Milwaukee Brewers

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran on June 16, 2009

Hank Aaron died last Friday at the age of 86. “Hammerin’ Hank” was known for breaking Babe Ruth’s long held homerun record and for his advocacy for civil rights. Aaron started his Major League career with the Milwaukee Braves and moved to Atlanta with the team in 1965.

But the baseball legend played for another Wisconsin team, the Eau Claire Bears.

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Don Sutton, a Hall of Fame pitcher who was a stalwart of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation spanning an era from Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela, died Tuesday. He was 75.

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, said Sutton died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a long struggle with cancer. The Atlanta Braves, for whom Sutton was a long-time broadcaster, said he died in his sleep.

Three Wisconsin sports teams and Microsoft are pledging to invest in startup companies owned by Black and Latino people across the state and nation.

The Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and Green Bay Packers are calling their joint effort the Equity League. Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said the inflection point was in August, when Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey severely wounded a Black man, Jacob Blake, while trying to take Blake into custody.

Chuck Quirmbach

The major league baseball season that’s been greatly affected by COVID-19 continues for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers lost their final game of the shortened regular season Sunday. But when two teams next to them in the standings also lost, the Brewers won the final seed in the expanded eight-team National League playoffs.

At Miller Park, the Brewers kept their team apparel store open late, and a small but consistent stream of shoppers celebrated by buying gear.

Robin Davis left with a bagful of items.

Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

The coronavirus forced another change in Major League Baseball’s schedule, bringing the league’s total to eight teams affected in the first nine days of the season.

Friday’s game between St. Louis and Milwaukee was postponed after two Cardinals employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

The league announced the schedule change hours before the game was to be played. It said the postponement in Milwaukee is “consistent with protocols to allow enough time for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted.”

Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Brewers start their coronavirus-shortened 60-game baseball season Friday evening in Chicago against the Cubs. For now, there won't be any fans in the stands, either at away games or July 31, when home games start at Miller Park. 

But baseball will try to make it sound like fans are at the stadiums.

The Brewers just wrapped up a few weeks of what would normally be called spring training, except this year it was summer camp. The team webcast some of its intrasquad games at Miller Park, complete with announcers describing the action.

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee Brewers officials say a three-week training period for the baseball team will begin July 1 at Miller Park.

The workouts will be in advance of a 60-game season Major League Baseball announced this week, after the start of baseball’s typical 162-game season was delayed three months due to COVID-19 concerns.

The 60-game season will begin July 23 or 24. But fans in Milwaukee, and in other cities, will not be at the ballparks, at least not now.

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee Brewers Principal Owner Mark Attanasio says he still thinks major league baseball will play a half-season, starting in July. But he says no fans would be at games due to worries about COVID-19.

Attanasio and other Brewers executives made it clear to the Greater Milwaukee Committee Tuesday that there are significant challenges to meet before there can be a mid-summer opening day.

>>Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Chuck Quirmbach

The five-county sales tax that's helped pay for the Miller Park baseball stadium will end March 31. That's after a vote Tuesday by the board of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, better known as the Stadium Board. 

But due to the coronavirus outbreak, it's still unclear if fans will be allowed into Miller Park during this year's Milwaukee Brewers games.

In the early 1990s, the Milwaukee Brewers' Racing Sausages were cartoon characters that raced in a video on the Jumbotron.

Like other fans, graphic designer Michael Dillon would cheer for his favorite sausage in the animated race. But that wasn't enough for him. So he pitched an idea to a Brewers executive: having the sausages run into the park.

"I'll make them; I'll run in them; you won't have to do anything," Dillon told the executive.

Dylan Buell / Getty Images

While Wisconsin sports fans may be reeling from the Bucks' tough loss in the Eastern Conference Finals, Lake Effect sports contributor Shaun Ranft says fans should take solace in what was an extraordinary season by all accounts.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Brewers begin their regular season Thursday afternoon at Miller Park, with an opening day game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers say they've been using grow lights, but not a controversial weed-killer, to get the field at Miller Park ready for play.

There are more than two acres of turf on the playing field, including what's in foul territory. As usual, the Miller Park roof was open almost all winter, and the grass did not fare very well, says the Brewers' Director of Grounds Michael Boettcher.  

Chuck Quirmbach

Madison-based American Family Insurance says it will create a multi-purpose office in downtown Milwaukee in the next two-three years.

The project was announced Tuesday — the same day the Milwaukee Brewers announced that American Family is buying the naming rights to what is now called Miller Park.

The team says after the end of the 2020 baseball season, the Brewers naming rights deal with MillerCoors will end, and the name Miller Park will disappear. American Family hasn't revealed the new name for the stadium, which has been called Miller Park since it opened in 2001.

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Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee Brewers Manager Craig Counsell is praising his team, even though the Brewers fell short of making it to the World Series. Milwaukee lost Game 7 of the National League Championship Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, Saturday night at Miller Park. The Dodgers go on to the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, beginning Tuesday.

Following the Brewers loss, Counsell spoke to news reporters.  He said, "We won our division [National League Central]. We finished one game from the World Series. "

Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Brewers will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park Saturday night, with a trip to the World Series at stake.

The Brewers defeated the Dodgers Friday night, 7-2, to tie the best-of-seven National League Championship Series at three games apiece.

Milwaukee hadn't scored many runs in the previous few contests. But Friday night, the Brewers broke through for four runs in the first inning to wipe out the Dodgers' 1-0 lead. Milwaukee added single runs in the second, seventh and eighth innings.  

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Lauren Sigfusson

George Webb restaurants gave away free burgers Thursday in celebration of the Milwaukee Brewers winning 12 games in a row. The Brewers’ winning streak ended Oct. 13, but 12 was all they needed to get their fans a free prize.

If you couldn't make it to one of George Webb's 30 locations from 2-6 p.m. on Thursday, they were giving away vouchers that are redeemable for one free hamburger Oct. 19-31.

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Camacho's Bar, a watering hole in Milwaukee's Walker’s Point, was the place of reunion for about 15 locals last Friday night. Many were shouting in Spanish at the TV as Cuban American Gio Gonzalez threw the pitch to kick off the Brewers first game of the National League Championship Series. 

Robert Stokes Sr.

Baseball is considered America’s favorite pastime. It’s always drawn fans to the ballpark for food, beer and fun. It’s no different for fans going to Miller Park, especially since the Milwaukee Brewers’ latest winning streak has revamped Milwaukee's love for baseball and the team. However, most of the fans filling the seats in Major League Baseball, like the players, are predominantly white.

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Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers resume their battle for baseball's National League Championship Monday night at Dodger Stadium. They'll do so with the best-of-seven championship series tied at one game apiece, following the Dodgers 4-3 victory Saturday night at Miller Park.

The Brewers took a 3-0 lead in the contest, but the Dodgers scored two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings for the win.

The Brewers loss broke the team's 12-game winning streak, which included Friday's night's series opener that Milwaukee won 6-5.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers recently swept the Colorado Rockies, three games to none, to move on to the National League Championship Series. They take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a best-of-seven series that opens Friday. At stake is a berth in the World Series — the Brewers first since 1982. 

"It’s easy to see why folks would side with the Dodgers in the best-of-seven, but at this point, Milwaukee’s won 11 in a row, you can’t discount them — it’s going to be a series, you’d assume. But yeah, it’s going to be difficult," says sports contributor Shaun Ranft.

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Jared Wickerham/Stringer/Getty Images

The Brewers are back in town Friday after sweeping the Colorado Rockies in the first round of the playoffs. So, it’s no surprise that there's an increase in demand for Brewers tickets. But tickets aren’t so easy to get this late in the game — and for reasons you might not expect.

I called a couple places to see if I could get tickets to Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park. First stop? The Brewers ticket office.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers were feeling the love Sunday as fans watched, and then celebrated, the team's victory over the Colorado Rockies. As the Brewers advance to the National League Championship Series, Milwaukee sports bars also have reason to celebrate.

One of them is Buck Bradley’s Saloon and Eatery, a bar that shuttles Brewers fans to and from games. WUWM's Teran Powell stopped in to get an idea of how Brewer mania has impacted business.

Angelina Mosher Salazar

The Milwaukee Brewers won their first playoff game 3-2 on Thursday. Diehard fans showed up to Miller Park hours before their game against the Colorado Rockies. Fans were busy playing music, grilling and tailgating.

“Do you want to see my tattoo to show you I really love the Brewers?" said Donald Matovich, a tailgater who loves the Brewers so much that, yes, he has a tattoo to prove it.

Brewers Baseball Takes Over Wisconsin

Oct 4, 2018
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The last month or so of the baseball season has been about defying expectations. The Milwaukee Brewers seemed like they were well on their way to winning a wildcard berth in the playoffs. But then they went on an eight-game winning streak and won the division instead.

And the Chicago Cubs, prohibitive favorites in their wild card game against the Colorado Rockies Tuesday night, lost 2-1 in 13 innings. So, the Rockies will be at Miller Park Thursday to open the playoffs. This is the Brewers' first playoff appearance since 2011. 

Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Brewers are in the playoffs. The team last made it to the Major League Baseball playoffs in 2011. One thing that's changed since then is Milwaukee's increased use of analytics, or data analysis.

Analytics, or sometimes called sabermetrics in baseball, has been around for decades. But it came to more prominence in the 2000s. In the 2011 movie "Moneyball," an economist played by Jonah Hill explains one of the concepts: "I believe there is a championship team that we could afford, because everyone else undervalues them. Like an island of misfit toys."

Jonathan Daniel/Staff/Getty Images

Updated 3:50 p.m.

The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs, 3-1, on Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The contest ended game 163 and was held to break a tie for the National League Central Division crown.

The Brewers broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the eighth inning, with run-scoring singles by Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun. Other batting stars were Orlando Arcia, who had four hits and scored two runs, and Christian Yelich, who had three hits, and the other Brewers RBI.

Susan Bence

Brewers fans have plenty of food options. Eight kitchens produce everything from concession-style faire to pasta with romesco sauce. And, this season a new food cart appeared at the stadium.

ROOTS For the Home Team Milwaukee offers salads served by high school students. And, some of the ingredients come out of gardens the teens tended.

Miller Park Roof Rules: It's More Than The Weather

Aug 3, 2018
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Tom Lynn/Stringer, Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers' Miller Park has a roof hotline – 414-902-4636 – that tells callers the weather and if the roof is open or closed. That way fans know what to expect when they head to a ball game. But how do the Brewers decide whether the Miller Park roof is open or closed at game time?

That’s a question Bubbler Talk received from listener Lila Johnson.

Wisconsin Sports Teams are Building for Future Seasons

Jan 22, 2016
Mike McGinnis / Getty Images

Even though we don’t have the Packers to watch any more this season, there’s been a lot to take in – and discuss – in recent days regarding sports in Wisconsin.

Veteran catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, made waves this week when he suggested that a trade could be the best thing for him and the Brewers. Some believe Lucroy is asking for a trade, while others felt the conceit could decrease his value as a player.

Brewers Go Into "Sell Mode" for 2015 MLB Trades

Aug 7, 2015
Mike McGinnis / Getty Images

When baseball season opened, there were high hopes for the Milwaukee Brewers.  They’d had a rough end to their 2014 season, but the pundits thought they had the potential to bounce back.

But, as we know by now, that didn’t happen – it’s been a struggle all year for the Brew Crew, and that was reflected when the team sent a host of players elsewhere in the last few weeks. 

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