 213-8671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates on the event can be found on twitter by following Brewers Community Foundation (@brewerscf) or on the Facebook: Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Tournament to Benefit Open Arms.
I hope to see you on the links!
More about Davey Nelson:
Nelson enters his fifth season as an analyst for FS Wisconsin broadcasts. He also serves as Brewers Director of Alumni Relations and leads the team’s Speakers Bureau. In his front office role, Nelson maintains a database of former Brewers players as well as organizes events for Brewers alumni.
Prior to his current role, Nelson served as Brewers first-base coach from 2003-06. In 2001 and 2002, he was a minor-league outfield instructor. Nelson began his Major League coaching career in 1981 with Chicago-AL and later spent time coaching in Cleveland, Oakland and Montreal. In 1980, he was on the coaching staff at Texas Christian University.
Nelson enjoyed a 10-year Major League playing career from 1968-77. The former outfielder played for Cleveland, Washington, Texas and Kansas City. He was named to the American League All-Star team in 1973.
Born in Fort Still, Oklahoma, Nelson went on to graduate from Junipero Serra High School in California. He attended Compton Junior College for one year and Los Angeles State College for two years. Nelson also served in the Army Reserve for six years. He currently splits time between Bradenton, Florida and Milwaukee.