Brewers mourn Joseph Attanasio
Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger has released a statement about the passing of Joseph Attanasio, the father of club owner Mark Attanasio and a fixture of the past 10 home openers at Miller Park:
“Joe was a huge part of the Brewers family, and was revered by everyone in the organization,” Schlesinger said. “He loved his family and the Brewers, and he will be greatly missed. Opening Day, and the traditions that accompany that occasion, will never be the same, and our thoughts are with the Attanasio family during this difficult time.”
A military veteran turned entrepreneur who moonlighted later in life as an actor, Joe Attanasio sung the National Anthem before every Brewers home opener from 2005-14, beginning with the year his son assumed ownership of the Brewers from the Selig family. Team officials in charge of pregame ceremonies in ’05 were in panic mode because they couldn’t locate their talent minutes before he was to go on.
“They didn’t know if he could sing, what was going to happen, and then they can’t find him. Well, he’s up the first-base line taking pictures of the players,” Mark Attanasio said in 2008. “They were afraid he was going to be nervous, and he was just loving the whole thing.
“After the performance, they said, ‘I guess he’s not nervous’ and ‘I guess he can sing.’ So he’s done it a couple of times since then.”
He did it a couple more times, too, always flanked by his wife of 60 years, Connie, the Mark Attanasio family and sometimes by another son, Paul, a renowned producer of films and television series.
Donations can be made in memory of Attanasio to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation for the support of the Translational Cancer Research Laboratory or the University of California Regents to support the work of Dr. Brandon Koretz.
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