Results tagged ‘ John Axford ’

An Event of Their Own: Cait’s Brewers Baseball Basics for Women Recap

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of speaking at Brewers Baseball Basics for Women, presented by Associated Bank, an event designed especially for our female fans who are interested in a behind-the-scenes look at Miller Park and the Brewers front office, as well as additional insight into some nuances of America’s Favorite Pastime. 

In short, the women taking part in the event put on by Brewers Enterprises had signed up for an entire day of fun at Miller Park, beginning at 9am and lasting through the game that evening.

To start their day, the ladies congregated behind the visitor’s dugout, where they were greeted by Vice President of Brewers Enterprises, Jason Hartlund and Penny Foust, Associated Bank CTP Vice President of Treasury Management.

They then heard from Vice President-Assistant General Manager, Gord Ash and Coordinator, Administration- Amateur Scouting, Amanda Kropp. The session covered information on day-to-day operations and the different tiers within the department–scouting, player development and the Major Leagues. The participants had the chance to ask questions and they took full advantage of the opportunity, inquiring about such baseball intricacies such as the infield fly rule, options and waivers and the draft process.

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Gord Ash speaks at Brewers Baseball Basics for Women.

Next, the women were split up into five different “teams” and headed off to different areas of the ballpark for sessions with women in the Brewers front office.

The teams rotated to visit each of the five sessions, traveling on a behind-the-scenes tour of Miller Park along the way, including a visit to the home clubhouse and a walk around the warning track to the home bullpen, where they reviewed different pitches with Bullpen Catcher Marcus Hanel.

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Tours of Miller Park usually feature a visit to the visitor’s clubhouse, but the ladies had a rare treat– a special trip through the home clubhouse, where they got to see the lockers, weight room, training room and dining room.

The teams heard about the Brewers philanthropic efforts and community events and programs from Cecelia Gore, Executive Director of the Brewers Community Foundation and Katina Shaw, Director of Community Relations and Family Liaison.

Over in the Press Box, the teams learned about broadcasting, in-game entertainment and what it takes to pull-off 81 homes games and a major event like Brewers on Deck from Aleta Mercer, Senior Director of Entertainment and Broadcasting. (For more on Aleta, click here.)

The session with Marcie Pasbrig, the Catering and Sales Manager for DNC SportService and Leslie Bishop, the NYCE Stadium Club and Gehl Club Manager for DNC SportService took place in the NYCE Stadium Club where the teams learned about the catering and hospitality. They also had a chance to sample some of the delicious fare offered at Miller Park.

Miranda Bintley, Grounds Manager was supposed to speak about her job overseeing the playing fields in both Miller Park and Helfaer Field, but she was unavailable because she is soon expecting her first child, so her boss, Grounds Director, Gary Vanden Berg, pinch hit for her and “covered that ground”. (For more on Gary and his crew, click here.)

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Gary Vanden Berg speaks to a team in the home dugout.

As Senior Manager of Advertising and Marketing, I also had the pleasure of hosting a session about our advertising, ticket promotions, social media efforts and general marketing strategy.

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Our session took place in the Media Interview Room, so fans like Julie Hanrahan had fun posing in front of the backdrop.

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I could tell all of the women in attendance were  big Brewers fans. In fact, I had been asked to touch on the topic of retail in my sessions and  I jokingly said to each group, “Well, I was supposed to talk about retail, but just looking at this group, I see you’re all very familiar with our retail operations!”  Almost every woman there was wearing Brewers gear and it was great to see.

Because I was speaking to the different groups as they rotated through this high-powered lineup, unfortunately, I was unable to attend the other speakers’ sessions. However, the feedback I did receive later from both my colleagues and the attendees was very positive across the board.

“I was impressed with the questions the women asked,” Amanda Kropp commented to me. I agreed. All of the women who attended my sessions came prepared with plenty of great questions and also, valuable feedback.

The groups reconvened for a question and answer session with Brewers Manager Ken Macha, outfielder Joe Inglett and his wife, Kelly, emceed by Brewers TV Analyst Bill Schroeder.

Topics covered in that session ranged from what a typical day looks like for a player versus a manager and why the Brewers have been hit by pitches so many times this season to how many games the players’ wives typically attend during a season and what they do while their husbands are traveling on the road.

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Joe Inglett, his wife, Kelly and Manager Ken Macha take questions from the fans.

The morning concluded with a drawing for special prizes such as holding the finish line for the Klement’s Sausage Race and throwing out the first pitch at that night’s game. Each woman who attended the event also received a gift bag that included a bobble head, a 2010 Brewers Yearbook, a copy of the book, Down in the Valley by Gregg Hoffmann (a history of Milwaukee County Stadium), and a pink Brewers hat from Associated Bank.

The group was then released for a couple of hours before they returned with a guest to Helfaer Field for a special tailgate which included food and drinks, photo opportunities with the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages and appearances by John Axford, Randy Wolf, Zach Braddock, Chris Narveson and George Kottaras. 

The participants and their guests then attended the Brewers-Pirates game at 6:10 pm, where their day of fun was capped off with an 8-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I’m thankful for this great opportunity to spread my love of the game (and my job!) to this group of women and I hope that they had as much fun as I did. 

I also hope that next year, we get even more women to come out to get a glimpse at the women behind-the-scenes at Miller Park and to learn more about the sport that Milwaukee has embraced for years.

 

-CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

Doug Davis: Throwing Strikes On and Off the Mound


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On Sunday, August 8, Brewers pitcher Doug Davis will host a Bowl-a-Thon at Pinstrikes Bowling Center at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, Wisconsin.  Davis will be joined by Brewers teammates and coaches at the event, where proceeds will benefit the Miracle League of Milwaukee through the Doug Davis Foundation and the Brewers Community Foundation.

The Doug Davis Foundation, whose motto is, “Helping better the lives of children,” started in 2008 with a golf tournament while Davis was playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He established the Foundation to help assist children with various medical, social and family needs. Over the next couple of years, Davis has held more events such as poker tournaments, meet and greets, and special behind-the scenes ballpark tours in addition to what has now become his annual Celebrity/Charity Golf Invitational. The proceeds from some of those events have gone to the Miracle League of Arizona, helping to build a baseball stadium designed for use by children with special needs.

The Miracle League of Milwaukee is a project that the Club has been supporting in various ways this season, including through the Pepsi Refresh Project. Fifteen teams across Major League Baseball are asking fans to join them in making a difference in America’s communities; each Club has presented a proposed community project for support and here in Milwaukee, the Club has chosen the Miracle League, campaigning for fan votes and an ultimate $200,000 grant to fulfill the project. (Click here to cast your vote up to ten times a day until Tuesday, August 17 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.)

Because of Davis’ work with the Miracle League of Arizona, the Miracle League is also something that Davis strongly supports and he will donate the proceeds from the Bowl-a-Thon to the Miracle League of Milwaukee.

“Children, you know, like the song says, they are our future. The Miracle League in particular is very special to me because without it, those kids don’t get to play. They want to be just like the big leaguers they see on TV, with the field and the amenities. To know that you’re sharing your love for the game with them and that you’re helping them, it makes you feel really good inside. And when you see them play and realize the sense of achievement that they get out of it, it is very humbling,” Davis said.

There are a number of different ways to participate in the Bowl-a-Thon, which takes place from 6-9 p.m., following the Brewers vs. Houston Astros game.

Lane sponsorship is $1000 and includes bowling for five people plus a Brewers player, five tickets to a Brewers game, free food and drinks at the event, goodie bags including an autographed baseball, additional autograph and photograph opportunities, plus raffle prizes. The high bowler in each lane will also receive an autographed custom bowling pin. Individual spots are available for $200. 

While the Doug Davis Foundation has held poker and golf events, Davis has never held his own bowling event, though he has participated in them in the past.

While it is Davis’ first time hosting a Bowl-a-Thon, this is not the first time for the Brewers. Most recently, former Brewers outfielder, Mike Cameron, hosted the Brewers Bowl-a-Thon in 2009.


I did a little homework before our interview. Over the past 6 seasons (2004-2009), Davis has been in the top 25 National League pitchers in strikeouts for five of those seasons, including finishing tied for third in 2005, his personal best. In addition, Doug’s current average strikeouts per nine innings pitched (K/9) is 7.98 in 2010.

“Doug, your average strikeouts per nine innings pitched is nearly at 8 for this season. How are you as a bowler? Can we expect to come out and see you throw just as many strikes per 10 frames?” I inquired, being the hard-hitting blog reporter that I am.                                                                                                                       

It’s okay, though. Davis has an excuse. He will be bowling right-handed in the event to protect his pitching arm, especially as he treats his tendinitis.

So, if Davis isn’t overly confident in his own bowling abilities…who is the best bowler on the team?

Players currently scheduled to appear at the event along with Davis are: John Axford, Zach Braddock, Ryan Braun, Chris Capuano, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Joe Inglett, Kameron Loe, Casey McGehee, Chris Narveson, Manny Parra, Randy Wolf, and more.

“So, are you picking Ryan Braun to win it all then?” I pressed.

While Davis has made his prediction, it still sounds like it’s anyone’s ballgame. However, one thing is for certain: On Sunday, August 8, the Miracle League of Milwaukee will be the true winner as the team and fans come out to have a fun time and raise money for this worthy cause.  We hope to see you there!



 
 -CAIT

To participate in the event or for more information, visit brewers.com/community, or contact Greg Harris with the Doug Davis Foundation at (847) 924-6140 or via e-mail at gharris@dougdavisfoundation.org.  For more information on the Miracle League of Milwaukee, please visit www.miracleleaguemilwaukee.org.

  

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