By Bob Brainerd Special to Published Jan 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Home isn't necessarily where the heart is. Sometimes, it's where a team in professional sports trades you.

Brookfield native Dave Eyrise understands the plight of today's modern-day athlete and acts as a concierge of sorts to assist ballplayers and their families settle in and settle down. His business creation Athletes On The Move lends a helping hand to buy, sell and find shelter during and after the sports seasons so his clients can focus on hitting, pitching, running, dunking and scoring.

"I was basically introduced through word of mouth and it's how it's been working for all these years," said Eyrise. "It has grown into an incredible level where people will call us out of the blue that we don't know and say, 'So-and-so told me about you.'"

Eyrise, who was coaching a women's fast-pitch club at Marquette University in the '80s, shifted gears in 1990 to pursue opportunities in real estate. Through various connections, Eyrise got to know former Marquette basketball standout Tony Smith who was off to L.A. to begin his NBA career with the Lakers.

"He asked me if I could help him with his housing out in Los Angeles," said Eyrise. "I sat down with myself, figured out a way to do it and said 'Hey, there's a niche here.'"

Eyrise connected a second time when a friend made a hookup with former Brewers pitcher Steve Sparks. The niche was expanding, and Athletes On The Move was baptized, the brainchild Eyrise claims he was the only one doing for the first decade he was in business.

"I knew someone who worked at the Bucks ticket office, and he introduced me to Ray Allen and some of the other players coming in," said Eyrise. "Ray was a rookie, and we helped him find housing."

Initially, Eyrise focused on finding a temporary place to call Milwaukee home for athletes who were only setting up shop during their seasonal work with the local teams. But as his clients began to migrate, so did the opportunities to relocate other star athletes.

"It kind of morphed into business outside of Milwaukee because once these guys got traded to another team they would say, 'Oh, hey, you know my guy Dave Eyrise can help you out.' It kind of mushroomed all by word of mouth."

Eyrise now serves hundreds of athletes making a living in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL. He digs in to help a player sell a home, purchase a new one or lease temporary quarters during the season or pre-season. It isn't out of the norm for a major leaguer with a family to juggle three dwellings at once.

"People don't realize the lifestyle these guys live, it's crazy!" said Eyrise. "A lot of these guys are flying around with their heads cut off at some point. It's a whole different world out there and we are trying to help educate players."

Brewers pitcher Shaun Marcum is a client of Eyrise and might have been in scramble mode without assistance last season when he was traded from the Blue Jays to Milwaukee. Marcum has his home base in Kansas City, but also had to unload a downtown Toronto condo, not to mention shift his spring training digs in Florida to a place in Arizona.

"When I got traded to Milwaukee, my financial advisors set it up, they know Dave through other clients they have," said Marcum. "It started with phone calls to know what we like and what we are interested in and then he started sending us information left and right on places we might be interested in."

Eyrise worked with Marcum and his wife Stephanie to help narrow the field and place the newest Brewers pitcher in a neighborhood that fit their needs. The Marcums, who have two sons, comfortably settled in an Elm Grove home during the summer months, and Eyrise was always close by to help the transition remain smooth.

"It seems like he's nonstop, on-the-clock working ... he's someone that's easy to get a hold of anytime when you need him," said Marcum. "The first night we moved into our home in Milwaukee, he had our groceries all moved in and ready to go."

Indeed, Eyrise doesn't just run and hide once a player unpacks his belongings for his extended stay. All of the necessary amenities are running at full strength by the time one of his clients turns the key and opens the door.

"I've had players who come off the road and find the electric bill wasn't paid by family members who are managing their money," said Eyrise. "We make sure everything is up to date."

His office in Brookfield needs only a desk and a chair. Eyrise is a solo act but his reach extends throughout the country and now all over the world, after helping place former Marquette basketball players earning a living overseas in places like Israel, France and Spain.

"I have a network of realtors across the entire country, an incredible network where I've hand-selected everybody, interviewed each realtor and explained to them, 'This is what I need from you and this is how you interact with each person,' because they need to be aware of their lifestyle," said Eyrise.

Sensitive to an athlete's privacy, Eyrise will take the time to probe a player and his spouse if applicable to gauge their needs for a safe and secure home-away-from-home. His follow-up mission becomes acting as the eyes and ears of his clients, not to mention eye-balling a property in person to ensure the buyer doesn't have to beware.

"If we see something we might like, we'll send Dave over to look at it because it's really hard to tell from pictures and make sure the pictures are not deceiving," said Marcum. "That happened to me in spring training a few years ago before I met Dave. Everything looked great on the pictures on the internet, but once I got down there, it wasn't even close.

"If you get traded during the season, he's on the first flight out heading to the new city you'll be playing in. For me, living out of a suitcase too, to have someone like Dave around when I'm out of town and my family needs something, he's a phone call away and right there to help with anything."

"I'm always on call 24/7 ... thank God my text bill is unlimited because it gets a little crazy at times," added Eyrise. "I've actually been called to help ship a baseball glove from a guy's home to make sure it got sent FedEx the next morning to the stadium so he had it for the game."

Attention to detail is what separates Eyrise and makes him a reliable go-to guy in the world of sports housing. Some of his biggest clients are also some of the biggest names in professional sports. It's awfully nice to have business testimonials from the baseball likes of Albert Pujols, Jimmy Rollins, Marcum and Torii Hunter; Devin Harris and Brevin Knight from the NBA and Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush.

It goes viral from there. One example had former Minnesota Twins outfielder Jacque Jones hooking Eyrise up with former teammates Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins.

"Teams don't pick up costs for players, so we're trying to teach these guys to be more frugal with their money in that when they plan their housing every year, be smart about it," said Eyrise. "When they buy a home or sell a home, we want them to make sure they're doing it in their hometown and not in the city they work, because a lot of the contracts today are not guaranteed. A player can get traded tomorrow, so unless they know they'll be somewhere four or five years, we'll tell them to look at seasonal housing."

With spring training set to kick start in less than a month, the mission for Eyrise is to secure a place to call home for baseball players getting set to stretch, catch, hit and throw in Florida and Arizona. The travel and frantic negotiating timeline begins to crunch in the coming weeks, leaving little time for Eyrise to enjoy watching his clients perform on a court, diamond or field.

"I've neutralized my favorite teams a little bit, a lot actually, because you might be watching your favorite team against a guy you just helped move," said Eyrise. "I have a lot of Cardinals and Brewers clients, so I just sit there and watch the game and enjoy it."

Bob Brainerd Special to
Born and raised in Milwaukee, what better outlet for Bob to unleash his rambling bits of trivial information than right here with

Bob currently does play-by-play at Time Warner Cable Sports 32, calling Wisconsin Timber Rattlers games in Appleton as well as the area high school football and basketball scene. During an earlier association with FS Wisconsin, his list of teams and duties have included the Packers, Bucks, Brewers and the WIAA State Championships.

During his life before cable, Bob spent seven seasons as a reporter and producer of "Preps Plus: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Show."

And the joke is, Bob has a golf shirt from all four Milwaukee television stations. Sad, but true: Bob has had sports and news anchor/reporter/producer stints at WTMJ, WISN, WDJT and WITI.

His first duty out of college (UW-Oshkosh) was radio and TV work in Eau Claire. Bob spent nearly a decade at WEAU-TV as a sports director and reporter.

You may have heard Bob's pipes around town as well. He has done play-by-play for the Milwaukee Mustangs, Milwaukee Iron, and UW-Milwaukee men's and women's basketball. Bob was the public address announcer for five seasons for both the Marquette men and women's basketball squads. This season, you can catch the starting lineups of the UW-Milwaukee Panther men's games with Bob behind the mic.

A Brookfield Central graduate, Bob's love and passion for sports began at an early age, when paper football leagues, and Wiffle Ball All Star Games were all the rage in the neighborhood.