MILWAUKEE -- Jeff Hibicke grew up in western Illinois rooting for the Cubs, went to Minnesota to work for the Twins and has found a home in Wisconsin as a senior account executive in the Brewers' ticketing department. His long baseball tour may have served Hibicke well in his latest extra-curricular endeavor. Hibicke will wear Brewers blue for "Baseball IQ," a new game show on MLB Network that debuts Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT. Hibicke's contest will air on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Former Brewers broadcaster Matt Vasgersian hosts. The network went to all 30 big league clubs, MLB.com and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for contestants and wound up with everybody from vice presidents to baseball-operations gurus, equipment managers, scoreboard operators and museum curators, among others. They'll be quizzed on topics ranging from current players to World Series champions to Hall of Famers and milestones.
"I've been in baseball a while, so I love the trivia part of it," Hibicke said. "I had to do some trivia stuff online to get used to the speed of it, which was the biggest challenge. And I bought some sports books to brush up on some of the historical topics, like saves and wins and World Series-type information. "They could ask you anything, so it was really hard to prepare. You just had to get to know as many names as possible and hope they come up in the topics you're asked about." Hibicke, 41, has been in Milwaukee's front office since 2005. He was nominated by colleagues at Miller Park and competed with another senior account executive, Jason Massopust, in a mini version of the show staged in the ballpark's media interview room. Hibicke won the right to travel the week of Jan. 9 to MLB Network Studios in Secaucus, N.J., to compete on the show. Hibicke's first-round opponent was Washington Nationals baseball operations analyst Samuel Mondry-Cohen. Contestants were asked by the network not to discuss the outcome of their head-to-head matchups. Hibicke has yet to learn when his episode will air. Two new episodes will air every Tuesday through Thursday through Feb. 23, leading up to the onset of Spring Training. The bulk of the game plays similar to Sporcle, an online quiz that Hibicke used to sharpen his skills before his appearance. Vasgersian calls out a topic, for example, "The Brewers starting lineup for Game 7 of the 1982 World Series." Contestants then alternate giving an answer until one of them is incorrect. Each episode's winner receives $5,000 for the charity they represent -- Hibicke is playing for the Brewers Community Foundation. The champion's charity wins $25,000, and $15,000 goes to the runnerup's charity. "This was a really unique experience and I just had a lot of fun with it," Hibicke said.