By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 08, 2020 at 4:03 PM

As of last Friday, it’s official. Brewers’ MVP Christian Yelich is going to bat for the Leinenkugel team.

The partnership, in which Yelich will serve as a brand ambassador for the 153-year-old Wisconsin brewery, marks the first time MolsonCoors, which owns Leinie’s, has teamed with an active MLB player.

The relationship was launched in a virtual happy hour via Instagram with Dick Leinenkugel and Yelich, who were joined by more than 1,000 fans.

The two talked beer, Brewers and why it’s fun to play in Milwaukee.

"I like the fan base," Yelich said, Summer Shandy in hand. "My first two years as a Brewer were amazing, (and) the atmosphere at Miller Park is great. It’s awesome going to the stadium knowing you’re going to play in front of 40,000 fans every night."

Yelich and Leinenkugel have had a connection for a while, and the brewer recently donated $10,000 to the Brewer’s program that provides meals to healthcare workers in the Milwaukee area.

"As a Wisconsin brand, to be able to align with one of the premiere players in the league, who also plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, is amazing," said Dick Leinenkugel. "It strengthens our relationship with fans in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest."

According to a blog post from Leinie’s, the company, "Leinie’s and Yelich will work together digitally, but the brand foresees the slugger starring in point-of-sale and paid media campaigns, as well as participating in social media events."

But baseball fan Dick Leinenkugel also wants the relationship to go deeper.

"Eventually we want to get him up to the brewery in Chippewa Falls to meet our employees and be at the Leinie Lodge," Leinenkugel said.

"The family connection has always been important to the brands, and has that special connection with our drinkers," he says. "It was a natural extension for us when everyone was starting to shelter in place – we wanted to connect with our fans."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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.