The Milwaukee Brewers hosted their annual "On-Deck" event Sunday at the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee. My two kids and I attended the fan fest a few years ago when it was held at Miller Park, but hadnít been back since. The future Mrs. would have joined us yesterday but she was off visiting the old stomping grounds of Normie, Cliff and the boys, so the kids and I went to check things out.
The Frontier Airlines Center is definitely a nicer place to hold the event. While Miller Park obviously had the space and WAY shorter concession lines, it did get a bit confusing as to where the stages were located and who was signing when. At the FAC they had everything in one big convention hall. There were three autograph stages on each side of the room, and the area in between was loaded with photo ops, interactive stages and a nice kids' zone. Unfortunately it was targeted more toward the littler ones, but my kids' disappointment was minimal.
We picked up our "grab bags" when we got there and were rewarded with two mini Don Money bobbleheads and a full-size Randy Wolf bobble, all of which I needed for my collection. We also scored a John Axford bobble, but heís already in my collection and closet. Right after opening that loot we bumped into an old high school buddy who had scored an authentic jersey in his grab bag. Not bad.
From there we walked over to where Nyjer Morgan would be signing autographs. Each player was only signing 250 and I could tell when we got to the stage there was no point in waiting in line, so I just snapped a couple pics of Mr. Plush and we moved on. According to my son, his lips were starting to pucker so we had to hit the refreshment line.
This was EASILY the most annoying part of the day. I wonít go into details on the time we waited, or why, but letís just say that if Iím at a Brewers fan fest waiting in line that long Ö the entire 1987 team better be waiting at the end of the line to sign autographs!
After that long wait we decided to head back over to Stage 4 and see if we could get an autograph from John Axford, who would soon be taking the stage. We were pretty far back in line and even the Brew Crew staff told us we probably werenít going to get one of the 250 vouchers, but we decided to hang and give it a shot. While we were in line to see "Ax" they announced the winning numbers for those who could get autographs from Zach Greinke and Robin Yount. My son had put in for Greinke and both my daughter and I were in for Mr. Yount. Unfortunately we were 0-3.
We were glad we stuck around because someone who had an Axford voucher also won the Greinke lottery and handed his voucher to my daughter as he walked off, so we were in! Since it was one autograph per voucher I told the kids Iíd let them go up alone and I would snap a pic of them with John, which I did. As good karma would have it -- and as I thought it may -- they werenít keeping track of who had handed in vouchers once on stage so my son got one, too!
I really only went over there to get one specific autograph. I knew Iíd have to be lucky to get Greinke or Yount, and anyone like Axford would be a bonus. My goal was the 3:30 free autograph signing by Eric Farris, whom I wanted to meet and thank for taking the time to do a "5 Tweets With" interview for Peace & Glove. We were third in line and about 45 minutes early for Mr. Farris, which was nice because it finally gave the kids a chance to sit down and look through their grab bags Ö which we found also included two vouchers each for a game in April!
While sitting in line I realized that Corey Hart was answering questions on the interactive stage almost right next to us. My daughter was the self-anointed photographer of the day, so she and I left to go take a pic or two of Mr. Hart. As she was moving around trying to get a good pic, the guy with the mic asked if I would like to ask Corey a question. Sure.
ďMr. Hart, first of all I would like to thank you for all you have done for the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans. I read an interview a few years ago that in the off-season you are Mr. Mom, so I have to ask, do you still drive a Honda Odyssey and have you had the chance to look at the new model yet?Ē
This cracked the room up, of course, but left me disappointed when he answered that he now drives a truck and blah blah blah. I heard him say something about how his wife does everything from spring training through the end of the season, but I stopped listening when I realized there would be no opportunity to pass on a business card.
Shorty and I went back over to sit with my son and wait for Eric. He showed up right on time and the line was moving. He signed the balls for both my kids and I introduced myself and thanked him for doing "5 Tweets." He said it was fun and that he was happy to do it.
We stopped for pictures and autographs from a couple of rising stars whose names I donít even know and then split. It was a good day, but after five hours of walking around we all were ready to call it quits. To top it off, when we got home, the future Mrs had returned and YES she bought me a t-shirt on her trip of the greatest. T.V. Show. Ever. Hereís a few pictures the short one took yesterday Ö
Jonathan Lucroy waiting for pic's
Ron Roenicke answering questions
Yovanni Gallardo doing an interview
The kids and I with an 'up-and-comer'