By Gregg Hoffmann Special to Published Aug 04, 2005 at 5:20 AM

{image1}The Brewers will continue their quest to finish .500 or better, and some past heroes of Milwaukee baseball will be honored, in August.

August often is referred to as the "dog days" in baseball -- a grind it out period between the All Star break and the climax of the September pennant races.

It helps to play as many games at home as possible, and the Brewers have 14 dates at Miller Park during the month.

Manager Ned Yost has made it very clear he wants the players to remain focused on each game during these dog days: "We've got a huge task ahead of us. We're trying to do something that a team hasn't done here for 12 years. We cannot do it without focusing on what we need to do today."

The Brewers meet some topnotch opponents during the month. Tony LaRussa's Cardinals come to town Aug. 8-10. The Marlins, who are still in the NL East race, are at Miller Park Aug. 23-25, followed by the Braves for a weekend series.

During that Braves series, the past in Milwaukee baseball will be cited. Former Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan will be honored on Aug. 26 in what has been designated as Milwaukee Braves Turn Back The Clock Night.

Brewers' players will wear the uniforms of the Milwaukee Braves and prices will be rolled back.

On the next night, Aug. 27, Bob Uecker, who played for the Braves and has been a longtime radio announcer for the Brewers, will be cited for his 50 years in baseball.

"Fifty years flies by when you have fun and love what you do," Uecker said recently. "I am extremely fortunate to have been in baseball for my entire adult life and I look forward to celebrating my 100th year in professional baseball in 2055."

Baseball is not the only sport buzzing in August. The Packers start their pre-season schedule with an Aug. 11 game against the Chargers. They also play at Lambeau Field on Aug. 26 against the Patriots.

The two NAFL teams in the area meet twice in August. The Marauders play in Racine against the Raiders on Aug. 6 and then host the Raiders at Hart Park on Aug. 27.

College and prep football camps will open in August and games will soon follow. The Badgers open what will be Barry Alvarez's last season as coach on Sept. 3 at Camp Randall.

In Aussie Rules football, the Bombers start the second Metro League season of the year in August and play two MAFFL games during the month. They travel to Atlanta on Aug. 13 and host Cincinnati on Aug. 27.

Wave United has games at Uihlein Soccer Park on Aug. 6, 13, 18 and 24. All are tied in with various ethnic festivals in town.

NASCAR racing comes to the Milwaukee Mile with the NASCAR Midwest/USAC Spring/Governor's Cup Weekend, Aug. 26-28. Finally, a Chinese basketball team is in town during the month. Details of the Beijing Ducks' tour can be found in the Hot Tix section of this column.

You can read more about these events, and others, in the Weekend Sports Buzz every Thursday during August on OMC.

The Name Game

Geoff Jenkins had a turn-around month in July and earned the Sports Buzz Athlete of the Month honor. Jenkins had a 16-game hitting streak during the month ... The Nashville Predators signed Vern Fiddler, Libor Pivko and Jerred Smithson, all of whom played for the Admirals last season. The team also signed former Admiral, goaltender Chris Mason. Tony Butler had three hits and three RBI to lead Oak Creek to an 11-8 win over Ashland in the state high school summer baseball championship game. Oak Creek has won an unprecedented three straight summer titles.

Beyond Milwaukee Sports

The AAA Division American Legion baseball tournament started Wednesday and runs though Sunday in Chippewa Falls. The AA Division tourney runs Friday through Sunday in Kimberly, and the A Division plays Thursday through Sunday at Prairie du Chien. Northwoods League action will end Aug. 14 and playoffs start Aug. 15. The college level league has teams in La Crosse, Madison, Eau Claire and Wausau, in addition to Minnesota and Iowa. Mike Wilkinson, the Badgers' MVP this past basketball season, played for the Utah Jazz in summer league action. He hopes to make the Jazz's roster. Trevon Hughes, a standout guard at Delafield St. John's, committed to attend UW and play basketball for the Badgers.

Hot Tix

If you're ready for some football, go to Horlick Field in Racine this Saturday night to see the NAFL rivalry game between the Marauders and the Racine Raiders. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. The Packers' training camp also continues this week in Green Bay.

Wave United plays the St. Louis Steamers at 7 p.m. Saturday at Uihlein Soccer Park.

Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief returns to Milwaukee from Aug. 8-10 for his Sidney Moncrief Back2Basics All-Star Basketball Academy. The three-day camp, held at New Testament Christian Academy, emphasizes the importance of basketball fundamentals while maintaining a fun atmosphere for learning for boys and girls seven and older.

Interested parties can pick up an entry form at the Bucks Bradley Center Office or register online at For more information call (501) 340-3830.

Basketball players are even coming from China to learn more about basketball in Milwaukee. The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) China Council and the Bucks announced the "MMAC China Council Bucks - -Ducks Business Basketball Exchange," which is hosting a professional Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) team during a 12-day trip that started this week.

The Beijing Ducks basketball tour is the first time a professional Chinese basketball team has traveled to the U.S. The team will receive instruction from top-level college coaches, including Bo Ryan, University of Wisconsin-Madison men's basketball coach; Tom Crean, Marquette University men's basketball coach; and Rob Jeter, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball head coach.

Larry Harris, general manager for the Bucks, said that the Ducks will play an exhibition game against a team of college stars and aspiring professionals, which will be known as the Midwest USA team, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Bradley Center. Former Marquette All-American Bo Ellis will assist with coaching the Midwest USA team.

The Ducks will also play a second exhibition game at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, in Madison at the UW Field House. Ryan will coach the opposing team. Both games are free and open to the public.

The Brewers are in Philadelphia for a weekend series before returning to Miller Park Monday to face the Cardinals.

Gregg Hoffmann Special to
Gregg Hoffmann is a veteran journalist, author and publisher of Midwest Diamond Report and Old School Collectibles Web sites. Hoffmann, a retired senior lecturer in journalism at UWM, writes The State Sports Buzz and Beyond Milwaukee on a monthly basis for OMC.