Results tagged ‘ Robin Yount ’

4th Annual Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Classic a Swinging Success

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.

Our fearsome fivesome with the man of the day. L-R: Jay, Leo, Fred, Davey, Cecelia and me.

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!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

-Cait

johnandcait@Brewers.com

 

Braun and Fielder Win 2011 Silver Slugger Awards

Ryan Braun didn’t win a Gold Glove last night, but today Braun won his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger Award.  Prince Fielder was also awarded a Silver Slugger Award for the second time in his career.  The awards were just announced on MLB Network.

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in the American and National League.  The award is voted on by MLB managers.

Braun was named Team MVP on Monday, had one of the best offensive seasons in team history.  Braun led the NL in slugging percentage (.597) and extra-base hits (77) and was among the leaders in batting average (2nd, .332), total bases (2nd, 336), runs (2nd, 109), RBI (4th, 111), doubles (T4th, 38), hits (5th, 187), on-base percentage (5th, .397), home runs (T6th, 33) and stolen bases (7th, 33).

Fielder also had one of his most productive seasons in his career, playing all 162 games and was among the National League leaders in home runs (2nd, 38), RBI (2nd, 120), walks (2nd, 107), on-base percentage (2nd, .415), slugging percentage (3rd, .566), total bases (3rd, 322), extra-base hits (T3rd, 75), runs (T7th, 95) and doubles (T9th, 36).

Braun now has more Silver Slugger Awards than any other Brewers player in team history.  Robin Yount won the award three times in his career (1980, SS; 1982, SS; 1989, OF).  With two awards in 2011, Brewers players have won a total of 18 Silver Slugger Awards in team history.  The award was first handed out in 1980.

Last year, Braun won the award along with Pitcher Yovani Gallardo.

Ryan Braun and Yovani Gallardo receive their 2010 Silver Slugger Awards from Brewers Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin.

Ryan Braun and Yovani Gallardo receive their 2010 Silver Slugger Awards from Brewers Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

A To Z Guide for Game 5 of the NLDS

Coming to Miller Park for Game 5 today?  Here is your A to Z guide of things to know to know before heading out to the ballpark and watching Game 5.  Here is the ticket you should use for today’s game:

NLDS Game 3 Ticket

NLDS Game 3 Ticket

BREWERS TEAM STORE BY MAJESTIC: The Brewers Team Store by Majestic has been open since 8 a.m. while the Brewers Team Store at Home Plate Gate will open at 1 p.m. There will also be satellite merchandise locations throughout the Miller Park parking lots.  The stores will be open until 8 p.m. or an hour after the game ends.There will also be satellite merchandise locations throughout the Miller Park parking lots-just look for the trailers!

CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH: The first pitch will be thrown out by Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig.

GAME PROGRAM: A limited number of Milwaukee Brewers 2011 NLDS Game Programs will be available for $8. Each game program is individually numbered. Two of the four game covers are already sold out (Braun and Fielder).

GAME TIME: The first pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. CT.

GATES OPEN: 2 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: The national anthem will be performed by Jennifer Schafer.

PARKING LOTS: The Miller Park Parking Lots will open at 1 p.m.

PITCHERS: RHP Yovani Gallardo vs. RHP Ian Kennedy.

PROMOTIONAL ITEM:All fans in attendance will receive this rally towel courtesy of ATI Physical Therapy.

All fans in attendance at Game 5 of the NLDS on Friday will receive this rally towel, courtesy of ATI Physical Therapy.

RADIO: Listen to the game on620 WTMJ or ESPN Radio.

ROOF STATUS: The roof status for today’s game has yet to be determined by Major League Baseball.  Call the Brewers roof hotline today for the latest updates (414-902-4636).

TV: The game will be televised exclusively on TBS.

WEATHER FORECAST: Sunny, 75.

WORLD SERIES MAGIC NUMBER: 9

See you there!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

A To Z Guide for Game 2 of the NLDS

Coming to Miller Park for Game 2 today?  Here is your A to Z guide of things to know to know before heading out to the ballpark and watching Game 2.  Here is the ticket you should use for today’s game:

NLDS Game 2 Ticket

NLDS Game 2 Ticket

BREWERS TEAM STORE BY MAJESTIC: The Brewers Team Store by Majestic has been open since 8 a.m. while the Brewers Team Store at Home Plate Gate will open at 1 p.m. There will also be satellite merchandise locations throughout the Miller Park parking lots.  The stores will be open until 8 p.m. or an hour after the game ends.There will also be satellite merchandise locations throughout the Miller Park parking lots-just look for the trailers!

CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH: The first pitch will be thrown out by Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount

GAME PROGRAM: A limited number of Milwaukee Brewers 2011 NLDS Game Programs will be available for $8. Each game program is individually numbered.

GAME TIME: The first pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. CT.

GATES OPEN: 2 p.m.

LINEUP: Here is today’s Brewers starting lineup:

Game Two Lineup

Game Two Lineup

NATIONAL ANTHEM: The national anthem will be performed by Whitney Clapper.

PARKING LOTS: The Miller Park Parking Lots will open at 1 p.m.

PITCHERS: RHP Zack Greinke vs. RHP Daniel Hudson.

PROMOTIONAL ITEM: All fans in attendance will receive this rally towel courtesy of Potawatomi Bingo Casino.

All fans in attendance at Game 2 of the NLDS today will receive this rally towel, courtesy of Potawatomi Bingo Casino.

ROOF STATUS: The roof will be closed for today’s game.

WEATHER FORECAST:Sunny, 62.

WORLD SERIES MAGIC NUMBER: 10

See you there!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Well-Equipped: There is No Offseason for Tony Migliaccio

Tony Migliaccio sure knows his way around the clubhouse.

And he should. He’s the Director of Clubhouse Operations and the
Equipment Manager
for the Club and he’s played an integral role in the
clubhouse since Opening Day of 1978, when he started as a batboy and
clubhouse attendant for the visiting side of things.

“It was Paul Molitor‘s first game for the Brewers. I always look back
and kind of laugh that at the time, Molitor made the team and started
the season as shortstop, nobody had really heard of him. Robin [Yount] had some
health issues so he didn’t start on Opening Day, but Molitor did. There
was a picture in the paper back then of Molitor making a play and there
I was, the ball boy down the left-field line, just sitting there, you
know? His first day and mine,” Tony recalls.


1978 2.JPG
The 1978 Milwaukee Brewers Team Photo. Tony is
third from the left in the bottom row.   Paul Molitor is second from the
right in the fourth row.




The next season, Tony switched over to the home clubhouse, where he was a
batboy and a clubhouse attendant three more years before he became the
clubhouse assistant to then Equipment Manager, Bob Sullivan for
approximately four years. When Bob passed away, Tony was given the head
job as Director of Clubhouse Operations and Equipment Manager and he’s
had that ever since.

MigliaccioT06RS002.jpg

Tony Migliaccio as Director of Clubhouse Operations & Equipment Manager.



Tony describes his role as having dual responsibilities:

“You work as the Equipment Manager and in that role, you order all the
equipment the players need to play the game–bats, balls, shoes, clothes, etc. On the
other side of it, we manage and operate the clubhouse, running the
day-to-day operations of that.That part of the job entails clothing
them and providing another service by feeding them breakfast, lunch and
dinner. We do what we can to get them on the field. Everyone has a role.
The trainers’ role is to keep them healthy on the field, the coaches’
job is to teach. Here, we keep a nice house, clothe them, feed them and
make sure they’re happy, play the game and have a good time.
” he
explained.

“I think everyday is unique. That’s kind of the neat part of it. You can
come in here and every day there is a different challenge or need. Our
role is to make the guys as comfortable as possible. They have enough
hurdles in the game, on the field, and so many other things going on
around them in their lives that we try to make it as comfortable for
them as we can and to create an enjoyable environment.”

Tony and I talked about the change in the uniforms over the years. As
time has progressed, the uniform specifications have gotten a little
more complicated, keeping Tony and his staff on their toes.

“You look at the guys on the field now and compare it to the late 1980s,
where it was all just cookie cutter- you know, 34″ waist pants and a
44″ jersey. Now we’ve got many options, for example, pants can be open
bottom, or more tapered. Some players may wear things bigger,
looser…The marketing of the game has changed as such that there is a
lot more variety–a couple of different jackets, a couple different
jerseys.”

Tony told me that the team never had BP tops in the 80s, they just wore
game jerseys. Now in essence, there are six different jerseys and each
player has to have more than one as a backup in case something happens.
When you multiply that times a 25-man roster, plus a few guys that Tony
knows will move up and down in the organization due to injuries,
pitching, etc. that he’ll also need to carry uniforms and equipment for,
you can see he has quite a bit to handle and monitor for inventory.

And, when it comes to Spring Training when a team has such a large roster, you can imagine that Tony is a very busy man.

“In Spring Training you are doing a lot of the same things as you would
during the regular season, but you have twice as many players. We have
53 players here now and we’ll leave here with 25. So that’s the
difference with Spring Training, the magnitude, more people to take care
of, more to feed, more to clothe, more equipment to provide,
” Tony
said.

Tony remembers years ago when it seemed like Spring Training was looked
upon as the time that players would use to get in shape. They’d come
down to camp, play 20 games and then go back ready to start the season.
It was much lower key and the days were shorter.

“Now,” Tony said, “Players come down in shape, we play 30 games and
there are more services required. Sometimes, there are two games a day.
It is a little more intense than it used to be.”

“I have been fortunate that I’ve worked in all three facilities that
we’ve been in: Sun City, Chandler and here in Maryvale.You look at the
progression, even just in our area, at the space we’ve had and what
we’ve provided. In Sun City, we had a very tiny equipment room, but you
made it work, you adjusted things. We didn’t provide as much stuff for
the guys. Then we moved to Chandler and it was a little bigger, but now
we have this space, which is twice as big and we’ve already outgrown it
into renting storage facilities to house a lot of the equipment,” Tony
said.

P1010878.JPG

Here is just one area of Tony’s equipment room at Maryvale Baseball Park.


Just like the rest of us, there is no offseason for Tony Migliaccio and
his staff. 

Starting in January, trucks will leave Milwaukee bringing
everything down to set up for camp. Tony and his staff will arrive, help
take part in the Brewers Fantasy Camp, work through Spring Training and
then travel back to Milwaukee for Opening Day and play through the
summer. Then when all the games are done, while their hours are a little
more regular and they have weekends free, they still have to prepare
for the following year, taking inventory, working on the budget, and
planning.

Tony also travels with the team.

“I do 90% of the travel. I made every trip for probably about 15 or 16
years and then, 10 to12 years ago, we started breaking up the trips a
little bit so Visiting Clubhouse Manager Phil Rozewicz or Home Clubhouse
Assistant Jason Shawger
will make a trip or two. Out of Spring
Training, I will pretty much stay with the team throughout the first
month of April and wait until the middle or end of May to take a trip
off to stay at home, catch up in the office and at home,” Tony said.

In his job, Tony also has to be prepared for anything.

“When we travel throughout the year, part of our extra equipment stock
is carrying blank jerseys and numbers, everything you need to make a
jersey. In each city, we have a reciprocal relationship with the
visiting clubhouse staff that take care of us. They have a seamstress on
hand that they work with so if we get into San Diego late one night and
Vice President-Assistant General Manager Gord Ash calls and says ‘Hey,
we’re bringing up so-and-so,’ I can get to the park early that morning,
pull out everything I need, call our contact, have them come out and put
our jersey together within a couple hours,” he explained.

“Knock on wood, we’ve always got it there in time. I have heard there
have been situations with some teams where they make a move so quickly
that they have to have a player wear a jersey with another name on the
back just to get out there on the field. We’ve been lucky where its
worked out. That’s one great thing about Majestic Athletic being the
licensee and having all of the team for uniforms–they have a good bank
of knowledge as to everyone’s sizes.”

Tony takes extra precautions to be prepared and make sure he’s ready for
anything. When it became likely that we would make the trade for CC
Sabathia
in 2008, it was Fourth of July weekend and he knew that
Majestic shuts down for the holidays. Knowing CC’s size and that he had
such unique specs on his gear, Tony took the initiative to order his
uniforms the week before, to have them on hand just in case.

“I figured hey, you know what, if we don’t make the trade, it will be a collector’s item. It all worked out,” he recalled.

Speaking of 2008,  making the Postseason that year ranks in the top 10 of Tony’s favorite memories in his time with the Club.

“It pretty neat, the way it came down to the last day.The way it played out was pretty cool,” he said.

“I was also fortunate to be around during the World Series in the early
’80s. I was a young kid then,” Tony said. “Molitor’s 39-game hitting
streak
was pretty neat, Robin’s 3000th hit, 1987, that whole start of
winning 13 in a row, Nieves throwing a no-hitter. That was a pretty
unique thing, to start off that hot,” he said.

It was great catching up with Tony and taking a tour of his world, but
with his phone buzzing during our interview and guys stopping him along
the way, I knew I had to let him get back to work.

Here’s to hoping the 2011 season makes Tony’s list of favorite memories!

-CAIT
johnandcait@brewers.com

Spring Training Games Are Right Around the Corner: There is No Offseason for Joe Zidanic

Greetings from Arizona!

I’m happy to inform you that pitchers, catchers and Cait have all reported to Spring Training!

This week, we’ll be shooting our new TV spots for 2011 down here, but today was an off day for me.

I understand we’re getting some snow back in
Milwaukee, but don’t be too jealous of me–it’s about 50 degrees and
raining here as I write.

I figured that since it isn’t pool or golfing weather, I might as well do some work, so I 
headed over to the ballpark to talk with some folks for the blog.

P1010874.JPG

Clouds looking ominous over Maryvale Baseball Park today. It will be 70 and sunny by the time you get here, I promise!

My first stop was to meet with “Mr. Spring Training” himself, Joe Zidanic, our VP-Controller, who moonlights as our director of Spring Training.

joe.jpg

Joe Zidanic: VP-Controller & “Mr. Spring Training”

That means that, in addition to his finance
responsibilities in Milwaukee, Joe is pretty much responsible for all of
the business operations in Maryvale: ticket sales,
sponsorship sales (along with Tom Hecht, our VP-Corporate
Marketing
), advertising (which he works with our department on), hiring
staff, running the games and serving as the main liaison with the City
of Phoenix.

When Joe first came to the Brewers in April of
2003, his job was to work in the finance/accounting department as the
Club’s controller.

 So then, how did he get this gig where he flocks to Arizona during two of Wisconsin’s coldest months while getting paid for it?

“In December 2004, I was handed the assignment to
come down here and run Spring Training for the months of February and
March,” Joe said.

“Prior to 2005, which was my first season running
things down here, Spring Training had really been kind of under the
radar so my job was to go in, document everything, develop policies and
procedures and create checklists. I did a good
job and I’m still doing it,” he explained.

I can’t imagine having to balance two separate
jobs, much less essentially relocate for two months of the year, so I
asked Joe how he does it.

“Luckily, I have a great staff in Milwaukee to
handle things and it’s a slower time of the year for us. We’ve already
published our financials, closed the fiscal year-end, closed the
calendar year-end for W-2′s and 1099′s
and have made progress in filing our taxes. It is kind of a nice, slower time for me to break away from the Milwaukee area.”

As far as relocation, Joe will settle into a room
in an extended stay hotel near the Glendale area for the duration of
Spring Training.

I had enough trouble packing for just this week and I’m
probably going to end up paying extra for my luggage on the return
flight due to the great shopping down here (don’t worry, Joe, I won’t
try to expense that), so I had to ask: “How on earth do you pack for something like this?”

“Well, that’s a good question,” Joe said. “The
equipment truck leaves in January every year, so I just go to the closet
and get all my short sleeve shirts and shorts and throw them in a bag
and ship them down with everything else,” he said.

Joe’s Spring Training job doesn’t start just when
steps off the plane in Phoenix. He’s got to prepare in advance for those
games, just like we do for our regular season.

There are tickets to sell, promotions to plan, sponsorships to sell and more.

“As far as ticket promotions go, I work with our
ticket office here and back in Milwaukee to try and generate excitement
and ticket sales,” Joe said.

“Last year, we averaged about 4,500 to 5,000 fans
per game. We’re expecting that to be around the same this year, but it
really varies. Attendance will be slower in the beginning and then there
are some peak games in the middle where we’ll
almost reach capacity. It really depends on the week and things like
when Spring Break happens for the colleges in the Phoenix area and
around the United States. Generally, the most popular times are the
second and third weeks in March.”

Joe tells me that the most popular games are also,
not surprisingly, those against the Cubs (March 2 this year) and also,
the Diamondbacks (March 12)
because of their local fan base.

“We did a survey out here a couple of years ago and
we’ll get about 50% of the fans coming from Wisconsin. The rest of the
fans will either be fans of the visiting team or local Phoenicians who
are down here,” Joe tells me.

That makes me proud–Brewers fans have always been good travelers!

So, what can you expect if you’re traveling down here this year?

Well, lots of fun and excitement, of course!

Just like our games in Milwaukee, there are giveaways and in-game promotions to entice fans.

“For giveaways, we work with Tom Hecht and his
group in Corporate Marketing. If there are leftover bobble heads from
the prior season, we will use those in the following season’s Spring
Training camp so that we don’t let anything go to
waste and we’re also picking up room in the warehouse back at Miller
Park,” Joe said.

So, if you missed out on your Robin Yount
(March 5), Cecil Cooper (March 8), Hank Aaron (March 21) or Italian
Sausage (March 26) Bobbles
at Miller Park, there’s a second chance for you to get them
at Maryvale Baseball Park!

cecil2.jpeg

During the games, Joe’s crew will also run popular promotions such as: the
Junior Announcer, which is similar to what we have at Miller Park,
where a child will announce batters during an inning of the game; Jimmy
Buffet’s Margaritaville
‘s “Name that
Jimmy Buffet Song”, which is always a fan favorite; the City of Phoenix
golf
promotion where a lucky fan who buys a game program that has a
Bernie Brewer autograph on the City’s golf ad will receive a coupon for
free golf at a local City of Phoenix golf course;
and a Hooters promotion where a lucky row is chosen to receive coupons for free wings at the local Hooters restaurant.

Another popular promotion down here is the Miller Lite Thirsty Thursdays, which means that on Thursdays, you can get a game ticket, a beer and visor for just $20. There are three 
Thirsty Thursdays this year–March 3 vs. the A’s, March 10 vs. the Rockies and March 17 vs. the White Sox.

In addition to the Miller Lite Thirsty Thursday promotion on
St. Patrick’s Day, the players will be also be wearing a special green
hat, which will eventually be auctioned off to fans.

Thumbnail image for im_cerveceros_200.png

And just like in Milwaukee, there is even a special
tribute game. On March 22 vs. the San Diego Padres, there will be
Cerveceros Day in Maryvale, paying tribute to Hispanics in baseball. The Brewers will wear
special Cerveceros jerseys, which is the Spanish translation of ‘Brewers.’ (Note: Our regular-season Cerveceros Day is slated for June 11 vs. the Cardinals at Miller Park.)

“Cerveceros Day is popular down here,” Joe said. “We will use our electronic billboard campaign to promote it. Maryvale is a largely Hispanic area, so we try and reach out to the community and have special things
there. We have had a Mariachi band in years past and we’ll try and do that again this year.”

All in all, there are 17 home games played at Maryvale
and if you make a trip of it, you can catch the Brewers on the road,
too, at one of the other nine Spring Training facilities in the Cactus League, which are all
within an hour of each other.

As you can see, there are lots of things to look forward to if you’re planning on making it down here.

As for Joe, with two jobs in the organization, he
certainly has a lot on his plate, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a
little fun while he’s down in Arizona. When I was talking with him this
morning, I couldn’t help but notice this photo,
hanging in his office.

ATT90961.jpg

Turns out that yesterday, Joe, who is also a huge sportsman, went on a javelina hunt where, as you can see, he was successful!

That’s great that Joe had some time to himself his
weekend, because things are really ramping up now and he’ll hit the
ground running next week, starting with the first game on Monday,
February 28.

Do any of you have any plans to come down to
Arizona? Post your stories of this year’s trip or from years past in the
comment field below.
We’d love to hear from you!

If you don’t have plans yet, make some! Click here to get your tickets now!

 -CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

Brewers Team Store by Majestic Offers Fans Opportunity For Free Brewers Yearbook

As the Brewers 40th Anniversary season winds down, the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park is offering fans a great opportunity for a great keepsake.  Beginning tomorrow, fans spending $75 or more at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic will receive a copy of the 2010 Brewers Yearbook absolutely FREE.  The regular retail price is $10.

If you haven’t already picked up your copy of the book, this is a great opportunity.  My colleague Ken Spindler, Brewers Coordinator of Media Relations spent many long hours making sure this was the best Brewers year book ever.  Meredith Malone, Brewers Communications and Brewers Community Foundation Coordinator, served as co-editor for the book. 

Dennis Sell, part of the Miller Park Gamenight Scoreboard Crew and collector of all things Brewers history, provided a lot of insight on the historical perspective.  Sell has an amazing collection of Brewers artifacts and was instrumental in helping me get the Brewers Museum at Brewers On Deck together.  Mario Ziino, former Brewers Public Relations Director was also on the team that made the 40th Anniversary Yearbook a true collector’s item.

“We really wanted to capture a lot of the history with it being the 40th Anniversary of the team,” Spindler said.  “Looking back, this is the most extensive and complete Brewers yearbook to date.  We included every Brewers team photo which will make for many great memories from all Brewers fans.”

The 2010 yearbook has around 180 pages of articles, photos and other Brewers information–50 more pages than last year.  In addition to the historical element of the yearbook, it includes photos of the current team and photos of every player in the Brewers Minor League system–from Rookie Ball through the Big Leagues.  A number of articles about current players as well as the Brewers Farm System are also included in the yearbook.

Much like we did with the 2010 Brewers Media Guide, the 2010 Brewers Yearbook includes a spread with pictures of every previous Brewers Yearbook cover.  The cover of the 2010 Brewers Yearbook features a collage of Brewers past and present including George Pollard drawings of Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Hank Aaron and Rollie Fingers

2010 Brewers Yearbook cover.jpgSpeaking of the Brewers Team Store by Majestic, remember that the new shipment of Trevor Hoffman 600 Saves t-shirts is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.  If you already picked up your voucher, you can redeem that beginning on Monday at Miller Park.  Keep in mind that these shirts are ONLY available at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park and will not be sold online or at any other retailers.

In addition, a series of limited edition “600 Saves” Lithographs are being produced and will be available for purchase in the Team Store. Fewer than 150 will be available to the public.  The Lithograph is the same artwork that was presented to Hoffman by the Brewers to recognize the 600th save. The painting was created by noted artist Janet Olney.  There will be only 51 copies (representing his uniform number) autographed and numbered by Trevor Hoffman (unframed are $250 each; framed are $500).  Only 60 prints not autographed and not framed ($25 each) will also be available.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

John’s View of Trevor Hoffman’s 600th Save

Last night was filled with special memories at Miller Park.  Although much of it became somewhat of a blur with everything going on, it is certainly a night I will remember for the rest of my life.  It started as a normal Tuesday here at Miller Park.  I was just going through my normal routine to prepare for the game, as the game carried on, it seemed as though we were setting ourselves up for history.

Mike Vassallo, Ken Spindler, Tyler Barnes and I had kind of talked about a plan to handle Trevor Hoffman’s 600th save from a Media Relations end, but you don’t want to plan too much in these situations.  Sometimes you just have to let them happen.  When Trevor started warming up in the bullpen we knew we had to be ready to go. 

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The Brewers bullpen watches with excitement as Trevor Hoffman enters the game in the 9th inning of last night’s game.  The bullpen is a close knit group and you can see in this picture how excited they were for Hoffman’s big moment. (Photo: Scott Paulus)

We knew in advance that Trevor wanted his family with him on the field following the game so I went down to talk to Trevor’s wife, Tracy, and his three sons–Brody (14), Quinn (turned 13 today) and Wyatt (11).  I didn’t want to jinx anything, but I wanted to make sure they were aware of the plan.  Sure enough, as I’m telling them the plan, Colby Rasmus leads off the inning with a single, bringing the tying run to the plate. 

A sigh of relief came over when the next batter, pinch hitter Randy Winn, grounded into a double play.  It was at that point that I was sure Trevor was going to close this one out and 33,149 Brewers fans at Miller Park were going to witness history.  

I ran down to the clubhouse where I met Vassallo who was waiting in the tunnel leading to the dugout watching the end of the game.  We reviewed our plan just to make sure everyone was ready to go.  I would help get Trevor’s family on the field; we would let the players and Trevor celebrate on the field, then grab Trevor for a number of postgame interviews.  This was the order we had set: FS Wisconsin, MLB Network, our flagship radio station Newsradio 620 WTMJ, the Media Interview Room to talk to our local writers and finally, ESPN Baseball Tonight. 

I couldn’t see much of the field from my place in the tunnel, appropriately about the only thing I could see was Trevor on the mound.  The count was full to Aaron Miles when I saw Trevor wind up for the final pitch of the game.  I heard the ball hit the bat but couldn’t see where it was hit.  It was only the reaction of the crowd that allowed me to know this was it. 

The out was made as the ground ball came right to Craig Counsell who threw to Prince Fielder and Trevor lifted his arms high up in the air as he was mobbed by his teammates.  “Hell’s Bell’s” blasted through Miller Park and “599″ was torn down to expose “600″ on the sign above the Brewers bullpen.  Trevor Hoffman had done it.

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Jonathan Lucroy and Prince Fielder were the first to greet Trevor Hoffman following the game. (Photo: Scott Paulus)

The excitement on the faces of everyone will be etched in my head forever.  The Brewers players and coaches were truly excited for him because Trevor means so much to them as a teammate, true professional and role model.   

“I was so mobbed, I had no idea what was going on,” Trevor said today.  “I felt like the whole crowd kept coming in on me.  Prince was squeezing me so hard, it was great!  I think the whole bullpen made it faster than (Todd) Coffey’s regular time.  It was great to have everyone there.”

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Trevor Hoffman gets carried off the field by his Brewers teammates. (Photo: Scott Paulus)

The Brewers fans cheered as a historical moment in baseball history was celebrated in their presence to a beloved player.  Tracy Hoffman and the Hoffman boys ran down the field and threw their arms around their beloved husband and father.

It was only appropriate that Trevor’s family was there.  His sons are a fixture in the clubhouse all summer long and Trevor has often mentioned how appreciative he is to Brewers GM Doug Melvin and Manager Ken Macha for allowing his kids and the other players kids a chance to come with them to work everyday.  With school starting recently, the decision to have the three Hoffman boys was up in the air–until Hoffman’s wife Tracy stepped in.

“It was kind of a wait and see attitude,” Trevor said today.  “I was more on the negative end of things.  I didn’t want them to bury themselves the first week of school and fall behind on everything.  Tracy didn’t care what I was saying; this is once in a lifetime.  Her thought was that this is something that needs to be done together.  She was right, wives are always right! To be able to share that moment together was important.”

After the on-field celebration had quieted down a bit, Trevor did his first interview with Mark Concannon of FS Wisconsin.  He was presented a painting honoring the monumental save, a gift from the team, by Melvin and Macha and his family donned special 600th save t-shirts.

1Hoffman01.jpgTrevor Hoffman along with his sons Wyatt, Quinn and Brody, wife Tracy and Brewers GM Doug Melvin. (Photo: Scott Paulus) 

“I was thinking about wall space at home to put the painting; I’m going to put it on display for everyone to see,” Hoffman said.  “In a couple of years I’m going to use it to remind people that it really was me!  I might invite people over for a picture viewing party.  But seriously, it’s a great gesture and will serve as a great memory.”

Following the on field ceremony, he did an interview with the MLB Network on their new, high-tech “Ballpark Cam.”  The neat thing about both of these interviews is that his teammates stood on the steps of the dugout and watched him, showing the respect they have for not only Trevor, but also the moment.  It was at this point that they too were fans.

After the on-field interviews were complete, Trevor joined his teammates for a toast in the clubhouse.  Trevor has never been shy with his words inside the clubhouse during special moments like these (I can remember the speech he gave to his teammates at Busch Stadium following Jason Kendall’s 2,000th hit, it was memorable) and this time was certainly no different.  He had the full attention of every single person in the clubhouse and spoke of respect for the game and respect of the team.  The words were quite inspirational; it was certainly a moment that I will never forget and I know everyone in the clubhouse felt the same way.

Trevor then went to do a live interview with Cory Provus from Newsradio 620 and then  to meet with the regular beat writers of the Brewers media corps.  (You can watch that interview session here.)  In this interview, you can really see how genuine this man really is.  He has the utmost respect for the team, his teammates and the game itself.  He is a true old school professional and someone who is most definitely a role model in this game.

Following the interview room, we had to get Trevor to one more interview and that was with ESPN for Baseball Tonight.  After that, we let him relax.  We really had him working hard last night from a media standpoint, but he did a great job and if you heard any one of the interviews he did last night, you would agree that his words were heartfelt.

 

trevor2.jpg  Trevor Hoffman signs game used baseballs in the Brewers clubhouse following his seemingly endless media tour.

After the interviews were complete, he signed a number of game-used balls from the game for MLB along with his hat from the game.  (Sidenote: If you didn’t know, Hoffman keeps a ball from every save he records.  He says he has a couple of “holes” from early in his career, but says he has about 95% of the collection complete.  He writes the date of the save on every ball.)    A number of those items will go to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.  He also posed with a number of teammates and staff members in the clubhouse for pictures.  Those pictures are memories that will last a lifetime. 

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Trevor still had time for a nice photo with me following all of his media activities for the night.

I didn’t leave the clubhouse until around 11:45 p.m. last night, and when I left a number of Trevor’s teammates were still waiting for him.  They wanted to share the moment with the man that they looked up to as a professional, as a teammate and, perhaps most importantly, as a friend.

Today, Trevor talked about the phone calls and texts he received from the many different people he has interacted with over his 18 year MLB career.

“The congratulatory messages were all across the board,” Hoffman said.  “My voicemail was filled, 100%.  Being able to speak to Commissioner Selig was big and getting a call from Robin (Yount) was a big surprise.  A guy of his stature in this organization and this community…that was big, I really appreciated that one.  It’s daunting to think about the time it’s going to take to get back to everyone, but I will find a way to do that.”

Trevor also learned from Brewers Clubhouse Assistant Jason Shawger last night that a highlight of the final out in Milwaukee was played on the scoreboard in between innings at PETCO Park in San Diego as the Padres took on the Dodgers.

 “They are in the middle of the pennant race; their focus is stay ahead of the Giants and for them to take the time to do that was a class move on their part,” Hoffman said.

Today, it was back to business as usual for Trevor.  He was out with his bullpen-mates before batting practice getting their usual conditioning work in.  The number might now read 600 on the outfield wall at Miller Park, but Hoffman–as a leader on the team–has not lost his focus.

“I think it just reaffirms that this machine will continue to go,” Hoffman said today.  “Yesterday, as good as it was, was a great memory.  Today, we are hearing the same music we have for the previous 160 days and it’s the same feeling today at the ballpark, it just moves on.  It was enjoyable and unbelievable for the moment, but, it just moves on.”

Thanks to Trevor for giving his teammates, Brewers fans and baseball fans all over the world a special moment to remember.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

John and Cait Preview Brewers On Deck 2010

 

 

Brewers On Deck_2010 logo.jpgThe Brewers annual fan fest, Brewers On Deck, will take place this Sunday, January 31, but today, John and Cait have a sneak preview of all the fun that is in store for you!  We are going to throw a lot at you in this preview and this map will help you plan your afternoon at the event.

First of all, this year’s Brewers On Deck is bigger and better than ever. The event has taken many forms since it first began at Brookfield Square Mall in 2004. Each year, we learn a little more and try to grow the event to make it bigger and better than even before.  Brewers Senior Director of Entertainment and Broadcasting, Aleta Mercer has again been in charge of organizing this event that has really turned into something no Brewers fan will want to miss.

Last year was the first year that the event was held at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. This year, we’re returning to the same location, but we have two times the space to work with and more attractions to entertain fans once they get in the door.

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. There will be autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games and clinics for kids in the Associated Bank Kids Zone, Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters, the latest Brewers merchandise (including 40th Anniversary items), and much, much, more.

First of all, everybody loves autographs and the chance to rub elbows with players and coaches from the 2010 team.

With 30 players scheduled to sign at the event, you’ll have lots of choices.  Welcome back some of your favorites, like Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. Get a jumpstart on the 40th Anniversary Season by purchasing some of the new merchandise that will be available at the event and getting it signed by Brewers great and Hall of Famer Robin Yount. Or, take the opportunity to add new Brewers like Randy Wolf, Gregg Zaun, LaTroy Hawkins or Carlos Gomez to your autograph collection.

Autograph sessions will be staggered during the event, and autograph tickets–ranging from free to $25 each–will be available on the day of the event only. There will be 250 autograph coupons available for each player at the event, and coupons will be distributed one hour prior to each autograph session, so make sure you get there early!

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Dave Bush signs autographs for fans at Brewers On Deck 2009.

The doors to the Midwest Airlines Center open at 10 a.m. and the first autograph sessions begin at 11 a.m. A good tip would be to buy your On Deck tickets in advance if you want to get in an autograph line early. Brewers coaches will be signing free autographs following their Q&A session with fans and select Brewers alumni will also sign free following clinics in the Little League diamond.

It is important to note that cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph area, so make sure you hit up an ATM on your way downtown (there will also be ATMs inside the Midwest Airlines Center). Proceeds from the autographs will go to Brewers Charities and other charitable causes. A full autograph schedule can be found here.

The photo sessions made available to fans are also a great way to capture a great memory with your favorite Brewer. A group of 33 Brewers players, alumni and coaches will appear at three photo stations scattered throughout the afternoon in half hour segments. The photos are free of charge.  We would recommend bringing your own camera to take pictures. The first session will start at 11 a.m. and the last session will start at 3:30 p.m. 

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Mitch Stetter poses with fans at Brewers On Deck 2009 in the Photo Area.

Three stages will be set up throughout the convention hall, featuring programming and other activities for fans throughout the day.

The Brewers Main Stage will feature various question and answer sessions with top Brewers baseball executives, a pair of game shows featuring players and alumni (“Who Wants to Be A Brewer?” and “Brewers vs. Alumni Feud”), a fashion show showcasing the latest Brewers gear and a roundtable discussion with members of the Milwaukee media who cover the team on a regular basis. The game shows were definitely hits at last year’s “Bob Uecker’s Winter Warm Up” and there are some new surprises in store for 2010.

Fans and local media will be introduced to Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez and reintroduced to newly acquired lefty Doug Davis at a press conference scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on the Main Stage. 

The Brewers Interactive Stage will feature the Brewers Anthem Challenge with fans vying for an opportunity to sing the National Anthem at Miller Park, so start practicing hitting those high notes! Also scheduled for the Brewers Interactive Stage is a Q&A session with the Brewers Player Development and Scouting staff as well as a live web chat on brewers.com with Gregg Zaun, Manny Parra and Carlos Villanueva

The Newsradio 620 WTMJ stage will broadcast live from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature interviews with Brewers players and coaches. If you are a Brewers fan who cannot make Sunday’s event, the web chat and radio broadcast are two fantastic ways to interact and participate from home.

All proceeds from the event benefit Brewers Charities and other charitable causes, so make sure you stop by the Brewers Charities area at On Deck. This year, they’re hosting a Treasure Hunt, which will feature some hard to find Brewers items for sale. Additionally, Brewers Charities will be collecting food to be donated to the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. Collection barrels will be set up at the Brewers Charities area in the Midwest Airlines Center, so don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food items with you to On Deck.

Fans will also be able to take part in the Brewers On Deck Scavenger Hunt. If you can locate the four player photos placed strategically around the venue at different attractions, you will uncover a special promotional code that will allow you to purchase tickets online for select Brewers games at a special 50% savings.

To help celebrate the 40th Anniversary season in 2010, fans can visit the Brewers Museum at On Deck to relive some Brewers moments of the past. Watch some of the best plays in team history, check out every team photo in team history, read newspapers from some of the most historic moments in team history and check out some pretty neat artifacts from 1970 through today.

In addition to all of these activities, kids will also have a great time at the batting cages or speed pitch and will be able to stay active in the Home Run Fitness area. Fans can also visit with Brewers sponsors, check out sports memorabilia from collectors in the memorabilia area, purchase a Brewers Kids Club Membership Kit ($25), and pick up Season and Group Ticket information.

There will be so much to do on Sunday, it is hard to list everything. Some other interesting attractions that we want you to check out are displays from four of the Brewers minor league affiliates and the FS Wisconsin stage where fans are offered a chance to be a sports announcer at the FS Wisconsin Sports Desk.

We’re excited that the event is coming up so soon, not only because a great time will be had by all, but also because it means that the start of the baseball season is that much closer.  Something comforting to think about on a cold, January day. If you cannot make the event, we will have a full review here and on brewers.com.

-John and Cait
johnandcait@brewers.com

Brewers On Deck will take place on Sunday, January 31 from 10am to 5pm at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. Advance tickets are just $15 for adults and $9 for kids.

Tickets purchased at the door on the day of the event will be $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under. Cash will be the only form of payment accepted on the day of the event.

Autograph sessions will be staggered throughout the day with autograph tickets ranging from free to $25 (available only at the event).Please note that cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph area. Proceeds from the autographs will go to Brewers Charities and other charitable causes.

There are a variety of parking structures and street lots surrounding the Midwest Airlines Center. For more parking information, please visit www.parkmilwaukee.com.

For an up-to-date schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, click here.

 

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