Tapping the Keg: Miller Park set for Opening Day
– Miller Park lots open at 10 a.m. CT, and the stadium gates open at 11 a.m.
– Three Wisconsin-born athletes from last month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi will throw ceremonial first pitches. Matt Antoine of Prairie du Chien was a bronze medalist in the Skeleton competition, and Brianna Decker of Dousman and Jessica Vetter from Cottage Grove were members of the silver-medal-winning U.S. women’s ice hockey team. Decker is on the University of Wisconsin women’s ice hockey team, and Vetter is an alumna of the university.
– For the 10th consecutive year, Joseph Attanasio, the father of principal owner Mark Attanasio, will sing the National Anthem, surrounded on the field by his family.
– My Opening Day preview package:
- In the mainbar, Ryan Braun says the key to the Brewers’ season will be keeping core players on the field. Obviously, that didn’t happen last year, and Braun was right in the middle of it.
- Last season was a bummer for Yovani Gallardo on and off the field, and in my profile ahead of his fifth consecutive Opening Day start, he says he’s focused on putting together a better 2014.
- On a lighter note, Bob Uecker sat down with me on camera to share some of his Opening Day memories, including one painful day at Wrigley Field.
- In a first-person piece for the site, Brewers closer Jim Henderson remembers his first big league opener last year.
Some tidbits, courtesy of Brewers PR man Mike Vassallo:
– The Brewers open their 46th season as a franchise and 17th as a member of the National League. The franchise is 24-20-1 all-time on Opening Day, going 9-6 at home (3-2 at Miller Park) and 15-14-1 on the road. The Brewers are 8-7-1 on Opening Day since joining the National League in 1998.
– The Brewers are taking on the Braves on Opening Day for the second time in franchise history. The Braves won the previous meeting, 2-1, on 3/31/98 at Turner Field.
– Gallardo will be making his fifth career Opening Day start, trailing only Ben Sheets (6) in franchise history among pitchers. Gallardo will be the first pitcher in franchise history to make five consecutive Opening Day starts.
– Jeff Bianchi, Scooter Gennett, Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and Wei-Chung Wang made an Opening Day roster for the first time in their Major League careers.
Enjoy the day, everyone!
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