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Brewers re-launch 'Fans First' initiative

MILWAUKEE -- Opening Day starter Yovani Gallardo was among more than 100 Brewers employees working the Miller Park concourses Tuesday to surprise fans with gifts and other perks as part of the club's "Fans First" program.

Among the surprises were seat upgrades, autographed baseballs, Brewers merchandise and an opportunity to watch the end of batting practice from the field. The "Fans First" program was first introduced in the wake of Ryan Braun's suspension last season.

"The good news for us is we have a community that's enormously supportive of this franchise," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said Monday. "I've said it before and I'll say it again, as exhilarating as it was to win in 2011, it was heartening to see the way we pulled together last year in the face of adversity. The loyalty of people to this organization is truly outstanding. From folks who are taking tickets or selling tickets, to [club executives], everybody is really committed to and passionate about the organization. People really pulled together and to me, it felt as good -- maybe not the same kind of exhilaration -- but it felt as good as winning did in 2011.

"We have a lot going for us, but we don't rest on our laurels. We have a very hard-working group of people. Doug [Melvin, the Brewers' GM] didn't take a lot of vacations. The day before Thanksgiving, these guys are working. Christmas, these guys are working. We're working hard to keep everybody's trust and commitment."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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