Results tagged ‘ Rachel Robinson ’

Selig Experience Unveiled at Miller Park; See it For Yourself Beginning Tomorrow

Tonight, the Selig Experience, a state-of-the-art attraction at Miller Park to honor Commissioner Emeritus and former Brewers Owner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, was unveiled at a private function that included Selig and his family, current MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio, Manager Craig Counsell, Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Bob Uecker, Rachel and Sharon RobinsonBarry Alvarez and several Brewers players and coaches, as well as other special guests.

The event kicked off with a program on the field at Miller Park, which included remarks from Uecker, Manfred, Attanasio and Selig, in addition to Brad Shelton, the Creative Director/Project Development at BRC Imagination Arts, the experience design agency that led the design and production of the Selig Experience.

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“This is one of those really rare unique times in life where you see a little boy’s dreams come true,” Selig said. “When you look around and you walk Miller Park tonight… you see Henry Aaron sitting there, Robin Yount, Bob Uecker…The last 51 years are filled with really great memories.”

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Following the program, guests were invited to view the Experience and enjoy dinner. Here’s your own sneak peek at the Experience:

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Selig’s dedication to baseball has paralleled his love of his hometown of Milwaukee. His first significant move as an executive was to return Major League Baseball to Milwaukee in 1970, when he founded the Milwaukee Brewers.

In its first decade, the Brewers featured some of the great teams of that era, which eventually led to an American League pennant and World Series appearance in 1982.

During his tenure as Brewers owner, Selig earned United Press International’s 1978 Executive of the Year award, and the franchise was honored with seven “Organization of the Year” awards.

In the 1990s, Selig began his efforts to build a new ballpark in Milwaukee to replace the aging County Stadium, and Miller Park opened for its first season of play in 2001.

Hearing some of the reactions from the Brewers players and coaches, it’s easy to see that the Experience resonates with those who grew up in the area as well as those who may not know as much of the history of the city and team.

“It was definitely pretty cool. It was good to learn more about the history behind the team, Bud Selig, and Miller Park, even,” said pitcher Mike Fiers. “It was cool to see his office, the different pictures, the clips from some of the games, to see a lot of coaches now that you didn’t realize were part of Brewers history like that. Great experience. It really makes you appreciate everything we have here.”

“I knew most of the history, growing up just over the border, but it was still really cool to see. I texted Dale Sveum to tell him his home run on Easter Sunday (1987) made it into the Experience,” said Third Base Coach Ed Sedar.

Bullpen Catcher Marcus Hanel is a Wisconsin native, so the Experience was especially meaningful to him: “It was great. Very well done. I came to games at County Stadium when I was young.  I was there for Robin Yount’s 3000th hit. I was in 5th grade in 1982. I remember all of that. Those were my childhood heroes. I love how they integrated the past with the present. Coming out of it, I was pretty pumped up. I thought they did a great job,” said Hanel.

The attraction will debut to the public tomorrow (Friday, May 29) when the gates to Miller Park open (5:40 pm) prior to the Brewers game against the Diamondbacks.

Visit Brewers.com/SeligExperience for more information, including how to register in advance to see it.

-Cait

@CMoyer

42 a Must-See for Baseball Fans

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.

42 Movie

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.

Here's a graphic from the movie's Facebook page, depicting a powerful scene between Reese & Robinson.

Here’s a graphic from the movie’s Facebook page, depicting a powerful scene between Reese & Robinson.

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.

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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:

Likewise, some of the Atlanta Braves spent their off-day seeing the movie as well:

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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.

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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