Originally founded as the Seattle Pilots in 1969, the Milwaukee Brewers have brought Major League Baseball to Wisconsin since 1970. The team played its first 30 seasons at Milwaukee County Stadium; Miller Park opened its gates in 2001, featuring field dimensions mapped out by legendary Brewer Robin Yount. Today, up to 41,900 fans pack into Miller Park to cheer on their home team as well as The Famous Racing Sausages and Bernie the Brewer, who soars down his iconic slide to celebrate home runs or cheer himself up after burning popcorn inside his elevated left-field clubhouse.
Drafted into the Philadelphia Phillies straight out of high school, Gary Bennett spent 13 seasons as a major-league catcher, a career that included a stint on the 2006 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Gary is one of several baseball specialists whose tutelage has contributed to Slammer's Training Academy's assistance in more than 250 collegiate scholarships and 30 major-league prospects. Each instructor enriches pupils' pitching and batting skills with private sessions, team instruction, and clinics and camps designed by major leaguers throughout the fiscal year.
When attempting to hit a baseball traveling 90 mph or faster, every fraction of a second matters. That’s why Baseball Vision Program’s hitting guru Chris McKnight emphasizes the process of seeing the ball as the pitcher delivers it and tracking it on its way to the strike zone—the earlier a player’s eyes “pick up” the ball, the more time he or she has to react. By training players’ eyes and the reactions of their hands to be in unison, Chris gives them a valuable tool not just at the plate, but in the field. A veteran coach with experience as a manager in the NCAA and as a scout, Chris has developed successful training methods with more than 3,000 students.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
The Madison Mallards take to the diamond each summer for three months of collegiate baseball, gathering players from across the country as they can hone their skills for a shot at the pros. The Mallards took home Northwoods League championships in 2004 and 2013, cheered on by some of the most devout and rowdy fans in the league. Fans that helped the team set a collegiate attendance record in 2012, drawing in more than 217,000 fans.