Brewers pitching coach Chris Bosio joins baseball’s fight against cancer by hosting a charity golf tournament. The event takes place Thursday, October 8th at Ridgeway Golf Course in Neenah, Wisconsin.
YOU ARE INVITED!
Cost is $100 per player. A number of baseball celebrities will be participating. The growing celebrity roster includes: Chris Bosio, Tony Kubek, Gorman Thomas, Jim Gantner, Jerry Augustine, Don August, Brad Fischer, and Ed Sedar.
To pre-register, or for more information, contact John Leopold at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 920-831-5625.
Legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell has been in the news lately after it became public that he has inoperable cancer. While the cancer will silence the voice, it cannot touch his legacy. A legacy of character and faith that even outweighs a legendary career.
In 2007, I was in my room at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. It was only moments after I had been introduced as the new television voice of the Brewers. My mind was racing with pride and doubt, excitement and fear. I was sitting on the bed wondering what in the world I’d gotten myself into…trying to digest just how dramatically my life was about to change. Then, the hotel phone rang. I picked it up expecting the Front Desk. Instead, a deep, booming, unmistakable voice came pouring through. “Mr. Anderson, this is Ernie Harwell calling from Michigan.” I was shocked and silent. This was a voice I knew well. I had spent hundreds of hours listening to Ernie’s play-by-play. I had a dozen cassette tapes of his games and had mimicked his delivery down to the “looooong gone” during my early years in broadcasting in San Antonio.
There was “the voice” on the phone. My first congratulatory call came from my broadcasting hero Ernie Harwell!
His call came eight years after I spent a memorable evening with him in Arlington, Texas. Lance Parrish, then the Tigers hitting coach, knew my admiration of Ernie and arranged a meet and greet during a Tigers/Rangers series. We met at the team hotel and five minutes into our conversation, Ernie invited me to spend the evening “shadowing” him at the ballpark. He said, “It might do you some good, if you don’t mind hanging out with an old-timer.” I jumped at the chance and was right by his side from pre-game prep to the post game wrap. Ernie was so gracious and willing to share. But when the day was done, our paths did not cross again – until the phone rang at the Pfister.
“Brian, I remember you.” Ernie continued. “I want to congratulate you, young man!” “I’m sure you have a lot to think about but I want you to know that you belong in the big leagues. Welcome to the club!” Ernie then went on to tell me how much he loved Milwaukee and how much he missed traveling there after the Brewers changed leagues. He told me how nervous he was during his first year with the Brooklyn Dodgers and warned me that I’d be fighting some “jittuhs.” He admitted that he worked his entire career with a healthy dose of paranoia about not being good enough (Crazy, I know!) and shared his affection for the Midwest despite growing up in the South, like I did. “You’re going to love working up here,” he said. “The people are friendly and passionate about their teams. Just be honest and be yourself and you’ll fit right in. You might want to buy a heavy coat, though!”
I have always thought of Ernie Harwell as the perfect broadcaster. As I’ve gotten to know him, I’m finding out he’s as close to a perfect man as we mortals can be. Before I met Ernie, I wasn’t sure how one lives in this fantasy world without losing one’s family, faith and peace of mind. He has kept all of these intact at a “hall of fame” level too while soaring to the top of his industry. As impossible as it sounds, he’s a better person than he is a broadcaster.
Every time the Brewers travel to Detroit, I call him. He joined me on the air in 2007 during Justin Verlander’s no-hitter against the Brewers. “That’ll teach ya!” he says. I spoke to him in June and he was pleased to tell me that (at age 91) he just signed a 10 contract with a 10 year option as a spokesman for a large corporation. Classic Ernie!
Ernie asked us not to refer to him in the past tense just yet. He certainly has a lot of living to do. He is as personable and pleasant now as he has always has been. When I heard the news of his illness, I wasn’t sad. I smiled. I know where his “next adventure,” as he puts it, is headed.
So if you’re wondering what you might say to Ernie Harwell right now? Don’t tell him how much his broadcasting meant to you. Tell him thanks for setting a gold standard for character.
Mr. Harwell, thanks for taking the time to make an impact on me. I’ll do my best to follow your lead, both on the air and on the ground.
This week on the blog, I want recognize a hero in our Brewers community, Principal Jim DeBroux. Mr. DeBroux is going through a tough recovery right now. It was called to my attention by Bridget Wenman of Perspectives Training and Consulting in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Bridget writes: In July, the Principal of Mosinee High School, Mr. Jim DeBroux fell off a ladder working on a project in his home. He became paralyzed from the neck down. At this point, he is currently undergoing treatment at Froedert Hospital. The accident has hit the small Mosinee community quite hard. Mr. DeBroux was one year away from retiring as the High School Principal and was well respected and loved by all of his students and staff. As you read through the guestbook on his Caringbridge site you will see that he has touched the lives of so many people, both young and old.
On the first day of school this year, Mr. DeBroux was able to dictate a letter to his students and you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium when it was read. He was an incredibly inspiring educator/administrator and did not want to miss the opportunity to impact his students as he does every year on the first day of school. Even in the midst of dealing with the greatest challenge of his life, he put the kids at the Mosinee High School first.
The students and staff of Mosinee High School are putting together a fundraiser in hopes of providing the family with a van that he can utilize upon his recovery. Please join me in supporting this venture.
For more information on his story, click Jim DeBroux’s Caringbridge website.
I’m calling on my extended Brewer family to help support a fundraiser that is close to my heart.
The I Back Jack Foundation was organized to support the funding of research for neuroblastoma and related childhood cancers. The “Jack” in “I Back Jack” is my neighbor and friend, Jack Bartosz. He’s a second grader still battling this brutal cancer after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2005. He’s a cool kid with a great family that could sure use some support.
There is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma and effective treatment does not yet exist due to a lack of funding for research.
That’s where we can help. On September 14, the I Back Jack Foundation will host a golf tournament and dinner at the beautiful Chenequa Country Club in Hartland, Wisconsin. Tee time is 12:00pm. The dinner and auction begins at 5:30pm.
I hope you will click the I Back Jack website for more information and consider joining us for some great golf, great food and great prizes to help raise money to support a foundation that is very important to me and my family.
All the best,
My TV pards, Bill Schroeder, drops by the House of Blogs this week for a Fantasy Camp rundown. I participated in Fantasy Camp in 2008 and had a blast! Many organizations say they deliver a “big league” experience but very few do. The Brewers Fantasy Camp delivers! It runs exactly like Spring Training runs for the real Brewers…trust me, I’ve seen ’em both. Hope you’ll join us this year, you’ll have the time of your life!
You’ve dreamed it…Now go for it!
Hey fans, Rock here…Just wanted to invite you all to Brewers Fantasy Camp this winter in Phoenix. I have been running the camp each of the last six years and it’s a great way to get the baseball juices flowing in anticipation of the upcoming season at Miller Park. The weather is great, the grass is green, and the experiences and friendships last a lifetime.
Fantasy Camp is a week long baseball experience at the Brewers spring training facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Men and women, ages 30 and over, live like a major league baseball player for the week and are coached by former Brewers players. Coaches include Gorman Thomas, Jim Gantner, Mike Fetters, Pat Listach, Chris Bosio, Rob Deer, Don Money and others.
Campers play two games daily and wear authentic Brewers uniforms that you get to take home. There is a locker with your name on it in the Brewers spring training locker room and your uniform is washed a hung in your locker each day.
The week includes roundtrip airfare to Phoenix, hotel accommodations, daily breakfast and lunch, and nightly happy hour at the hotel. There is Q &A with the coaches each night plus trivia questions for prizes. One of the most popular days of the week is the coaches game on Saturday when campers get to play a game against the staff. You also get to play a game on the field at Miller Park during the summer. Imagine standing on the mound, in a big league ballpark, facing one of your favorite Brewers’ legends or taking a swing at a pitch thrown by a World Series hero.
Fantasy camp is the ultimate baseball experience for the true baseball fan.
For information: Click here, brewers.com/fantasycamp or call 262-679-3612.
Get your game face on and join us this winter in Phoenix from January 31 to February 7th.
I look forward to seeing you in Phoenix,
Fantasy Camp Director
Recently, we received a note from Dennis Waterman concerning the sound quality for Brewers TV. Since it seems like a common problem in some markets, I decided to post FS Wisconsin’s response to Dennis’ question below:
I have sent this to various places a couple of times, but nothing happens. Hopefully you can address it. AGAIN today the CROWD MIC is MUCH LOUDER than the announcers. We can barely hear Bill and Brian over the crowd noise.
Thanks for your note. This is not the way we produce the telecast or how we send the show to fans. The problem is something typically found when the cable company in a given area accidently mixes together two different audio channels — one intended for viewers and the second that local stations use to run highlights without hearing our announcers.
The second channel of sound, called “natural sound,” is accidentally overlapped by the cable operator. We’ve been in touch with the cable provider in your area with how they can correct this problem.
Thanks for letting us know and for watching Brewers baseball.
FOX Sports Wisconsin
Normally, we answer email’s directly in our “Ask The Truck” feature. But, in this case, a number of fans have asked about camera positions at Miller Park. So, talented director Michael Oddino was kind enough to post this entry:
Hey everyone, Michael Oddino here. Thank you for your questions this year. It has been fun for us behind the scenes to connect with our viewers.
The fan’s view of the pitcher/batter has been debated for as long as television has covered America’s past time. It became a hot topic again in recent years when ESPN decided to use the dead center look in their coverage.
The offset center field camera became the standard in the 1950’s. With few exceptions its always been offset into left field and slightly elevated. It can be anywhere from 10 to 30 feet above the field. At this height it’s necessary to position the camera off center to prevent the pitcher from blocking the view of the batter and catcher. Critics charge the offset look gives a skewed view of balls and strikes. The common argument is that the umpire stands directly behind the plate why would the center field camera not be directly in line with home plate.
I’m sure you’re asking why the camera wasn’t placed higher back in the early days. The commonly held belief is it came down to the cost of building a platform tall enough to make a dead center camera possible. A dead center platform is generally about 45 feet in the air.
Today there are only three MLB teams that utilize the dead center look. The dead center look is not without its detractors. While you may be able to better see if the ball went over the plate its generally believed it’s harder to judge the height of the ball.
Ron Gralnik, FSN Vice President, is a supporter of the dead center camera. He feels it takes the guesswork out of judging balls and strikes. He does acknowledge though that most modern ballparks don’t have the infrastructure to support the dead center look. The extra cost and extra effort to build the necessary platform just isn’t worth it.
Even ESPN discontinued using the dead center look when they realized how much labor and how many complications were involved in making it happen. They also found they couldn’t get the dead center camera at the same uniform height in every park.
Personally I’m 50-50 on the topic. I see the pros and cons of both looks. We don’t use the dead center look at Miller Park because the existing platform is built in the offset position. We are very fortunate to have a overhead camera positioned directly over home plate that aids us in giving the fan at home a great perspective of where the pitch was located.
At the end of the day I don’t think it matters which camera angle is used it’s not going to stop any baseball fan from saying “Come on ump where was that pitch?”
Until next time…Michael