Why I Love Milwaukee: Generational Brew Crew

She was already a fan, but the Brewers’ embrace of her grandson deepened her bond.

Who: Valerie Lambrecht has been a Brewers season-ticket holder since the ’80s. Now her grandson, who has autism, has been providing “Godzilla powers” to the players, who have responded by developing friendships with their 10-year-old fan.
Where: Miller Park

I was a senior in high school when the Brewers made it to the 1982 World Series. My friends and I would go to opening day every year, both to watch the game and to check out the players in their baby blue uniforms.

My father got me hooked on baseball. After he moved to California 25 years ago, and before he died in 2016, I’d call him after every game I went to at County Stadium or Miller Park – I still get their names mixed up.

This past season has been the most special to me, not because of the playoff run or Yeli’s MVP, but because the game finally connected with my grandson. The players started getting to know Nigel through Brewers on Deck and seeing him at batting practice.

When they first met, Nigel wouldn’t make eye contact. Now he has full-blown conversations with them. Everyone is family to the amazing group of men on this team.

I know, no matter what, my grandson is safe at Miller Park. Baseball is something now that he has a passion for.

The Brewers have gone generational in my family.

Valerie Lambrecht, as told to Adam Rogan

Did you like this story? Check out our previous Why I Love Milwaukee stories.

“Why I Love Milwaukee: Generational Brew Crew” appears in the April 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning April 1, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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Adam is a journalist who recently returned to his Wisconsin home after graduating from Drake University in December 2017. He interned with MilMag in the summer of 2015 and has been a continual contributor ever since. Follow him on social media @Could_Be_Rogan