Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Lucroy ’

MLB Network’s “Face of MLB” Competition Returns; Vote for #FaceofBREWERS Today

Starting Monday, MLB Network set out to find the “Face of MLB” by creating a bracket-style tournament with results determined by fans on Twitter and Facebook.

Yesterday, in the Brewers “Face of the Franchise” preliminary round, Brewers fans could nominate a player candidate to be the #FaceofBrewers on social media.

The results were announced this morning on MLB Network’s offseason morning show Hot Stove and… you’ve selected Jonathan Lucroy as the Face of the Brewers.

FACE 1217 RESULT MIL_Facebook

For the second round, MLB Network has created a bracket that seeds clubs against each other based on how they finished the 2014 season.

And, on the heels of winning Sporting News’ Best Ballpark poll, Brewers fans will have less than one month to rest their voting fingers because beginning, January 15, Hot Stove will ask fans to vote on Twitter and Facebook each day and decide a winner for the day’s head-to-head player matchup until the Face of MLB is determined.

That’s right, beginning January 15, Brewers fans should be prepared to vote like crazy for Jonathan Lucroy via social media. Stay tuned for more information.

Fans voted more than 2.5 million times in the second Face of MLB competition and during the finals between Eric Sogard and David Wright, #FaceOfMLB trended for over 7 hours. #EricSogard, #NerdPower and #DavidWright also trended during the voting period.

The Face of MLB bracket and voting details are available here.

-Cait

@CMoyer

Help Support the Battle for Blazo by Bidding on the Opportunity to Meet Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy

SURG Restaurant Group owners Michael Polaski and Omar Shaikh are always seeking opportunities to give back to causes they are most passionate about: family and children.

Once they learned about Chris “Blazo” Blaszak’s story, they knew they had to help in whatever way possible. Chris is a loving father and husband who was diagnosed with stage four Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Mandible. Chris has 20 years of dedicated service in the United States Air Force 440th Unit Military Police, retired as a Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom military hero, deployed to Afghanistan as a result of the fight against the Taliban, and as a homicide detective and lieutenant of the Milwaukee Police Department, Chris has been committed to the safety of our hometown community and its people for 22 years.

Since August, Chris’s cancer has accelerated, which resulted in four 10-hour surgeries. With the help of local businesses and athletes, including Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun, SURG is rallying funds to assist Chris’s family with a special auction at BattleForBlazo.com.

Here are two Brewers-related packages:

  • Meet Jonathan Lucroy: You and three guests will have the opportunity to meet Jonathan, take pictures, get a baseball bat autographed, watch Brewers batting practice, and stay to watch the game.
  • Meet Ryan Braun: You and three guests will have the opportunity to meet Ryan, take pictures, get a baseball bat autographed, watch Brewers batting practice, and stay to watch the game.

Visit BattleforBlazo.com to bid on one of these experiences (or any of the other unique offerings), or to simply make a donation; 100% of the proceeds from these efforts will be donated to a fund created for the Blaszak family.

-Cait

@CMoyer

Many Join Jonathan Lucroy in the Fight Against Muscle Disease at the 4th Annual Wisconsin Muscle Team Gala

Last night, many fans gathered to join Jonathan Lucroy in the fight against muscle disease by attending the 4th Annual Wisconsin Muscle Team Gala  at SURG Restaurant Group’s new event space on Milwaukee Street.

The event, which featured appearances by the Brewers catcher, UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, Pro Wrestler Sargent Slaughter, Miss Wisconsin Raeanna Johnson, hockey player Scott Ford, and others, was in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA),a nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig’s Disease and other related illnesses by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care, support services, advocacy and education.

Besides mixing and mingling with the celebrities, the over 350 people in attendance enjoyed craft cocktails and food pairings from SURG Restaurant Group’s best bartenders and restaurants including Carnveor, Umami Moto and Hom, and had the opportunity to bid on a variety of exciting experiences and items, including incredible sports memorabilia and a private meet and greet with Jonathan Lucroy during batting practice in silent and live auctions to benefit benefit MDA’s mission.

Joe Block and Jonathan Lucroy auctioned off a very special Brewers package to raise money for the MDA. Top: Jonathan poses with the winning bidders.

 

Events like the Wisconsin Muscle Team Gala play a crucial role in helping Wisconsin families impacted by muscular dystrophy achieve a victory in finding a cure–families, like that of 9-year-old Reagan Imhoff, a National Goodwill Ambassador for MDA, who, along with and her parents, Jenny and Joe, visited with Jonathan Lucroy at Miller Park earlier this year.

Jonathan Lucroy with Reagan at Miller Park earlier this year.

Jonathan Lucroy with Reagan at Miller Park earlier this year.

Reagan  has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, type 2), a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. Because of this progressive neuromuscular disease which is most commonly diagnosed in infancy, Reagan has never been able to crawl or walk. In addition  SMA has led to difficulty eating enough food by mouth to maintain her weight and grow, so Reagan is mainly fed through a g-j tube. Her respiratory muscles are also very weak, which makes coughing and taking deep breaths while sleeping difficulty, leading to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other problems. Scoliosis also presented complications early on for Reagan which resulted in the need for spinal surgery when she was just 4. Leg and hip pain have also been an increasing problem for her.

Despite all of these challenges, Reagan remains positive and upbeat, choosing to tell her personal story as a National Goodwill Ambassador for MDA. In this capacity, Reagan is working to help raise awareness and understanding of muscle disease and inspire support of the organization.

“MDA means hope and a brighter future, it means that one day no one will have to live with muscle disease because there will be a cure!” Reagan says.

“I enjoy helping people,” Jonathan said as he took the mic during the live auction. “I got to meet Reagan this season and she just put a smile on my face. Now let’s make some money!”

It was a pleasure to see Reagan and her family once again, as well as to meet other amazing MDA kids at this year’s event. Like Reagan, they all had amazing stories to share.

Here are some more photos from this very special night:

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Thank you to the folks at the Muscle Team Gala for allowing me to be part of this special event and thank you to all those in attendance for your support to a cause that will truly make a difference to so many.

-Cait

@CMoyer

RECAP: #20in15 All-Fan Giveaways Reveal

Did you follow along with our Brewers #20in15 All-Fan Giveaways reveal last week?

AllFans-Recap_Main

In case you missed it, in 2015, we have slated a team-record 20 All-Fan Giveaway dates throughout the season.

There are 10 Sundays when every fan in attendance will receive a bobblehead featuring different Brewers personnel, two Sundays when all fans in attendance will receive Brewers gnomes for the first time ever, seven T-Shirt Friday dates (and you get to help choose the designs!) and one date where you will help determine the giveaway.

“Through surveys and various feedback forums, we know that our ‘All Fan Giveaways’ are one of the most popular added values that we offer at Miller Park,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “With that in mind, we are excited to be presenting a team-record 20 of these dates in 2015, which include not only Bobbleheads and t-shirts, but also the new Gnome items.”

In case you missed it, the #20in15 All-Fan Giveaways lineup is as follows:

Sunday, April 12: Rob Deer Bobblehead

The All Fan Giveaways start with the Rob Deer Bobblehead presented by Toyota on April 12 when the Brewers host the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:10 p.m. This is the first Bobblehead for the former Brewers great, who spent five seasons with the Club and hit 137 home runs, while racking up 385 RBI.

Sunday, April 26: Wily Peralta Bobblehead

All fans in attendance for the April 26, 1:10 p.m. game against the St. Louis Cardinals will receive a Wily Peralta Bobblehead, presented by U.S. Cellular. The Brewers 2014 Most Valuable Pitcher of the Year, this will be the first-ever Bobblehead of Perralta. Peralta notched career-highs with 17 wins and 154 strikeouts, which also led the team.

Sunday, May 10: Special Mother’s Day BobbleHank

Helping celebrate Mother’s Day, “Hank the Ballpark Pup” will receive his second Bobblehead on May 10, when the Brewers host the Chicago Cubs at 1:10 p.m. Hank will be adorned in pink in honor of the holiday.

Sunday, May 31: Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig Bobblehead 

To commemorate his upcoming retirement, Commissioner Bud Selig will be recognized with a Bobblehead on May 31 when Milwaukee takes on the Arizona Diamondbacks at 1:10 p.m.  Earlier this year, the team announced that they will retire uniform number one in 2015, in honor of Selig for his commitment to keep Major League Baseball in Milwaukee.

Sunday, June 14: Carlos Gomez All-Star Bobblehead

On June 14, all fans who attend the 1:10 p.m. game against the Washington Nationals will receive a Carlos Gomez Bobblehead. Gomez will be dressed in his 2014 National League All-Star jersey, celebrating his second consecutive All-Star nod.

Sunday, June 28: Paul Molitor Bobblehead

On June 28, former Brewers great Paul Molitor will have his Bobblehead day. The Hall of Famer played 15 seasons in a Brewers uniform and appeared in over 1,800 games.

Sunday, July 19: Khris Davis Bobblehead

The next month on July 19, outfielder Khris Davis, who belted 22 homers in 2014, will be recognized with a Bobblehead giveaway as the Brewers host the Pirates

Sunday, August 2: Matt Garza Gnome

The Brewers will introduce a new promotion for the 1:10 p.m., August 2 game against the Chicago Cubs as all fans in attendance will receive a Matt Garza Gnome. This will mark the first of two gnomes that will be given away in 2015.

Sunday, August 9: Bob Uecker Bobblehead

To recognize his 60th year in baseball, the Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker will have a Bobblehead day on August 9 when the Brewers host the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:10 p.m. The Bobblehead will be modeled after the statue that was unveiled last year in Uecker’s favorite spot – the last row of Miller Park.

Sunday, August 16: Jonathan Lucroy Doubles Bobblehead

The Brewers will recognize catcher Jonathan Lucroy and his record-breaking season with a Bobblehead on the August 16, 1:10 p.m. game against the Phillies. Lucroy finished the 2014 season with 53 doubles and 46 as a catcher. His 53 doubles matched a Brewers team record, while his 46 as a catcher set a new Major League record.

Sunday, August 30: Retro Vintage Brewer Bobblehead

The Brewers will once again give away a “Vintage Brewers Bobblehead” on August 30 when the team takes on the Cincinnati Reds at 1:10 p.m.  The Bobblehead is a nod to the past as it will be a replica of some of the first items of this kind created nearly 50 years ago. This year’s Vintage Brewer Bobblehead will be donning a Brewers retro jersey.

Sunday, September 20: Scooter Gennett Gnome

Scooter Gennett will join Matt Garza as the second player in 2015 to be honored with a Brewers Gnome giveaway. Gennett has hit for a combined .300 average in his first two seasons with the Brewers.

Sunday, October 4: Fan Vote Item

Finally, fans will decide the “All Fan Giveaway” item to be given away at the Sunday, October 4 (1:10 p.m.) season finale against the Chicago Cubs. An online vote will be conducted later to determine the giveaway.

For the second year in a row, “T-shirt Fridays” will return to Miller Park for 2015. On Friday home games during the months of June, July and August (June 12, June 26, July 17, July 31, August 7, August 14 and August 28), all-fans will receive a Brewers T-shirt. New this season, fans will have the opportunity to choose each of the seven T-shirt designs to be given away this season.

Beginning in January, several different T-shirt designs will be displayed at Brewers.com. Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite designs, with the top seven winners being selected for “T-shirt Fridays.”  The seven winners will be unveiled at Brewers On Deck on Sunday, January 25.

While individual tickets won’t go on sale until early next year, you can still lock in your favorite giveaways with Season Ticket Packages.

The complete promotional schedule for the 2015 season will be announced at a later date. For more information about All-Fan Giveaways and information on various ticket plans, fans are encouraged to visit Brewers.com/allfans.

Stay tuned for more details on the fan voting for the T-Shirt Fridays and the final All-Fan Giveaway of 2015.

-Cait

@CMoyer

Jonathan Lucroy Joins Veterans on Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

Yesterday Jonathan Lucroy joined veterans on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C.

If you’re not familiar with Stars and Stripes Honor Flight (SSHF), it is a moving cause. According to the National World War II Museum’s website, “approximately every three minutes a memory of World War II – its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs – disappears…. [Veterans] are dying quickly – at the rate of approximately 555 a day” and SSHF is in a race against the clock to honor them.

The WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit it without assistance. So that’s where SSHF comes in—it is a branch of the National Honor Flight Network that was started in Wisconsin by Port Washington resident Joe Dean. Honor Flight offers trips to Washington, DC free of charge to WWII veterans so that they can get the opportunity to see their memorials. The national program has 123 hubs.

Yesterday, Jonathan was among the dozens of volunteers traveling with 41 World War II and 47 Korean War veterans from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., for a day of sightseeing. Accompanying Lucroy was his college roommate, John Coker, Jr. who was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in Afghanistan in 2011.

Here are some photos from the day, rounded up from the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as Jonathan’s:

Lucroy SSHF

Lucroy SSHF 2

Lucroy SSHF 3

 

Read the full story at JSOnline.com.

Back in 2012, Miller Park hosted the Field of Honor event, which featured the world premiere of the feature length film, “The Story of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” on Miller Park’s high-definition video board.

-Cait

@CMoyer

Join Jonathan Lucroy in the Fight Against Muscle Disease on November 13

Brewers fans can join Jonathan Lucroy in the fight against muscle disease by attending the 4th Annual Wisconsin Muscle Team Gala on Thursday, November 13 at SURG Restaurant Group’s new event space on Milwaukee Street.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) invites you to meet and mingle with Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, other current and former Wisconsin professional athletes and high-profile business executives while enjoying craft cocktails and food pairings from SURG Restaurant Group’s best bartenders and restaurants including Carnveor, Umami Moto, Hom and more.

You can also bid on a variety of exciting experiences and items, including incredible sports memorabilia and a private meet and greet with Jonathan Lucroy during batting practice in silent and live auctions that will benefit MDA’s mission.

MDA is a nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig’s Disease and other related illnesses by funding worldwide research. The Association also provided comprehensive health care, support services, advocacy and education.

By attending, you’ll play a crucial role in helping Wisconsin families impacted by muscular dystrophy achieve a victory in finding a cure–families, like that of 9-year-old Reagan Imhoff, who visited with Jonathan Lucroy at Miller Park earlier this year.

Reagan7

A National Goodwill Ambassador for MDA, Reagan and her parents, Jenny and Joe, visited Miller Park earlier this summer.

Reagan  has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, type 2), a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. Because of this progressive neuromuscular disease which is most commonly diagnosed in infancy, Reagan has never been able to crawl or walk. In addition  SMA has led to difficulty eating enough food by mouth to maintain her weight and grow, so Reagan is mainly fed through a g-j tube. Her respiratory muscles are also very weak, which makes coughing and taking deep breaths while sleeping difficulty, leading to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other problems. Scoliosis also presented complications early on for Reagan which resulted in the need for spinal surgery when she was just 4. Leg and hip pain have also been an increasing problem for her.

Despite all of these challenges, Reagan remains positive and upbeat, choosing to tell her personal story as a National Goodwill Ambassador for MDA. In this capacity, Reagan is working to help raise awareness and understanding of muscle disease and inspire support of the organization.

It was a pleasure to meet Reagan and her family; they are lovely people and I can see why this charismatic youngster was chosen to be an ambassador at the national level.

You can meet Reagan and mingle with current and former professional athletes at the annual MDA Muscle Team Gala on Thursday, November 13.  Please contact the MDA office regarding sponsorships (including 10 tickets to the Muscle Team Gala) via phone at (262)432-7992 or email: estraw@mdasua.org.

I hope to see you there!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Brewers Announce BBWAA Awards

Today we announced the Brewers postseason award winners as voted by members of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

A total of seven ballots were cast for each award, assigning five points for first place, three for second and one for third.

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy earned Brewers Most Valuable Player Jwith all seven first-place votes (35 points). Lucroy was followed by center fielder Carlos Gomez, who received all of the second-place votes (21 points). Also receiving consideration was pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (3 points), pitcher Wily Peralta (2 points), right fielder Ryan Braun (1 point) and third baseman Aramis Ramirez (1 point).

Lucroy, a first-time All-Star selection this season, batted .301 with 13 HR and 69 RBI in 153 games. He led the team in games played (153), at-bats (585), batting average (.301), hits (176), extra-base hits (68), doubles (53), walks (66), on-base percentage (.373) and OPS (.837). With his franchise-record-tying 53 doubles, he became the first primary catcher to lead his league in that category. His 46 doubles as a catcher set a Major League record.

Jonathan Lucroy (28 points) also earned the Good Guy Award for the second straight season. He received five first-place votes. The other first-place votes went to pitcher Kyle Lohse (13 points). A total of seven players received votes.

Wily Peralta was voted Brewers Most Valuable Pitcher as he received six first-place votes (33 points). He was followed by Francisco Rodriguez (17 points). The other first-place vote went to Mike Fiers (5 points). Also receiving votes were Kyle Lohse (7 points), Will Smith (2 points) and Zach Duke (1 point).

Peralta went 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 32 starts. He led the team in wins (17), innings pitched (198.2), quality starts (22) and strikeouts (154). His 17 wins tied for fifth in the National League. Peralta had a pair of career-high five-game winning streaks this season, coming from June 5-26 and July 13 to August 7.

Pitcher Zach Duke (17 points) earned Brewers Top Newcomer ahead of Francisco Rodriguez (15 points). Duke received just one first-place vote, but was named on every ballot. Rodriguez received three first-place votes. The remaining first-place votes went to pitchers Matt Garza (14 points), Will Smith (9 points) and Jeremy Jeffress (6 points).

Duke went 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 74 relief appearances. He recorded 74 strikeouts in just 58.2 innings pitched. Duke was the only non-roster pitcher to make the Opening Day roster. From April 12 to May 10, he made 14 consecutive scoreless appearances (13.1ip). From June 22 to July 30, he had 16 consecutive scoreless appearances (14.2ip).

Zach Duke also earned Brewers Unsung Hero honors with four first-place votes (25 points). Also receiving firstplace votes were pitchers Mike Fiers (17 points) and Will Smith (11 points) and second baseman Scooter Gennett (6 points). Also named on ballots were pitchers Jeremy Jeffress (3 points) and Yovani Gallardo (1 point).

 

Jonathan Lucroy Named Brewers Nominee for 2014 Hank Aaron Award; Vote thru 10/5

Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Jonathan Lucroy was named the Brewers nominee for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award.

Fans can vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the fifth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.

Lucroy is coming off the best year in his career as he batted .301 with 13 home runs and 69 RBI. The five-year veteran set career-highs in games played (153), hits (176), runs (73), doubles (53) and walks (66). He appeared in his first All-Star Game, becoming just the second Brewer in franchise history to start behind the plate in the game. Lucroy went 2-for-2 with two RBI doubles in the Midsummer Classic. The Brewers’ backstop collected 53 doubles to become the first primary catcher in modern MLB history (since 1900) to lead the Major Leagues in doubles. Lucroy’s 53 doubles also tied Lyle Overbay (2004) for the franchise single-season record. In addition, the Florida native ranked among the National League leaders in multi-hit games (3rd, 53), extra-base hits (T3rd, 68), hits (T5th, 176), batting average (7th, .301) and on-base percentage (8th, .373).

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount.  These Hall of Famers – who combined for 16,956 hits, 8,844 RBI and 2,109 home runs – have all been personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.

Through October 5, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2014 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2014 World Series.

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera  and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

JONATHAN LUCROY NAMED “WE ENERGIES HIGH-ENERGY PLAYER OF THE YEAR”

Prior to tonight’s contest against the Chicago Cubs, Jonathan Lucroy was named the 2014 “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year.” The award honored Lucroy who was voted as the Brewers player that best personifies the characteristics of hard work, a positive attitude and an aggressive approach to playing the game as voted on by fans, media members and We Energies.

Bert Garvin, We Energies Senior Vice President of External Affairs, presented Lucroy the award in a ceremony prior to the first pitch against the Cubs.  The ceremony also featured members of the Brewers organization including Manager Ron Roenicke, President of Baseball Operations/General Manager Doug Melvin and Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. Debbie Krahn, winner of the “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year Grand Slam Prize” was also present.

WE Energies

The Brewers catcher received 43.42% of the total vote after a spectacular season. The five year veteran recorded career-highs in games played, hits, runs, doubles and walks. He appeared in his first All-Star Game, becoming just the second Brewer in franchise history to start behind the plate in the game. Lucroy went 2-for-2 with two RBI doubles in the Midsummer Classic. In addition, Lucroy currently leads the league with 52 doubles and looks to become the first primary catcher in modern MLB history (since 1900) to lead his league in doubles. Lucroy joined Lyle Overbay (53 in 2004) and Aramis Ramirez (50 in 2012) as the only Brewers with 50-double seasons.

Last year’s “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year,” Carlos Gomez came in a close second, recording 40.76% of the total vote. Other past winners include Ryan Braun (2008 and 2012) Nyjer Morgan (2011), Rickie Weeks (2010), Craig Counsell (2009), Prince Fielder (2007) and Bill Hall (2006).

 

 

Meet Reagan Imhoff, National Goodwill Ambassador for MDA

Today, we were pleased to host 9-year-old Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) National Goodwill Ambassador Reagan Imhoff and her parents, Jenny and Joe, here at Miller Park.

The Imhoff family resides in New Berlin where Reagan is a charming, happy and outgoing fourth-grader who enjoys art, social studies and recess.

In her free time, she told me she enjoys drawing, dancing and playing with her dolls-especially her American Girl collection.

Reagan works on a special drawing for Jonathan Lucroy.

Reagan works on a special drawing for Jonathan Lucroy.

She is also a long-time Brewers fan (“Ever since I was six!” she told me, proudly).

However, one thing that sets Reagan apart from her classmates is that she has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, type 2), a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. Because of this progressive neuromuscular disease which is most commonly diagnosed in infancy, Reagan has never been able to crawl or walk. In addition  SMA has led to difficulty eating enough food by mouth to maintain her weight and grow, so Reagan is mainly fed through a g-j tube. Her respiratory muscles are also very weak, which makes coughing and taking deep breaths while sleeping difficulty, leading to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other problems. Scoliosis also presented complications early on for Reagan which resulted in the need for spinal surgery when she was just 4. Leg and hip pain have also been an increasing problem for her.

Despite all of these challenges, Reagan remains positive and upbeat, choosing to tell her personal story as a National Goodwill Ambassador for MDA. In this capacity, Reagan is working to help raise awareness and understanding of muscle disease and inspire support of the organization.

Beginning in 1952, when public awareness and understanding of muscle disease were almost non-existent, MDA put a human face on its mission by calling upon young people affected by these diseases to serve as National Goodwill Ambassadors. To date, the program has had 39 such ambassadors, boys and girls affected by a variety of neuromuscular disorders, who have traveled the nation to meet with sponsors, supporters and luminaries, playing an essential role in motivating millions to help MDA through donations or volunteer action.

Reagan had served as a Wisconsin Ambassador for three years before being tapped for the National spotlight. Reagan’s mom, Jenny, told me that they’ve been all over the county this year, including Arizona, Nashville, Las Vegas, Chicago, Daytona, San Antonio, Houston, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Of her travels, Reagan tells me that Nashville is her favorite place, “because it was really fun and the people are really nice,” she said.

But today, Reagan got an experience that ranks right up at the top–she got to meet her favorite player, catcher Jonathan Lucroy, along with Brewers pitchers Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse and bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel, during BP.

Reagan also threw out the first pitch before tonight’s Brewers vs. Cardinals game:

Reagan 1

 

It was a pleasure to meet Reagan and her family; they are lovely people and I can see why this charismatic youngster was chosen to be an ambassador at the national level.

You can meet Reagan and mingle with current and former professional athletes at the annual MDA Muscle Team Gala on Thursday, November 13 at SURG Restaurant Group’s new event space on Milwaukee Street.  For more information call 262-432-7992 or visit www.mdamuscleteamwisconsin.com.

 

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

School

 

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