Racine native Marcus Hanel is Brewers' bullpen catcher. That means it's his job to make sure the Brewers' pitching staff stays warm.
This morning, however, Hanel is making sure 300 of the 370 kids at Milwaukee Public Schools' Brown Street Academy will stay warm this winter.
Hanel hits Brown Street, 2029 N. 20th St., this morning at 9, along with Brewers officials and MPS superintendent Gregory Thornton, to give each child a coat and to talk with students.
In case you're not all that familiar with this integral, albeit behind the scenes, Brewers staffer, Hanel was drafted out of Horlick High in 1989 by the Pittsburgh Pirates and spent 11 years in the minors, ending his career in 1999 at AAA Tucson.
Hanel might be unknown to most fans in Miller Park, but he is no stranger to community service. Since 2005, his Koos for Kids (which takes its name from Hanel's handle) has raised money to help disadvantaged, special needs and terminally ill children.
UPDATE: I heard later that Hanel showed up at Brown Street Academy with 370 coats, one for every kid at the school!
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.