MILWAUKEE -- The home of the Brewers took a break from hosting baseball on Saturday to hold an event with a more meaningful purpose.Miller Park set an attendance record for a movie premiere when 28,442 people showed up to watch a screening of "Honor Flight," a documentary following a group of volunteers who help World War II veterans reach Washington D.C. to see its war memorials in person. "I've been anxious waiting, like a bride waiting for a wedding," said Julian Plaster, one of four veterans featured in the film. "I'm very excited today about this. I'm honored that they asked me to take place in this documentary." The movie relays the stories told by Plaster, who was a cook on a burial disposal ship in the Navy from 1942-45, and his fellow veterans as they made their journeys to the nation's capital. Plaster, a Milwaukee native, said it was "wonderful" that so many people came to Miller Park to take in a message he said needs to be heard. "I think it brings to light for everybody, they can see what has gone on, what the World War II veterans went through," Plaster said. "And also to let people know that all veterans, whether in the Korean War, Vietnam, wherever they are, they're going through the same thing that we went through, and we got to remember them. We also got to remember the families that are left behind." Although the movie focuses on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight division located in Milwaukee, there are six Honor Flight hubs in Wisconsin and 120 total throughout the country. Started in 2005, Honor Flight has sent 81,000 World War II veterans to Washington D.C. free of charge, with Stars and Stripes Honor Flight having been responsible for 2,130 of those veterans since it was started by Joe Dean in November 2008. Dean, the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Chairman of the Board, said the movie helped veterans open up regarding their experiences during the war. "We recognized through this process so many heroic stories, but we didn't want to lose the fact [that] what's also heroic is that these men and women came back home and found a place for what they had seen and been forced to do, spiritually and mentally," Dean said. "They raised families and were active participants in our community. ... That in and of itself is extraordinary, that they were able to come home and find a place for this." Following the trips, Dean said some of the veteran's families often contact him to let him know their parents or grandparents tell stories they've never told before upon returning. Plaster said it's not always easy to talk about his time during the war, but the movie provided an outlet for him to feel comfortable enough to do just that. "You don't forget that," said Plaster, recalling his experiences. "It's something that stays with you a long time. It gives a different prospect about what war's all about. There's nothing beautiful about it. It's a very cruel thing for everybody that's concerned." Saturday's event featured various activities to celebrate World War II veterans, including fireworks and multiple flyovers. Brewers players also helped welcome patrons to Miller Park on the video board, and Corey Hart said he and his teammates were "so proud" the ballpark was used for such an occasion. "This really is a special thing," Plaster said. "Today is a great day for me and all of us."
Rogers not upset by bunt that broke up no-no
HOUSTON -- Is it a breach of baseball etiquette to bunt to break up a no-hitter in the fifth inning of a two-run game?Apparently not. Because nobody on either side of the Astros-Brewers rivalry seemed to mind when Houston's Scott Moore dropped a bunt single to dash a no-hit bid by Milwaukee's Mark Rogers on Friday night. "I wasn't really thinking about [a no-hitter] that early, but I was a little bit surprised he bunted, to be honest with you," Rogers said. "I didn't expect Scott to bunt, and I've known him for a while." In fact, they used to share an agent. Since then, Rogers and Moore have met as Minor League opponents. "I've faced him quite a few times, and he's never bunted on me," Rogers said. "But he put down a good one. They're trying to get baserunners at that point. ... More power to him." The Brewers were nursing a 2-0 lead in what became a 4-3 loss. Moore said he got the idea when the teams met 10 days earlier at Miller Park. "In Milwaukee, I noticed that [third baseman Aramis] Ramirez was playing back and I tried to bunt there as well," Moore said. "It wasn't a pitch for me to bunt and I pulled it back. My first at-bat [Friday] he was playing me back again, so my second at-bat I took a peek and he was still back. It's a 2-0 game and we're trying to get baserunners, and it worked." Was it a breach of etiquette? "If they're down two runs, his job is to get on base," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. Rogers brushed it off. "It was a close game and they're trying to get baserunners, so I should have done a better job of getting off the mound and making a play on it," he said. Rogers was denied his first Major League win when reliever John Axford suffered a blown save. However, the starter was pleased with a seven-inning outing in which he allowed only one run on three hits. Rogers struck out eight batters and walked two. He said Friday's outing was "the best I've felt" in the big leagues. "I felt good," Rogers said. "I worked a lot during the week on fastball control, throwing my sinker to both sides of the plate, and I think that helped me with all of the lefties in the lineup. I felt like I was able to pitch 'in' and that helped me open up the outside of the plate later in the game."
Rogers and catcher Jonathan Lucroy also changed their pitch selection as the game wore on. Rogers threw almost exclusively fastballs in his early innings, then mixed in his slider and curveball late.
"I was trying to take them off that fastball a little bit," Rogers said. "To be able to get [breaking pitches] over for strikes, that's made a big difference for me. I'm going to keep working and continue to try to get ahead of these guys with both pitches -- or all three."
Roenicke received a positive report after right-hander Shaun Marcum's start at Class A Wisconsin on Friday. It was Marcum's first game action since he suffered tightness in his elbow in mid-May.Marcum will return to Miller Park this weekend to throw a bullpen session before pitching again for Wisconsin on Wednesday, on the road in Beloit, Wis. If he successfully reaches the 60-pitch mark in that game, Marcum could rejoin the Brewers' rotation during the Aug. 20-22 series against the Cubs. Rickie Weeks tied a franchise record by hitting three doubles in Friday's loss. It was the 34th three-double game in Brewers history.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.