By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 26, 2011 at 5:14 AM

John Steinmiller, Jr. has been around sports his entire life.

His father, John Steinmiller Sr., is the Bucks' vice president of business operations – one of that team's longest-tenured employees and the subject of a 2009 "Milwaukee Talks" interview – and often brought his son along to the office.

Today, Steinmiller Jr. is the Brewers' manager of media relations, where he works with director of media relations Mike Vassallo and media relations coordinator Ken Spindler.

An aficionado of history, jerseys, logos, credentials and bobbleheads, Steinmiller took some time out during a recent homestand to talk about his job, his family his interests ... and, of course, the Brewers. You know you're making history, John; part of the first-ever father-son Milwaukee Talks duo.

John Steinmiller: I know! This is big!

OMC: OK, so let's start at the beginning: you're a local guy, born and bred here in Milwaukee. What's your back story?

JS: My back story? It's pretty simple, really. I was born and raised in Whitefish Bay. I went to Marquette High School then Marquette University. I worked at the Journal Sentinel, doing agate in the sports department, as well as media relations stuff for Marquette and now I'm doing my graduate work at the University of the Milwaukee Brewers.

OMC: Growing up in a sports family, was it always part of your "plan" to end up in the business?

JS: Kind of, sure. Growing up around sports, you get to see a lot. My dad was always so nice about including me, bringing me to the office, having me help out with whatever needed to be done. I did a little of everything. I helped him sort mail. I was a ball boy. I helped fold towels. Picking up after things. As I got older, I was able to help out in the public relations department, first with Cheri Hanson and later with Dan Smyczek. They were both really great to me, letting me help out while I was in high school and learning the ropes. In college, I got to do a little more and well ... that's what got me to where I am now.

OMC: When you got to college, were you pretty sure that this was what you wanted to do?

JS: I was pretty sure, yeah. I knew it was a tough field to get into. I knew it was going to take some luck. There were jobs before I got this one that I applied to and I didn't get. I knew it was tough. It was frustrating. This (the Brewers) was a lot about being in the right place at the right time and it worked out really well. I knew it was what I wanted to do and I stuck with it.

OMC: Your days are pretty long. What's it like on the other side of the press box?

JS: I know it sounds cliche, but really, no two days are ever the same. Again, I know it's cliche but every day really is different. Sure, there is a little bit of a routine for us, but that routine can be broken up by the unexpected on a daily basis.

OMC: Like last week when an off-day became Ryan Braun Day...

JS: Exactly. That totally threw off the plan for the day in terms of stuff that we usually do on off-days, like get ready for the next homestand, work on updates -- just the mundane, behind-the-scenes things that nobody really thinks about but need to get done.

OMC: Game days can get into something of a groove.

JS: Whatever you expect to happen often doesn't happen. Yeah, you have a basic routine for day games, a basic routine for night games and so on. You have a little routine for road trips and the off-season but you also have to plan for it to get thrown off at any minute. Whatever you expect to happen often doesn't happen.

OMC: Is that a good thing, though?

JS: I think so, yeah. It's difficult to prepare for the unexpected but that's how it works. The more you do it, the better you become at it.

OMC: There's obviously a bit of a separation, a line if you will, between reporters and players – and rightfully so. You spend a lot of time with the players. What kind of relationships do you develop?

JS: Between Spring Training and other events, just going through the season, traveling ... you get to know them very well. It's like a big family. We kind of pick on each other here and there. It goes beyond the players, too. It's the entire staff. It's the front office. It's the media. Coaches, trainers, clubhouse staff ... everybody. It's just a big, close group and we get to know each other over the course of a season and in many cases, over the course of the years. We spend a lot of time together. The relationships are great.

OMC: In your job, relationships have to be key.

JS: You have to have a good working relationship. There needs to be trust, a lot of it, especially with the players. My job is to get the players to trust us on certain media things. That comes from having good relationships with the media. We can transfer that trust, those relationships, to the players who in turn trust to do our jobs.

OMC: OK, loaded, cliche question: In seven years, what is your favorite moment?

JS: That is a cliche! But we're even now. It's so tough to pick one, you know that.

OMC: The 2008 playoff run was memorable for us, probably for different reasons than you guys.

JS: That entire season, honestly, was so fun. One of my best memories from that season was the road trip right after the All-Star Game. We went 7-0, sweeping San Francisco and won four straight in St. Louis. It was right when we started to make our push. We had just gotten CC. That road trip was so fun. It was one of the best in team history. That was fun to be a part of.

OMC: You're right. So much of the focus goes to those last few weeks with CC pitching every three days, the final game, Braun's home run.

JS: It was really, really fun. I can't even describe it to people. There were so many cool memories but yeah, in the end, it comes down to that final run. Winning the final day. Waiting for the Mets. And then, for us, staying up something like 40 straight hours after that game to finish the post-season media guide, the playoff notes and handle all the things that go along with a team playing in the post-season.

OMC: It would be hard to top that.

JS: Trevor Hoffman's 600th save is right up there. It was such a special night, even more so because Trevor was such a terrific and respected guy. That was a fun experience. There are little day-to-day things, too, that sometimes make you pinch yourself and realize "hey, this is pretty cool, I go to work every day at a ballpark." It's pretty neat.

OMC: Like any job, it's got its downsides, though, right?

JS: It does. It does. There are really, really long hours. Nights, weekends, holidays. You miss a lot. You have to be incredibly dedicated. You have to be ready for anything to happen at any time. You never know what's going to happen. A trade, a signing ... you have to be on your game at all times. That can be difficult.

OMC: Is time is the hardest thing for some people to understand about this business?

JS: It's hard for people to see, yeah. But it's part of why we're here, right? The hours are long but it's the trade off of getting to come to work at the ballpark each and every day.

OMC: No cheering in the press box. Can you still be a fan?

JS: Yeah, we can. I want the team to win. To do this, I think you have to be a fan. As the team does better, it becomes more fun. It's easier to do your job, even though there are more demands on you. You want the team to do well though because you have something invested in this. Others around you have something invested in it, too. The more wins, the more fun. It's definitely more enjoyable. I've always been a Brewers fan. It's a little different now but I still want what's best for the team.

OMC: When you're not working, what do you like to do?

JS: Oh, there's a lot. When I'm not here, I love spending time with my friends and family. I'm lucky to have a very close family and a really great network of friends. They're all great. Very supportive people. I love to enjoy this city. I like going out to dinner. I like cooking dinner, too. I love going to Bucks games. I just try to enjoy as many of the things this city has to offer as possible. It's a good place to be.

OMC: You and your friends recently started a group, too?

JS: We did. Young Milwaukee. It's basically a group of young Milwaukee professionals who work to support our community. We did our first event last year, the Young Milwaukee Holiday Gala. We collected toys and raised money for the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative. It was a really good time. We're doing another event in July to raise money for the Milwaukee Youth Football League. It's something we wanted to do because we knew there were people are age who wanted to give back and make a difference in the city. This is a nice way to be able to contribute no matter what means you have.

OMC: Could you see yourself leaving Milwaukee someday?

JS: I could see it happening, yeah. It would have to be the right opportunity, though. I like it here, but if the opportunity came along, I think it could happen.

OMC: Being a native, would it be a hard decision?

JS: No doubt. It would be hard. This is home. Then again, though, you always look to further your career and I wouldn't rule it out.

OMC: Be it in your own travels or even here at Miller Park, you get to see a lot of different media groups. Milwaukee is a little different than other markets. Do you notice that, too?

JS: It is different. I don't know really how to describe it. The media here is a little more laid-back than in other cities. That's not in any way meant to say that reporters here are lazy or don't work hard or anything like that. They do. They're very good at what they do. There isn't the same level of cut-throat competition. It isn't pushy. I think the Milwaukee media is different because it sees things different. I feel like we're nice here. I'm not sure how to say it, really. I think we're always looking for the human side. Yes, it can be negative at times, like anywhere, but there is definitely a different vibe.

OMC: Working in sports often means a lot of travel. How much are you on the road?

JS: Mike Vassallo takes most of the trips, but myself and Ken go on a couple each year. I do three a year. I'm actually going on the next one. That's fun. I enjoy it. That's a time that you really get to bond with the players and the guys covering the team. We get to know each other a lot better and that camaraderie makes doing the job easier. It's great to see the other ballparks, how other teams do things and kind of get some ideas for back here.

OMC: And get other bobbleheads ...

JS: Yes. Lots and lots of bobbleheads.