Is there anything more authentically Milwaukee Brewers than a Bob Uecker Talking Bottle Opener? The answer is no. And while the bad news is you won’t be able to give such a glorious item as a gift for the beer-drinking Brewers fan in your family this holiday season, the good news is that it will be available – as one of Milwaukee’s 2018 giveaway promotions – to all fans next baseball season.
There's been no Brewers roster news yet to come out of the ongoing MLB winter meetings, but on Tuesday they stoked a different kind of hot stove for their supporters. The club announced a variety of promotions for next year, including six all-fan giveaways, an all-kid giveaway and 10 additional dates when items will be given to the first 20,000 people in attendance. The promotional schedule is highlighted by four bobbleheads, a miniature Replica County Stadium Bullpen Car and, of course, the Bob Uecker Talking Bottle Opener.
Given the massive popularity of the Bob Uecker Talking Alarm Clock ("Get up … get up … get outta bed! It’s late! Hurry up! Go! And turn me off"), which was a 2016 giveaway hit, it makes sense for the Brewers to go back to the priceless well of their iconic broadcaster with another amusing novelty item. And what better way for a team called the Brewers to once again celebrate "Mr. Baseball," who appeared in a number of humorous Miller Lite commercials in the 1980s, than with a talking bottle opener that dispenses various Ueckerisms while you pop open your favorite beverage? There is no better way.
The Bob Uecker Talking Bottle Opener all-fan giveaway game is on Aug. 5 against the Colorado Rockies. Write that down now. If you accomplish nothing else in 2018, at least make sure you get to that Brewers game and acquire a Bob Uecker Talking Bottle Opener.
As for the other promotions for next season, the club will continue to offer "Free-Shirt Fridays" for the first 20,000 fans, marking the fifth straight year of that popular giveaway. Three different t-shirts will be handed out during the season on select Friday home games. The designs include a long sleeve T-shirt on April 20, a short sleeve shirt on June 22 and a performance T-shirt on Aug. 24.
New next year, Milwaukee will offer "Free-Hat Fridays," with yet to be announced designs, on May 25 and July 20, to top off your Brew Crew wardrobe.
Besides the Bob Uecker Talking Bottle Opener, there are five other all-fan giveaways. The first one is on April 22 when the Brewers take on the Miami Marlins. All fans in attendance that day will receive an Eric Thames Bobblehead, featuring the power-hitting first baseman in the club’s retro pinstripe jersey.
On May 27, all fans at the afternoon game against the New York Mets will receive a bobblehead featuring Travis Shaw, aka "The Mayor of Ding Dong City." The Brewers third baseman is depicted holding his bat and preparing to deliver a speech; if his breakout 2017 season is an indication of things to come, perhaps it could be an MVP acceptance speech.
On June 24, everyone who comes to Miller Park will receive a multi-player bobble of the "gauntlet." This cool bobblehead features a pair of Brewers sluggers celebrating in the dugout and going through the "gauntlet" of teammates after circling the bases following a home run.
Last season, the Brewers gave out a replica jersey of Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, and the club will do that again this year with a replica Robin Yount Jersey. All fans who attend the July 8 game against the Atlanta Braves will take home a 1970s white replica jersey of "The Kid."
In 2018, 10 giveaways are designated for the first 20,000 fans in attendance. This includes the first promotion of the year, a Free-Shirt Friday on April 20, and continues with a lightweight hoodie on May 6, followed by the second Free-Shirt Friday on June 22, a custom Brewers tank top given out on July 3, the last Free-Shirt Friday on Aug. 24, and then a crew neck sweatshirt, the final scheduled giveaway of the season, on Sept. 16.
On June 17, Milwaukee will remember the days when relievers were shuttled to the field on a modified golf cart, with a Brewers Miniature Replica Bullpen Car giveaway. The first 20,000 fans to enter Miller Park for that game against the Philadelphia Phillies will take home a mini version of the County Stadium Bullpen Car, the same vehicle that once brought Cy Young Award Winner Rollie Fingers into games.
As with the Bullpen Car, the Brewers will make retro cool again with a Ryan Braun Starting Lineup Figurine. The giveaway features No. 8 in his iconic at-bat stance and also includes a baseball card. The figurine is available to the first 20,000 fans that come to the game on July 22 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On Sept. 9, the Brewers will host another all-kid giveaway, as fans ages 14 and under will receive a Kids Puzzle Cube.
The complete promotional schedule for the 2018 season will be announced at a later date. For more information about the 2018 giveaway schedule and information on various ticket plans, click here.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.