MILWAUKEE -- From 700 proposals, the Brewers whittled down to three finalists in their "Design a YOUniform" contest and opened online balloting Tuesday, moving one step closer to one fan's uniform being worn by the team for a pair of exhibition games.
Fans can view the three designs and vote for their favorite at Brewers.com/uniform. That tally, along with an internal panel of judges that includes Brewers closer John Axford, will select the winner.
The three finalists are Ron Verrecchio of Catonsville, Md., Ben Peters of Richfield, Minn., and Nicholas Fouts of Madison, Wis. They were invited to attend Brewers On Deck on Sunday, Jan. 27, to discuss their designs and see the winner unveiled.
That winning design will be worn on the field by the Brewers twice -- on Friday, March 22, against the Cubs at Maryvale Baseball Park and on Saturday, March 30, against the White Sox at Miller Park. That latter game is the Brewers' final tune-up before their April 1 regular-season opener against the Rockies.
Verrecchio, Peters or Fouts will get to see his design in action at the March 22 game courtesy of the Brewers, who will provide airfare and tickets for two plus $1,500 for other expenses. He will also get to select the game-worn uniform and cap from one player that day, and 10 T-shirts and hats featuring the winning design.
The contest began last fall, when the Brewers called for ideas for an alternate uniform.
"The response to this initiative was tremendous," Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said. "It's a contest that really has not been replicated before, and we were excited to see the creative efforts that the fans put into their designs."
The fan vote will remain open until Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. CT and will count as one vote among the panel of eight judges. Besides Axford, the Brewers' panel includes general manager Doug Melvin, Schlesinger, Brewers senior director of merchandise branding Jill Aronoff and representatives from Majestic, New Era and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.