Home-Brewed

A local prospect makes Milwaukee fans proud
September 30, 2007

WHO
Vinny Rottino, a 27-year-old Brewers utilityman and a fan favorite, despite only one hit in seven at bats through Sunday after a Sept. 1 call-up.

WHY THEY LOVE HIM
He's from nearby Racine, Wis. "I used to take him to County Stadium when he was two years old," says Rottino's father, Tony, a high school psychologist. "He'd just roll around in the bleachers."

HOW THEY LOVE HIM
At his first game Rottino attracted scores of fans who waved banners, screamed wildly and spelled out his first name, letter by letter on T-shirts. Says Rottino, "It gave me goose bumps."

HIS FIRST 15 MINUTES
In 1997 Rottino landed on the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports section. He and a friend were in the nearly deserted leftfield bleachers at County Stadium when Rottino scrambled to grab a controversial Mo Vaughn home run ball. "It was questionable fair or foul," says Rottino, who thought it was foul. "I grabbed the ball and threw it back. The next day there's a picture of me holding the ball, and Gerald Williams, the leftfielder, is pointing at me." A blown-up print of the photo hangs in his parents' den.

HIS PEDIGREE
The 6-foot 195-pounder was a Division III All-America at Wisconsin--La Crosse, where he holds five school records, including hits (80) and home runs (15) in a season. Rottino went undrafted but latched on as a free agent with the Brewers and was their 2004 minor league player of the year. A career .303 hitter in the minors, he helped beat the Astros on Sept. 5 with a two-run double.

HIS FUTURE
Though he's versatile—he has played catcher, all infield positions and the outfield—don't expect to see him on the roster should the Brewers get to the playoffs. Not that Rottino's complaining. After all, he says, "I'm living the dream."

The Pop Culture Grid

BARRETT RUUD Bucs LB Move to Mexico and get a disguise South Park Portable DVD player Green beans Rowers going by my condo at 6 a.m. Now I Can Die in Peace CHRIS GBANDI FC Dallas D Cry myself to sleep Grey's Anatomy iPod Sushi A bad driver Maxim (Lindsay Lohan cover) JEFF FRANCIS Rockies P Stay out of the news Lost iPod Mushrooms Midweek football analysis on TV How to Talk to a Widower PHOTOTANNEN MAURY/EPA (ROTTINO PLAYING) PHOTOJEFF HANISCH/US PRESSWIRE (ROTTINO HEAD SHOT) PHOTOJAMES LANG/US PRESSWIRE (PEDROIA) PHOTOROB HOLT/SPORTPICS (RUUD) PHOTOGARRETT W. ELLWOOD/MLS/WIREIMAGE.COM (GBANDI) PHOTOLARRY GOREN/ICON SMI (FRANCIS) PHOTOJAE C. HONG/AP (SIMPSON) PHOTOMARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/AP (IPOD) PHOTODIETHER ENDLICHER/AP (ROWER) PHOTOCOMEDY CENTRAL/PHOTOFEST (CARTMAN) PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)