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'A huge deal': Fans flock to Timber Rattlers game for Brewers' Brandon Woodruff in rehab start

Posted at 7:30 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 08:30:24-04

APPLETON, Wis. (NBC 26) — Fans piled into Fox Cities Stadium, many to see a two-time Major League Baseball All-Star.

"I am here to see Brandon Woodruff," Appleton resident Kristin Black said.

The Brewers pitcher made a rehab start for the Timber Rattlers on Thursday, after he was placed on the injured list with a sprained ankle.

"I even went to the All-Star game in Washington D.C. the first time Brandon Woodruff was selected to the All-Star team," Black said. "It's just really exciting right in our backyard to see Brandon Woodruff pitch tonight."

It was also Wizardry Night at the ballpark. So Black came to see Woodruff pull off some magic on the mound.

"For me, it's a huge deal," she said. "I'm also a Harry Potter fan, but that was secondary. I didn't even know that until I came tonight that it was Harry Potter night. So it's like you get two for one tonight."

Adam Wellnitz drove from Beaver Dam just to see the major-league star.

"Woody's on the mound," he said. "We thought we'd come down, check out the game. I haven't been to a T-Rats game in a few years, so I figured it'd be a great day for it."

Woodruff's appearance brought nearly a sold-out ballpark with him.

"When he's on, he's got some really good stuff," Wellnitz said. "I mean, he's among the best when he's hot."

The pitcher was also diagnosed with a condition that limits blood flow in his fingers, but Northeast Wisconsin fans wish him the best.

"Hoping everything is gonna be all healed up for him and looking forward to seeing him on the pitch in Milwaukee again," Black said.

There were 5,733 fans in attendance, just 167 short of a sell-out.