Results tagged ‘ Will Smith ’

Welcome (Back) to Atlanta, Will!

Brewers reliever Will Smith has visited Turner Field many times in his 24 years, but this is the first time at the ballpark that he won’t be cheering for the Braves.

Will hails from Newnan, Georgia, a town about 30 miles south of Turner Field, where he grew up as a big fan of the Atlanta Braves and attended Northgate High School where he played on the school’s baseball team.

While Will has faced the Braves twice before in his career, this will be his first time returning to pitch in Atlanta–and he’s got hundreds of family and friends coming out to cheer him on over these next four games, including his former baseball coach, Greg Hamilton; his mom, Kay; and his dad, Charles..

“He was fantastic and had a little something you don’t see all the time–the IT.” Coach Hamilton recalled.

Coach Hamilton also noted that he and Will are still very close.

“He still comes down and does stuff with Northgate all the time time. He’s more than a baseball player. He’s a great guy.

And, he says, he frequently reminds Will not to let anyone outwork him. “‘Never,’ Will always replies,” he says.

Will Smith poses for a photo with his mom, Kay, at Turner Field.

Will Smith poses for a photo with his mom, Kay, at Turner Field.

“Will was a huge Braves fan growing up,” Will’s dad told me. “In fact, we attended a Fan Fest here when he was young and we even have a photo of him throwing in the bullpen.”

Now that’s foreshadowing and proof  that dreams do come true if you’re willing to put in the effort and not “let anyone outwork you,” as Will has done and continues to do.

(Of course, I’ve asked Mr. and Mrs. Smith to share those photos with us, if they can track them down–stay tuned!)

5/22/14 UPDATE:

Thanks to Mrs. Smith, here are the photos of a young Will at Turner Field. He was about 11 or 12 at the time:

As a kid, Will took the mound in the Braves bullpen with big league dreams. This week he returned in a Brewers uniform.

As a kid, Will took the mound in the Braves bullpen with big league dreams. This week he returned in a Brewers uniform.

A young Will poses next to a statue of "Mighty Casey" at Turner Field. (The statue is no longer there.)

A young Will poses next to a statue of “Mighty Casey” at Turner Field. (The statue is no longer there.)

photo 2

Will Smith catches up with family and friends before the Brewers-Braves game at Turner Field on Monday.

 

Some of Will's family and friends who attended Monday night's game.

Some of Will’s family and friends who attended Monday night’s game.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

 

 

Wisconsin Badgers get in on Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday Fun #WCWW

Good morning and happy “Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday” (#WCWW)!

Yes, it’s Wednesday again and the bullpen is back…and this time, with friends from the Wisconsin Badgers Men’s Basketball team.

Enjoy!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Behind the Scenes at the Brewers Pet Calendar Photo Shoot

Last week, we let the “cat out of the bag” that we’re creating a Brewers Pet Calendar, featuring photos of the players and coaches with their pets and/or animals from the Wisconsin Humane Society, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the organization.

Today, we held the first photo shoot for the piece, which is due out later this season, and we thought we’d share a few fun photos with you. All photos for the calendar will be taken by Brewers photographer Scott Paulus[Note: All of the dogs at today's photo shoot are dogs that are currently up for adoption at the Wisconsin Humane Society.]

We also held a contest for one lucky fan and his/her dog to be included in the calendar alongside Hank. Stay tuned for more details on the winner and when the finished piece will be for sale.

Cheers!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

It’s Our Favorite Day of the Week: Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday! #WCWW

In case you missed it (and we really don’t know how you could have), for the last two weeks, the Brewers Bullpen has put out short music videos in honor of what they’ve dubbed “Wei-Chung Wang Wednesdays” or #WCWW.

Well, it’s Wednesday again and the bullpen is back…this time with a video called “Caught Looking by K-Rod”:

Enjoy!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

It’s Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday! #WCWW

In case you missed it (and we really don’t know how you could have), last Wednesday the Brewers Bullpen put out a short Instagram music video in honor of what’ they’ve dubbed “Wei-Chung Wang Wednesdays” or #WCWW.

Well, it’s Wednesday again and the bullpen is back…this time with a little St. Louis style. Enjoy!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Happy Birthday, Wei-Chung Wang!

Before this past Wednesday, you knew Wei-Chung Wang (pronounced “WAY-chung-WONG”),  as the Taiwanese Brewers pitcher who was acquired this past offseason in the Rule 5 Draft from Pittsburgh.

Post what has now been dubbed Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday,” (or for those of you on Twitter and Instagram, #WCWW), Wei-Chung is now a viral video star and somewhat of a Milwaukee legend.

It all started with some tweets from the Brewers bullpen and quickly escalated when Bullpen Catcher Marcus Hanel posted this video to Instagram:

Here, Wei-Chung Wang is featured as the lead dancer, with fellow relievers Tyler Thornburg, Will Smith, Jim Henderson and others serving as back-up dancers to the song “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” by the Wang Chung Band out of the UK.

Since then, the video has been picked up by many news outlets and viewed hundreds of thousands of times, including by the Wang Chung Band: Wang Chung BandWell, today happens to be Wei-Chung’s birthday and, with  #WCWW so fresh in our minds (and “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” still stuck in our heads), we decided to surprise him with a very special birthday greeting on the scoreboard. Wei Chung Wang

Check out his priceless reaction, here:

You can bet that Wei-Chung and his teammates certainly are having fun tonight, enjoying a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The Brewers bullpen reacts to the birthday message.

The Brewers bullpen reacts to the birthday message.

As for me? Here are four words I never thought I’d say: Is it Wednesday yet? https://twitter.com/TylerThornburg/status/459106288060747776

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Now Trending: #WCWW Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday!

Hey guys, guess what day it is! Guess. What. Day. It. Is.

You may think of today as “Wednesday,” or thanks to that talking camel, “Hump Day,” but to the Brewers bullpen, it’s so much more than that…. Move over, Dromedary. It’s Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday, or for those of you on Twitter and Instagram, #WCWW for short.

Wei-Chung Wang (pronounced “WAY-chung-WONG”),  who was acquired this past offseason in the Rule 5 Draft from Pittsburgh, is from Taiwan. The Brewers reliever, who will turn 22 on Friday, made his Major League debut on April 14 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the 11th Taiwanese player (8th pitcher, 1st Brewer) to play in the majors, and the youngest player from Taiwan to play in the Major Leagues.

The #WCWW trend appears to have been started by Brewers Bullpen Catcher Marcus Hanel last Wednesday, April 16:

 

But I have a feeling today’s post is really going to put it on the map:

 

In this video by Marcus Hanel, Wei-Chung Wang is featured as the lead dancer, with fellow relievers Tyler Thornburg, Will Smith, Jim Henderson and others serving as back-up dancers to the song “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” by the Wang Chung Band out of the UK.

 

Looks like Wednesdays just got a whole lot more fun for Brewer Nation.

 

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Brew Crew Bracketology: Brewers March Madness Update

Back in Spring Training when the NCAA tournament got underway, we asked some of the Crew to fill out brackets.

Now we’re down to the Final Four (On Wisconsin!), so we thought we’d post the updated brackets here so you can follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks are “netting” out.

As you can see, even Hank and Bernie Brewer got in on the fun and Bernie has even correctly picked 3 of the Final Four! He’s got Wisconsin in the National Championship game, so let’s hope he’s right!

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If you’ll notice, I filled out a bracket, too. Although I’m a Marquette girl and I’m bummed they aren’t in it,  I am cheering Wisconsin on loudly and I really do love the excitement of this time of year–both on the basketball and baseball fronts.

Bracket busted? Never fear. Brewers season is underway!

Cheers,

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

A Bet is a Bet: Kyle Lohse is Now on Twitter; Tweet #WelcomeKyle Messages to @KyleLohse26

As we noted last week when Brandon Kintzler served as batboy for the Brewers vs. Royals Exhibition Game at Miller Park… a bet is a bet.

And, while Kyle Lohse may have won the bet on his golf match against Brandon, he wasn’t quite so lucky earlier this spring when he took on Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and yours truly.

Gather around, kids. This is the story of how Kyle Lohse joined Twitter.

Yes, you read that right. You can now follow Kyle on Twitter: @KyleLohse26 and we suggest you do—be sure to tweet him your messages using #WelcomeKyle, too! Maybe we can even get him trending.

It all started when I went down to Phoenix for Spring Training with the idea of writing stories on what players do with free time in Arizona. Having noticed many of the players tweeting about playing golf, and being a lover of the sport myself, I decided that might be something fun to cover for the blog and our social media sites. I asked a couple of guys about it but was pointed in the same direction each time: “You have to talk to Kyle,” they said.

I started doing a little research and realized that, in addition to being a championship-caliber pitcher, he’s also a heck of a golfer. In 2009, he even made Golf Digest’s list of “150 Top Athlete Golfers,” coming in tied at #33 (with Wisconsin’s own Dan Jansen, oddly enough) and in 2011, he was named one of TotalProSports.com’s list of “11 Best Pro Athlete Golfers,” coming in at #9. He started playing when he was about 19, taking up the sport as something to do in the offseason. He is completely self-taught; he’s never had a lesson and he’s basically a scratch golfer. His lowest score was a 67 at TPC Scottsdale.

So, I talked to Kyle and he was open to playing a round of golf for the good of social media. Little did he know just how much social media he’d ultimately be in for!

We set a date at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ (the same course that hosted Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classicand got  pitchers Will Smith and Tyler Thornburg to round out our foursome.

All that was left was to come up with some sort of challenge/stakes, as Kyle said, his first hint of smack talk emerging, “to make it interesting so I don’t get bored.”

Now, I’m an avid golfer, but nowhere near Lohse level, so in order to be fair, we decided to set some parameters.

In the past, he’d challenged some of his teammates, with a couple of guys teaming up and playing a scramble against his individual score, so we decided that Will, Tyler and I would play a team scramble format against Kyle’s individual score. It was also match play, meaning we would take our team score against Kyle’s on each hole to determine who “won the hole.” We would not be given any strokes.

“I think that if we beat you, you should have to join Twitter,” I suggested, fitting since not only am I the Director of New Media for the Club and referred to affectionately (I hope) as “Twitter Girl,” but Will and Tyler are also both avid users of Twitter themselves.

“Okay, fine, sure I’ll join Twitter,” Kyle said, shrugging it off. I could tell he didn’t think he’d have to worry about it.

As for Kyle’s bet with Will and Tyler, they agreed upon dinner as their bet—steaks as the stakes.

And with all of that squared away, we were off.

Our fearless foursome, L-R: Will Smith, me, Kyle Lohse & Tyler Thornburg.

Our fearless foursome, L-R: Will Smith, me, Kyle Lohse & Tyler Thornburg.

On the first hole, a par 4, our group got off to a hot start with a birdie and Kyle made par; however, we gave that right back with Kyle making a birdie on the second hole.

On the third hole, a par 5, we caught a break—Kyle made a bogey!—but then he quickly made up for it a couple holes later, sticking a shot on the 5th hole, a par 3, within a foot of the pin.

IMG_5961

Here’s Kyle’s shot on the 5th hole, a 153-yd Par 3.

On the 6th hole, I took great pride when I “outdrove” Kyle. Okay, so I had a 120yd advantage from the ladies’ tee and he used a 3-wood, but that wasn’t stopping me from rubbing it in and making him pose for this photo. I outdrove Kyle and I'm sticking to it.

On the 6th hole, I took great pride when I “outdrove” Kyle. Okay, so I had a 120-yd advantage from the ladies’ tee and he used a 3-wood, but that wasn’t stopping me from rubbing it in and making him pose for this photo. I outdrove Kyle and I’m sticking to it.

In Kyle’s mind, the 6th hole was a turning point in the match. He said that the fact that I “outdrove” him didn’t bother him as much as the approach shots:  “I think if I remember, we had about 151-yds in [Cait's note: He had 151, we had 150.] and I was hitting a knockdown 9-iron and you were hitting your 3-wood. You got it on the green, which was huge because Thorny hit a line-drive over the green and Will hit his about 7-yds, so I thought I was looking pretty good there, but then you stepped up and put it on the green. That was a clutch hole for you.”

Both “teams” made par on the 6th, but then Kyle  birdied the 7th hole to take his first lead of the day… However, then I came through on the 8th hole, another par 3, hitting a great shot that rivaled Kyle’s on 5:

My approach on the famed 8th hole, a 172-yd Par 3, the turning point in the match.

My approach on the famed 8th hole, a 172-yd Par 3, the turning point in the match.

Will and Tyler let me do the honors. I sank the birdie putt, bringing the match back to even.

Tyler Thornburg gives me a high five after I made the birdie putt on 8. A disconcerted Kyle looks on.

Tyler Thornburg gives me a high five after I made the birdie putt on 8. A disconcerted Kyle looks on.

“You know there was a string of holes where, if you weren’t there, the boys would have fallen further behind than they were at the time. That one kind of stopped my momentum,” Kyle conceded. “It came down to that and me not making birdie on the next hole when I had 90-yds in on a par 5. I hit it about 5-yds too long and ended up making par, but that’s the kind of stuff that ends up happening out there on the course.”

If Kyle’s ball had landed on the green, there’s a good chance he would have made birdie on #9.

We remained all square through 9.

IMG_5965

Thru 9: All square.

Then, we made the turn.

We had fun with the GoPro in Spring Training and we even brought it out on the course with us. Here are drives by Lohse, Thornburg and Smith on #10, both at regular speeds and in slo-mo.

The guys even tested out the GoPro, taking this video of one of my shots.

This is one of my favorite shots of the day-- Kyle and Tyler using the GoPro and iPad app.

This is one of my favorite shots of the day– Kyle and Tyler using the GoPro and iPad app to capture my swing like I had been doing for them all day long.

Kyle started off the back with a bogey. He also made bogey on #12. Our team was able to hang in there, making pars during that stretch, and matching Kyle on holes 13-16, but we couldn’t get any more birdies to drop to put him away.

As we neared the end of the round, we started talking about what we’d do if we ended up tied—a chip-off? Putting challenge? Extra holes?

Fortunately, we didn’t need to worry about that. On the 17th, a short par 3 over water, both teams made par on the hole and the match reached dormie—Team Will, Tyler & Cait was two up with one to play and had effectively won the match.

“It always feels good to take down the best,” Tyler said. “Sometimes you have to knock them down a notch. You (Cait) really picked us up on a few holes and were always there for mental support.”

Here was Will’s reaction:

As for Kyle? He was a gracious loser, sticking around for the final hole and a post-round interview.

“I was kind of disappointed. I played well in our round. Really you’re asking kind of the impossible, to beat three people in a scramble, in match play. I think I had you guys in strokes,” Kyle said. “But I could go home at the end of the day and not be upset about that, knowing that I took on three people and almost pulled off the impossible.”

(Sorry, Kyle, if you're reading this, I added it up--we beat you by 2 strokes, FYI.)

(Sorry, Kyle, if you’re reading this, I added it up–we beat you by 2 strokes, FYI.)

And, when he returned to Milwaukee, he also held up his end of the bargain, and joined the Twitterverse.

“I’m not real happy about the reason why it is happening, but it will be interesting. I’ve never been in on any form of social media, so we’ll see how it goes,” Kyle told me today, after signing up for his account.

“Hopefully sarcasm comes through very well because I have a dry sense of humor and I’m sarcastic at times, so we’ll see what I’ve got.”

When I asked him what he plans to tweet about it, he said, “The random things that go on in the everyday life of a baseball player, I just want to keep it kind of light and fun, or try to anyways.”

As for his bet with Tyler and Will? “I still owe them dinner. We talked about it. We’ll find a good time.”

I take that back. THIS is my favorite shot of the day. Kyle Lohse, Will Smith and Tyler Thornburg, having fun on the course--I was trying to take an "epic' photo of them.av

I take that back. THIS is my favorite photo from the day: Kyle Lohse, Will Smith and Tyler Thornburg, having fun on the course–I was trying to take an “epic’ photo of them.

It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field. They were relaxed and having a good time.

However, now that the season is underway, there won’t be much (if any) time for golf, but we can all look forward to following Kyle and the rest of the Brewers on Twitter this season. Stay tuned for insights into their day-to-day lives, interesting anecdotes and playful banter among teammates; for a complete Brewers Twitter Roster, visit brewers.com/connect.

 

4/25/14 Update:

Looks like Kyle made good on the other half of his bet to Tyler and Will last night!  A true man of his word, indeed.

 

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

Brew Crew Bracketology: Brewers March Madness Update

Last week when the NCAA Basketball Tournament got underway, we asked some of the Crew to fill out brackets.

Even Hank and Bernie Brewer got in on the fun!

As the next round begins on Thursday, we thought we’d post the updated brackets here so you can follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks are “netting” out.

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If you’ll notice, I filled out a bracket, too. Although I’m a Marquette girl and I’m bummed they aren’t in it,  I do love the excitement of this time of year–both on the basketball and baseball fronts.

Bracket busted? Never fear. Opening Day (true March Madness!) is just 6 days away!

Cheers,

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

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