The Milwaukee Brewers will host the franchise’s 10th annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game at Miller Park on Saturday, July 18 when the team takes on the Pittsburgh Pirates at 6:10 p.m. The team will honor the significance of the Negro Leagues and their impact on the game that night by donning Milwaukee Bears uniforms, the city’s 1923 Negro Leagues representative. The Pirates will also honor the Negro Leagues by wearing uniforms from the “Pittsburgh Crawfords,” the team that represented the Steel City from 1931 to 1938.
At this game, the Brewers will honor former players and baseball contributors Gilbert Hernandez Black and James Beckum during a tailgate reception at Helfaer Field, beginning at 3 p.m., along with a special pre-game ceremony at Miller Park. In honor of the event, Brewers Community Foundation will make a donation to both the Negro Leagues Museum and Yesterday’s Negro League Baseball Players Foundation. In addition, an autograph session with both honorees will take place during the first 45 minutes of the game on the Field Level Concourse near home plate.
Gilbert Hernandez Black, known as “Gil,” was born in 1934 in Manhattan, New York. He grew up several blocks away from the famous Polo Grounds and learned to love the game by watching the New York Giants practice. He moved to Stanford in 1950 and played ball for several prominent African-American teams, including the West Palm Beach Indians, a Florida State League affiliate of the Milwaukee Braves and the Indianapolis Clowns. Though he was gifted in many positions, he predominantly pitched in his career.
James Beckum was born in Baltimore, Maryland but has called Milwaukee his home for nearly a half a century. He started his career in the Negro Leagues in 1950, but it was interrupted when he joined the military. Beckum eventually returned and played for the East St. Louis Giants. In 1966 he organized a youth baseball league in Milwaukee called the Beckum-Stapleton Little League. The league is the longest-running inner-city baseball program in the country. There are approximately 350 children who participate in the program and the league fields 25 teams.
The following day, Sunday, July 19, Hernandez Black and Beckum will be inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame at the Mother Kathryn Daniels Center (MKDC) located at 3500 W. Mother Daniels Way on the grounds of Milwaukee’s Holy Redeemer Church (COGIC), beginning at 1:45 p.m. The Brewers are once again partnering with the MKDC and the Church as a sponsor of the annual induction ceremonies and other initiatives. This event is open to the public.
In previous years, the Brewers honored pitcher/outfielder Ted Toles Jr. and outfielder Nathan “Sonny” Weston (2014); outfielders George Altman and Lonnie Harris (2013); pitcher/utility player Mamie “Peanut” Johnson and outfielder Porter Reed (2012); pitchers Charlie “Whip” Davis and Johnny Washington (2011); pitcher Ollie Brantley and first baseman/outfielder Clinton “Butch” McCord (2010); infielder Harold “Buster” Hair Jr. and catcher James “Jim P” Tillman Sr. (2009); pitcher Eugene ‘Dick’ Scruggs and first baseman James ‘Red’ Moore (2008); and outfielder W. James ‘Jim’ Cobbin and catcher Arthur Hamilton (2007) as they were inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame. During the Brewers’ first Negro Leagues Tribute in 2006, Buck O’Neil, James Sanders and Dennis Biddle were each honored.
The Milwaukee Bears, the city’s 1923 representative in the Negro National League, played only one season before disbanding, but featured some of the game’s most influential men, including Hall-of-Fame player/manager John Preston “Pete” Hill.
Fans will be able to purchase Milwaukee Bears merchandise prior to the game at Helfaer field. In addition, jerseys and caps worn by the Brewers players and coaches will be authenticated through Major League Baseball’s Authentication Program and will be available for fans to purchase prior to the day of the game. Jerseys and caps that are not pre-sold will be available for purchase through the Brewers Authentics Department, at the Brewers Authentics Kiosk (located behind Section 111 on game days), or the Brewers Charity Auction scheduled for a later date (Brewers.com/auctions).
Fans interested in purchasing or learning more about pricing and sizing information of jerseys and caps available are encouraged to contact the Brewers Authentics Department at email@example.com or by calling (414) 902-4479.
On Wednesday, July 8, you can join Mark and Debbie Attanasio for an intimate “Inside The Brewers” program at the Rubenstein Pavilion on Prospect Avenue.
The Q and A and discussion will be moderated by Brewers broadcaster Brian Anderson, and you’ll learn what it’s like to be behind the scenes and part of the Brewers ownership family.
The event is being presented by the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, and only 250 tickets are available for this very special evening. For more information on how you can secure your place at this special event, visit jewishmuseummilwaukee.org.
This event is being offered in connection with the current Jewish Museum Milwaukee exhibit, Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American, which opened earlier this month . Mark and Debbie Attanasio, along with Bud and Sue Selig, also serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the exhibit, which runs through September 7.
The exhibit consists of a core panel developed by and on loan from the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. It has been augmented by artifacts on loan from local organizations and individuals and explores how baseball has served as an arena in which values, identity, ethnicity, and race have been projected, contested, and occasionally solidified.
The exhibit celebrates well-known Jewish heroes such as Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, as well as iconic baseball pioneers such as Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Roberto Clemente, and Ichiro Suzuki. It also highlights baseball’s extended family of vendors, team owners, minor leaguers, amateur players, scouts, broadcasters, journalists, novelists and fans.
Here are some photos from the museum and the exhibit itself:
Today, I was fortunate enough to play in the Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Tournament at the beautiful Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.
This was the seventh year of Davey’s tournament, and the third year that it’s been at the Irish Course (in previous years, it’s also been played at Blackwolf Run). I was excited for the chance to be up there this week because the Irish Course is just adjacent to Whistling Straits, the site of the 2015 PGA Championship. We’re just about six weeks out from the tournament, which will take place August 10-16 and we could see they were already preparing, building the stands, hospitality and merchandise tents.
Upon check-in, participants were provided with assorted goodies, including a pullover, golf balls, a drawstring bag and beef jerky.
Then, the morning started off with golf pros walking the line at the driving range 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: Jay Aldrich, Don August, Sal Bando, Mike Caldwell, Craig Coshun, Jim Gantner, Telly Hughes, Chris Jacke, Daniel Lee Martin, Greg Matzek, Randall McDaniel, Greg Meyer, Damian Miller, Charlie Moore, Willie Mueller, Wes Obermueller, Ken Sanders, Tony Smith, Gorman Thomas, Greg Vaughn, Paul Wagner, Steve Woodard and Robin Yount.
My group consisted of our celebrity, former Brewers pitcher Jay Aldrich, Tom Hecht, our VP-Corporate Marketing, Jeff Harding, our Director of Creative Design & Strategy, and John Creighton from Johnson Controls, Inc.
The tournament was a shotgun start, so our group began on hole 11 a par three. We got off to a decent start, but it wasn’t until the front nine that things really began to click.
But, we had a ton of fun, which is the most important thing! A highlight was running into a flock of sheep, which help maintain the courses up at Whistling Straits:
We finished the day at -9 (62), 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.
It was a terrific day– wonderful weather, 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, followed by 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.
The entire presentation was very touching and moving 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!
Today, beginning at 9 a.m. CT, we’re offering a special ticket promotion in which tickets for Brewers vs. Braves game on Tuesday, July 7 will be available for just $7 for seating sections that end in “7.” This offer is valid today only and includes the following 14 seating sections: 107, 127, 207, 217, 227, 237, 307, 317, 327, 337, 407, 417, 427 and 437 (ticket offer does not apply to section 117).
In addition, we’ve added an extra twist to the promotion. Rows that end in “7” will also be eligible for the sale (ticket offer excludes Field Infield/Field Diamond box seating).
Tickets for the “777” offer will be available for purchase at Brewers.com/seven. Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. today and will be available for purchase until 9:57 p.m. tonight (777 minutes), or while quantities last. There is a limit of eight tickets per person.
The “777” ticket promotion for the 7/7 game is courtesy of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.
You may recall that during the offseason, fans across the league had an opportunity to win holiday gifts from mystery MLB Stars via Twitter.
This year, Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse was our #SecretBrewer:
Here’s Kyle, revealing his gift:
And announcing the winner, Eric Carlson, via Twitter & video message (while wearing a Brewers Santa cap–nice touch, Kyle!):
Immediately after the contest, Eric received a signed ball, along with a Kyle Lohse Bobblehead and we got the jersey to him earlier this season when he attended a game.
That meant there was just one thing left to do: play Golden Tee. [For the uninitiated, Golden Tee is a video game often found in restaurants and pubs. That means the playing field is pretty level, even for a scratch golfer like Mr. Lohse.]
During this homestand, we were finally able to line up the schedules and Kyle and Eric headed to Kelly’s Bleachers on Bluemound (right near Miller Park) to play Golden Tee Live 2015:
Here are some more photos from their day:
For those wondering, Kyle ended up winning the golf match, but it didn’t really matter because everyone had a blast.
“That was a lot of fun. Kyle’s a really cool guy,” Eric said. “I hope I get a chance to do something like that again sometime.”
Thanks to Eric for being such a great fan and following us on social media and thanks to Kyle for coming up with such a great prize and taking the time to play.
Every night, we post a photo of the Brewers lineup card on social media and each night, almost without fail, the questions and comments will roll in:
The answer, for those of you who don’t know, is Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron.
Recently, I sat down with Jerry to learn a little bit more about his craft and how he got started.
“I became a big-league coach with the Orioles in 1993. That was one of my jobs then, writing out the lineup cards, and I tried to do it the best I could. I tried different pens and my sister had a calligraphy pen. I grabbed that and it looked pretty good, so I stuck with it,” Jerry told me.
Jerry’s completely self-taught. He says he uses Sheaffer pens and the first one he bought had a little pamphlet that came with it.
“I just kind of looked at it and freelanced it,” Jerry said.
In addition to beautiful penmanship, the lineup cards have their own special color scheme and shorthand as well.
Many ask what the colors mean. It’s simple. Right-handers are in black. Lefties are in red. Switch-hitters are in green. Sometimes, for special occasions, he’ll also add an original flair, like red, white and blue for Fourth of July.
Jerry also explained how he treats the available players.
“I leave out the vowels on the guys that aren’t starting that night, unless there’s someone who has a good chance to make the Hall of Fame. If they do, then I’ll put their whole name on there. Last year, for example, Derek Jeter came in and didn’t start, so I put in J-E-T-E-R under extra guys. Same with Chipper Jones. When he was here, I gave him C. Jones in there instead of just the consonants.”
If there are players from Japan or China, Jerry will ask for those names to be written out for him and he’ll copy the characters in his calligraphy
“It started with Ichiro,” Jerry said.
The lineup cards have become treasured items for players and fans alike.
“Over the years, if someone does anything at all, even an opponent, if it’s their Major League debut or what have you, I send the card over. If it’s a first Major League win—our guy or their guy, I’ll give it to the pitcher. I try to make sure that not only our guys, but the other team, that their guys get them, too.”
Just this past Friday night for example, Kyle Lohse secured a 10-4 win against the Minnesota Twins to become the 14th pitcher in MLB history to beat all 30 active franchises–a huge milestone for sure.
“It’s an accomplishment I’m proud of,” Kyle said. “I’ve been around and that proves I’ve had some longevity and done some things in this game. So I’ll go home happy about that.”
Kyle also went home with the ball from the last out of that game, as well as the lineup card.
“I’m going to get it framed,” Kyle told me. “The handwriting makes it extra-cool, like a work of art.”
If that night’s card isn’t given away as a memento, typically fans are able to purchase them through Brewers Authentics, as game-used merchandise. I’ve even purchased one in the past. Right after my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I gave him a special blue lineup card from the Father’s Day’s day game. Like Kyle said–that it had Jerry’s beautiful penmanship on it made it all the more special and frameable as a work of art.
Jerry’s lineup cards have even garnered attention from the President of the United States.
On April 6, 2006, President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch on Opening Day in Cincinnati. At the time, Jerry was the manager for the Cincinnati Reds.
“President Bush had been the owner when I was with the Rangers, so he knew me and knew about my lineup cards,” Jerry explained. “He saw my lineup card, signed it and personalized it to me—without my even knowing it, so that was great.”
As you’d expect, Jerry tells me that he’s been asked to address Christmas cards and that type of thing from time to time and gladly he obliges. It’s become a hobby for him and it is obvious that he takes great pride in his work.
We know we’re lucky to have a talent like Jerry so we’re going to celebrate him. We’re giving you the chance to win tickets to a game where you’ll have the opportunity to meet Jerry, have him write out a lineup card for you, which you’ll get to take home along with one of his very own calligraphy pens.
All you have to do is follow us on Twitter (@Brewers) and retweet our designated tweet to enter.
Last week, Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced the launch of “PLAY BALL,” a significant new initiative that will encourage widespread participation in all forms of baseball activities among all age groups, especially youth.
The new program highlights the many ways baseball can be played, including outside of the traditionally-organized baseball leagues and tournaments, ranging from playing catch, stickball and Wiffle ball to participating in skills competitions like “Pitch, Hit & Run.” The initiative also will provide players, parents and coaches with the information and resources to help with proper play and instruction.
PlayBall.org serves as the initiative’s online home and is accessible via MLB.com, USABaseball.com and other partner websites. Coaching tips and parent resources will be prominent components of the site. PlayBall.org also gives parents, coaches and kids information on how to participate in Play Ball activities, links to youth-related news and events, and searchable maps to help find local community leagues. Health and safety information, including on MLB’s Pitch Smart and Play Sun Smart programs, also will be available.
Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “Play Ball is our largest effort to grow baseball and softball at the grassroots level, particularly among kids. The program will emphasize not only organized baseball and softball activity, but also the many variations of the game that do not require 18 players, umpires or a diamond. We are looking forward to working with USA Baseball and our partner organizations to encourage participation in the many ways to enjoy the National Pastime and to strengthen our support of traditional styles of play.”
USA Baseball executive director/CEO Paul V. Seiler said: “The launch of Play Ball is a landmark occasion for our sport. With the support of Major League Baseball, we are thrilled to take a more active role in the proliferation of our game and offer innovative resources to our national member organizations and their constituents. While the launch of Play Ball is the culmination of a lot of hard work, today represents the beginning of our partnership with MLB to grow the game at the grassroots level.”
Additionally, MLB and USA Baseball are launching the Play Ball Mobile Coaching App, a free tool for coaches at every level that is currently available for download via Google Play and will be coming soon to the Apple App Store. Coaches can access the App as guests, but by logging on with Play Ball credentials, users can create customized practice plans, organize team data, utilize Pitch Smart recommendations and more. The Play Ball Drills Library outlines information for hundreds of drills, along with important information such as difficulty level, recommended duration, diagrams and videos for each exercise.
One of the main features of PlayBall.org is “Baseball Near You,” a database of baseball playing opportunities, searchable by zip code. Inclusive of more than 10,000 leagues across the U.S., the feature identifies playing opportunities, as well provides contact information for player registration. Baseball Near You was made possible through the support of American Legion, Dixie Boys and Majors, Little League Baseball and Softball, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and the MLB Urban Youth Academies.
<iframe src=’http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=159312883&topic_id=6479266&width=400&height=224&property=mlb’ width=’400′ height=’224′ frameborder=’0′>Your browser does not support iframes.
MLB is partnering with its Clubs and various organizations to help grow the initiative’s awareness and accessibility through special events and promotional opportunities. USA Baseball, its national member organizations, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, will help promote Play Ball across their membership bases and within their communities. MLB also is launching MLB.com/playball, in conjunction with PlayBall.org, as a social media destination for fans to share their experiences during Play Ball activities.
Since April, Major League Baseball and Little League Baseball and Softball have joined up with ESPN for an initiative to promote youth baseball by bringing kids from local Little Leagues to MLB ballparks for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” allowing them to meet Major Leaguers and appear on air with ESPN broadcasters. This initiative will continue in support of Play Ball’s launch. Special youth events that showcase the different ways to play the game will be an important aspect of Play Ball. During All-Star Week in July, MLB, the Cincinnati Reds and Chevrolet are joining together to attempt to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the “largest game of catch” at the MLB Largest Game of Catch presented by Chevrolet.
In addition to Play Ball, Major League Baseball is committed to strengthening its existing relationships with youth-based organizations and growing its ongoing initiatives, such as Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) and the MLB Urban Youth Academy network, which gives America’s youth, especially those from underserved and inner-city communities, greater access to playing baseball and softball.
The Selig Experience, a state-of-the-art attraction at Miller Park to honor Commissioner Emeritus and former Brewers Owner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, has been open for just about a month now and fans have been lining up for it at every game.
In addition, over the last few weeks, former Brewers players who have found themselves visiting Milwaukee with opposing Clubs have made it a destination as well.
Last week, former Brewers Ned Yost and Dale Sveum (now manager and hitting coach, respectively) visited the experience when they were in town the Kansas Royals:
And today, Hall-of-Famer and former Brewer Paul Molitor, who is in town as manager of the Minnesota Twins, had the chance to view the Selig Experience with Selig himself.
Afterward, I had the chance to speak with Molitor about the exhibit:
The attraction certainly is fantastic and Brewers fans both young and old will find that it stirs up many emotions.
Visit Brewers.com/SeligExperience for more information, including how to register in advance to see it.
In anticipation of the friendly soccer match between Atlas F.C. and Newcastle F.C. that will be held at Miller Park, Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra and teammate Neal Cotts competed in a penalty kick shootout for charity at Miller Park this afternoon.
A goal was set up in the outfield with goalie Nick Vorberg, a former goalie for the Milwaukee Wave for more than a decade and a Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame member, manning the net. Vorberg currently serves as the volunteer assistant with the Marquette University men’s soccer team and as an assistant coach with the Wave. He is the Wave’s second all-time leader in goalkeeper wins.
Parra and Cotts competed in a best-of-five shootout to “ready the field,” as Miller Park will soon be converted to a soccer pitch configuration, with the two players taking alternate shots at the net.
Both players agreed that the loser of the shootout will donate $5,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice. Parra chose Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Fund as his charity, while Cotts went with Wisconsin Humane Society. Several teammates and coaches were also on hand to watch the event.
In round 1, Parra took the early lead, 1-0.
Neither scored in round 2.
In round 3, they both scored to make it 2-1.
In round 4, Parra clinched the win–and a $5000 donation to the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship fund–with one more goal.
However, everyone was a winner as it was announced that Wisconsin Humane Society would also be receiving a $1000 donation.
Here’s a video of the shootout:
Tickets are now on sale for Atlas. F.C. vs. Newcastle F.C. at Miller Park on July 14. Prices range from $25 – $70 and parking is $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the match. Fans can purchase tickets online at Brewers.com/soccer, in person at the Miller Park Box Office, or by phone at 414-902-4000.
In addition, all fans who attend the match will receive a voucher at the gate that will allow them to receive $15 off a future Brewers home game in the month of August. The voucher is valid for 14 games in the month, excluding August 1, 2, 8 and 15. And the first 10,000 adults 18 and over will receive a reversible soccer scarf featuring the logos and colors of the Newcastle and Atlas Clubs, courtesy of Potawatomi Hotel and Casino.
The match will start at 8 p.m. and the gates to Miller Park will open at 6:30 p.m. Parking lots will open at 5 p.m.
Brewers Community Foundation (BCF)’s “Hitting 4 the Cycle” bike to the ballpark event is just six weeks from tomorrow!
On Saturday, August 8, BCF will host this inaugural event that will allow allow bike-lovers and Brewers fans to combine their two favorite activities. Fans will be able to select one of four bike routes of various lengths that will all culminate with a fun-filled tailgate party and that night’s Brewers game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.
Participants will have the option to select 100, 88, 44 or 22 mile routes. The 100 and 88 mile routes will start at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison and end at Miller Park, while the 44 and 22 mile routes will start and end at Miller Park.
The cost to register is $50, with a $150 mandatory fundraising minimum. The money that is raised through the event will go to four organizations – the Urban Ecology Center, Dream Bikes, Penfield Children’s Center and the Miracle League of Milwaukee. Each registered rider will receive a commemorative T-shirt, a game ticket for the Brewers vs. Cardinals game that night and a invitation to a celebratory tailgate party prior to the game.
BCF also has some great fundraising incentives, including Brewers tickets, a cycling cap, entry into a raffle for this custom Domane 6 Series bike (donated by the Lowlands Group) for anyone raising $500 or more, and much more.
Learn more and sign up now at brewers.com/bcf.