Miller Park to rumble with Border Battle

Class A Wisconsin to play at Miller Park

PHOENIX -- The Border Battle is returning to Miller Park.

The Brewers' incoming Class A affiliate, the Appleton-based Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, will play the Peoria Chiefs -- a Chicago Cubs affiliate -- in Milwaukee on April 24, the big league club announced this week. All tickets to the game are priced at $10 and went on sale Wednesday morning.

The event comes six years after nearly 15,000 fans set a Midwest League attendance record for a game between the Rattlers, who were a Seattle Mariners farm team through the end of last season, and the Brewers-affiliated Beloit Snappers, a club that featured then-prospects Prince Fielder, Manny Parra and Rickie Weeks. The Border Battle was staged again in 2004 between the same two teams.

"Our coaches and managers see Miller Park as kind of an inspiration and an ultimate goal for those on our club," Timber Rattlers president Rob Zerjav told the Appleton Post-Crescent. "We're talking about high school or college players who had a limited number of games and now all at once they are playing 140 games. This shows them that if they work hard, they can make it to Miller Park."

Both the Rattlers and the Brewers hope to use the event to publicize their new affiliation. The Timber Ratthers, who play home games at Fix Cities Stadium, about 100 miles north of Miller Park, had been a Mariners affiliate since 1993. The team struck a four-year player development pact with the Brewers -- the maximum length allowed under baseball's rules -- in September.

That meant the Brewers were returning to the Midwest League for the first time since leaving Beloit after the 2004 seasons. From 2005-2008, their low Class A affiliate was in Charleston, W.Va.

"The Border Battle will serve as a great opportunity for fans to see some of the Brewers' younger prospects play in a Major League environment," Brewers executive vice president of business operations Rick Schlesinger said. "We're proud to host a Midwest League game at Miller Park and to showcase the players who will play key roles in the future of the Brewers-Cubs rivalry."

Milwaukee's affiliates are 2-0 in previous Border Battles. Parra led the Snappers to a 4-2 win over Wisconsin in 2003 in front of 14,447 fans who paid $5 apiece, and left-hander Dana Eveland, who now pitches for the A's, worked seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 Snappers win in 2004.

The teams are offering a ticket special as part of this year's event called the "Brewers/Timber Rattlers Fang-tastic Ticket Deal," named for the Timber Rattlers' mascot. Beginning March 11, just $15 gets fans a terrace reserved ticket to one of six select Brewers games at Miller Park and a voucher for one reserved bleacher ticket to one of six select Timber Rattlers games in Appleton, plus a Brewers/Timber Rattlers T-shirt. For more details and a complete listing of games, visit the Timber Rattlers' Web site.

There will be an all-fan bobblehead giveaway featuring Bernie Brewer and Fang at the Timber Rattlers' Opening Day game April 9 in Appleton. The promotion is sponsored by Time Warner Cable.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.