Results tagged ‘ Will Smith ’
Ah, the rare off-day during Spring Training. Yesterday was one of just two offdays for the Crew this spring and many of the players marked the occasion by heading out to the golf course for Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic, which was held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
A number of the Brewers players and coaches, along with several other celebrities participated in the event, which benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Prior to the tournament, Bob addressed the crowd, as did Bailey, a 14-year-old whose Wish was granted in April of 2012. Bailey chose to go fishing in Hawaii and spoke eloquently about what that experience mean to him and his family in terms of raising their spirits.
Here are a few highlights from the day:
And, here’s a slideshow:
While no Brewers were in the winning groups, everyone had a blast; and, most importantly, the tournament raised over $30,000 for Make-A-Wish.
The baseball season is a long one–162 games in 180 days–and that doesn’t even count Spring Training and those 30 Cactus League games.
However, the pace is different in Spring Training. While the games are still important, the time down here is very much about taking a look at different players, trying out new things, working out the kinks and building team chemistry.
With two weeks of practice before the Spring games begin and with the bulk of the Cactus League games being day games, that also gives players a little more free time before they go back to work in Milwaukee and the grind sets in.
So what do a lot of the guys like to do with their down time in Arizona?
While first and foremost, many treasure the extra time with their families before the regular season gets underway:
Aside from that, they can also enjoy some of their hobbies that might fall by the wayside once the regular season starts, like going fishing:
On this Brewers roster in particular, however, you’ll find many of the pitchers in particular hitting the links.
Last year, during Spring Training, you’ll recall that Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and I hit the links and took on Kyle Lohse in a match that ultimately led to him joining Twitter (#YoureWelcome!).
It’s been well-documented that Kyle is the best golfer on the team by far, but that doesn’t stop his teammates from trying to take him on in various challenges–scrambles, best ball with strokes per side, etc.
And, earlier this spring, I had the pleasure of tagging along with Kyle and a couple of the guys again on two separate occasions to take some pictures and video–all in the name of work, of course.
First, I headed out with Kyle and Matt Garza to Lookout Mountain Golf Club.
This award-winning course sits among the magnificent North Phoenix Mountains and offers panoramic views of the amazing Arizona landscape. Case in point: Hole #10 is the signature hole here at Lookout Mountain. You’re 14 stories high on the tee box and, from this video of Kyle’s tee shot on the hole, you can see that it lives up to its name “Picturesque Pointe.”
This outing was really not much of a match. Matt doesn’t profess to be a great golfer; he was just out there to have fun—with the goal to beat Kyle’s score on at least one hole.
While Matt didn’t achieve that goal this time, he did have what I’m told was a better day that usual and ended up tying Kyle on 4 holes.
Personally, this was my first round of the season, so I was a little rusty; the par-3 9th in particular had my number. The hole was 80-yds for me and I blew it over the green on the tee shot and it was all literally downhill from there. In this video of my shot, you’ll also see where Matt ended up on his tee shot on this hole (that’s Kyle narrating, obviously):
Despite this hole and another two blow-up holes, I was able to tie Kyle on at least 3 holes and actually beat him on 2. He and I each had two birdies in the round, which was cut short due to darkness.
One other thing worth noting from this outing: Matt Garza broke his 3-wood on a tee shot during the round. None of us are quite sure how this happened. One minute he was teeing it up and the next, he was holding his broken club. But even despite this setback and not beating Kyle on a hole, he was a great sport, never once showing frustration, just chatting the entire time and laughing a lot.
Here are a few more photos from that round:
The second time I had the pleasure of hitting the links, it was to test out a new product called the Golfboard.
When I saw the PGA tweet about this combination golf cart/seque/scooter/skateboard, I knew our guys would love it because many of our players use scooters as transportation between the parking lot and the Clubhouse at Miller Park.
The good folks at Golfboard were kind enough to set us up with two Golfboards for a round of golf at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, so I joined Kyle Lohse and Will Smith to document the experience.
After a brief tutorial, the guys quickly picked up on the boards, which are extremely easy to learn, fun, and most importantly for these guys, safe.
The guys were zipping around the course in no time flat. Here’s a short video Kyle took:
I also brought the GoPro and we hooked it up to the Golfboard. Here’s a tour of the 9th hole, courtesy of Kyle. (Note: The ride felt much smoother than this video portrays!)
And here’s a shot Kyle hit while the GoPro was still running:
Here are some other fun photos from the round:
It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field.
Whether it’s fishing or golf, or another hobby, it is good to see the guys get a chance to relax and unwind now because we know once the regular season is underway, there will be little (if any) time for those things.
Speaking of time to relax and have fun, today is one of just two offdays in the Spring Training schedule and I’ll be back out on the golf course with Kyle, Will and a bunch of other players, coaches and celebrities for Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic. Stay tuned for more photos and videos!
Special thanks to Lookout Mountain and Westin Kierland (and Troon Golf) for letting us hack on your courses; and of course, special thanks to Golfboard for letting us test drive your gamechangers.
In the Brewers Clubhouse, pitcher Will Smith is affectionately referred to as “the third most famous Will Smith,” as his teammates lovingly rank the lefty behind the football player Will Smith (formerly of the New Orleans Saints) and, of course the Will Smith–the American actor, producer, rapper, and songwriter.
Growing up, one would guess that sharing a name with someone so famous could be viewed either positively or negatively. While having a famous name can grab attention, quite certainly, our Will Smith has heard his fair share of jokes in his 25 years on the planet.
One can choose to let it bother him or her, or one can embrace it.
And embrace it Will has. Last year, the Brewers bullpen starred in a Will Smith medley video; Will donned a Fresh Prince of Bel Air baseball jersey; and, this year at Brewers On Deck, Will went undercover to see what people really thought of the Brewers–and him, often getting confused for the actor.
But now, Will has decided that he’s had enough from afar. It is time he got the chance to meet the “other” Will Smith and he’s offering the the actor the chance to come visit him in Milwaukee.
He sat down the other day and penned this letter/invitation:
This is the start of the #WillMeetsWill campaign. Join in on Twitter and Instagram and we’ll see if we can organize our efforts and get Will Smith out to Miller Park this summer to meet his namesake.
Today was photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park!
The day starts out earlier than normal as various photographers come in to shoot headshots and posed shots of the players.
Photos were taken by media outlets like the Associated Press, Getty Images and USA Today along with the Brewers team photographer Scott Paulus, our scoreboard folks, MLB Network and Topps baseball cards. Players rotate through the various stations:
In addition, we had fun using the Twitter Mirror, a special Twitter app used by events like the Oscars and the GRAMMYs, which transforms an ordinary tablet into a special selfie station.
We overheard players say “Yes, selfie station!” and “I’m coming back here later,” so we think they had fun… but of course, we’ve also got pictures to prove it:
Brewers Senior Director of Media Relations Mike Vassallo and I also got in the fun:
We stopped Kyle Lohse, a long-time Photo Day veteran, and asked him if he had a minute to give us for some advice on navigating photo day. Here’s what he had to say:
Last night, a #BrewersSnowballFight broke out on Twitter, with Kyle Lohse launching a sneak attack:
It quickly spread from there:
Fans are encouraged to join in the fun by retweeting and tagging their friends. No need to wait ’til you get hit, go on the offensive!
On Instagram, fans can join in the fun by tagging their friends in the comments:
The snowballs are also flying over on Facebook, where you can simply share our post and tag your friends to keep it going:
Plus, we had to GIF it:
Behind the scenes, this was a really fun video to shoot. Well, for me, anyway. We were able to bring these guys out to Helfaer Field when they were in town for Brewers On Deck and since they hail from California (Lohse), Florida (Fiers) and Georgia (Smith), they weren’t quite used to the snow and cold. Also, Will and Kyle weren’t wearing the ideal footwear for the task…. but it all worked out!
We had a special frame built to hold a piece of plexiglass, placed our GoPro behind it, made a bunch of snowballs and let ’em have it.
Then, they let me have it:
….and I was caught off guard because I was too busy shooting additional footage on my phone, such as this photo which captures what I believe to be precisely the moment they decided to hit me:
It was all in good fun though; we were able to produce some cool videos and give Brewers nation one more fun thing to build excitement and help pass the time until Opening Day.
And the good news is that these guys will be trading their snowballs for baseballs very soon. Pitchers and catchers report in just 9 days!
Somehow, in the midst of all the fun and excitement at Brewers On Deck, Brewers reliever Will Smith (not the actor) was able to go undercover, posing as a reporter for fake news channel WILL-13 (we picked Lancaster, Wisconsin because we wanted a town that started with an “L”).
We outfitted him with a jacket, credentials and a microphone and sent him out into the crowd with a videographer to interview some unsuspecting fans.
And it was awesome:
There was so much great material it was hard to pair it all down. There were also a lot of outtakes, including some interviews with his teammates, which we felt merited their own separate video:
“I had a really good time doing it,” Will told me. “It was a fun experience playing around with the fans.”
Did Will trick you? Let us know in the comments below!
For a full recap of Brewers On Deck, click here.
Nearly 50 Milwaukee Brewers players plus a host of alumni, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 25 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center.
Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 14 and under. Tickets on the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under. A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at brewers.com/ondeck.
This year the event will feature a community book drive that will help support Next Door’s Books for Kids program. The goal of the Books for Kids campaign is to help all children in Milwaukee’s central city, regardless of their family income or education levels, have books they can call their own. Local author Marla McKenna will help host the event. Fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used children’s books to donate. In appreciation for their contribution, fans who donate a book will receive a free copy of McKenna’s newest publication, “Mom’s Big Catch,” a story based upon events that took place at Miller Park.
Once again food donations will be accepted through Hunger Task Force. Donations can be dropped off at two main entrances to the Wisconsin Center, located at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and 4th Street and Wells Street.
Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include (all subject to change):
|Michael Blazek||Hector Gomez||Gerardo Parra||Darnell Coles||Jerry Augustine|
|Ryan Braun||Brooks Hall||Wily Peralta||Joe Crawford||Cecil Cooper|
|Juan Centeno||Jim Henderson||Shane Peterson||Matt Erickson||Craig Counsell|
|Matt Clark||Jeremy Jeffress||Jason Rogers||Mike Guerrero||Rob Deer|
|Clint Coulter||Taylor Jungmann||Logan Schafer||Marcus Hanel||Jim Gantner|
|Khris Davis||Brandon Kintzler||Will Smith||Rick Kranitz||Larry Hisle|
|Mike Fiers||Kyle Lohse||Michael Strong||Jerry Narron|
|Yovani Gallardo||Adam Lind||Tyler Thornburg||Ron Roenicke|
|Scooter Gennett||Jonathan Lucroy||Rob Wooten||Ed Sedar|
|David Goforth||Hunter Morris||John Shelby|
|Carlos Gomez||Jimmy Nelson||Lee Tunnell|
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. Autographs and photos from Brewers players, coaches and alumni; interactive games in the Kids Area; Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt, a 50/50 raffle, live auction and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
Details regarding autographs include the following: Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced next week) will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry sheet which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center District. The Premier Entry sheet will be exchanged for a numbered coupon to be entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $10 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions. The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session.
Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted next week. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia. For additional information, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.
Autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.
A detailed schedule of all Brewers On Deck events will be released next week.
Brewers reliever Will Smith is back in town this weekend, along with his dad, Charles, for a special father-son weekend that includes a Bucks game, a Packers game and a trip to Miller Park.
Yesterday, the duo left their home in Georgia. Early in the evening, they touched down in MKE and headed over to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to watch the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Miami Heat.
And this afternoon, I met up with Will and Charles at the ballpark to give them a little tour. Charles has been here before, but this was a nice opportunity for Will to be able to take him inside the Clubhouse, on the field, etc.
It was also a great chance for me to show off the rest of the stadium, as Charles hasn’t had the chance to explore every level and Will’s experience has been limited mostly to the Clubhouse, field and bullpen.
And of course, there were the obligatory photo ops along the way…
We started our tour in the Media Interview Room and then progressed into the Clubhouse and out on to the field. It was interesting for them to see the field that’s been “put to bed” for the offseason. I shared with them my experience of helping the Grounds Crew with that process a few years back.
Then, we had to pay a visit to the bullpen:
“This is my office,” Will said to his dad as we entered the bullpen, which has also been tarped for the winter.
As I mentioned, Will has not had a lot of time to explore Miller Park himself (and just got his first taste of tailgating at the end of the season), so it was neat to take both guys around and show off all the stadium has to offer. We hit the U.S. Cellular Power Playground (above), the Harley-Davidson Deck, the Johnson Controls Stadium Club, the Meeting Rooms, and the Suites… we even stopped in my office!
I had told Will that the Brewers Clubhouse Sale was going on today (it wraps up at 7 p.m. CT tonight) and they decided they wanted to check it out.
I was curious to see how many people would recognize Will out of uniform and out of context. We rode down the elevator from the Hot Corner to the Service Level with some fans and walked through the Service Level to the Sale. Along the way, one fan stopped Will and shook his hand.
Inside the sale, the pair checked out all of the merchandise, including Will’s own locker nameplate that was for sale in the Authentics area and Will was only approached by one other savvy fan.
It was nice to catch up with Will, who said he is having a low-key offseason, getting in his workouts and playing a lot of golf. This trip back to Milwaukee is the only travel he had planned.
Will and Charles have dinner plans tonight and will do some more exploring tomorrow before taking a shuttle up to Lambeau Field for the Monday night Packers vs. Falcons game, along with Will’s brother-in-law and his father, who are flying in later this weekend to join them.
Being from Georgia, they are all Falcons fans, but they are excited for their first visit to Lambeau.
However, they do have some trepidation about the weather. “When we left Georgia, it was 71 degrees,” Will said. He noted that he brought all his hunting gear, including his boots with heated insoles, so he hopes he is prepared.
We’ll all have to follow him on Twitter (@White_Willy31) to see how the rest of their trip goes!
As part of tonight’s Fan Appreciation Night presented by Chevrolet, Brewers players were escorted on golf carts throughout the parking lots to surprise fans with gifts as a way of thanking everyone for their season-long support. After batting practice, the players hopped on the carts and went for the ride.
Every Brewers player and coach handed out Brewers goodies to fans in the parking lots to show appreciation for their support. Many posed for selfies and shook hands with the fans:
Will Smith, Jimmy Nelson and Matt Clark decided to start a game of bags with some fans and they even enjoyed some cookies from the group.
The gesture caught most fans by surprise as they really didn’t really expect to see Brewers players cruising through the lots on golf carts. It was a fun treat to see the reaction of the fans when they saw the players. There were a lot of double takes! It was also fun to see the reaction of the players, some of whom had never seen the extravagant tailgating that goes on before every Brewers game.
Were you in the parking lots tonight? Share your story with us in the comments section below!