PITTSBURGH, PA — A 17-year-old survivor of the Waukesha Christmas Parade headed on the road with the Milwaukee Brewers for their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on Tuesday.
“I’ve seen that it’s an extraordinary park, so I’m really excited,” high schooler Tyler Pudleiner said about going to PNC Park for Tuesday's game.
Pudleiner and his mother, Katti, traveled on Monday to watch his favorite team take on the Pirates. He arrived at PNC Park early for a meet-and-greet with the Brewers. This was his first time watching the Brewers on an away game, as well as his first visit to a Major League Baseball stadium besides American Family Field.
Pudleiner and Katti also spent the day exploring Pittsburgh before joining the Brewers on the field.
Pudleiner joined the Brew Crew in Pittsburgh after being surprised with an all-expenses paid trip by Aurora Medical Center - Summit at American Family Field during the July 27 game.
“I told him that I got last-minute tickets, and I could take the day off work to go with him,” said Katti. “He didn’t suspect anything different. I totally pulled it off.”
“I didn’t really figure it out at all,” said Pudleiner. “She told me we were going to the game, then all a sudden we were ushered through the stadium. It was crazy.”
Pudleiner was brought down to the field to throw out the first pitch, which he nailed! Fans and Brewers players cheered him on.
Then, Pudleiner's idol, Craig Counsell, walked towards the mound and presented him with an all-expense paid trip for Tyler and his mom to attend Tuesday’s Brewers vs. Pirates game in Pittsburgh.
“I had no words, I just kept shaking his hand,” said Tyler. "Counsell has always been my idol. He’s my all-time favorite player and now manager. I’ve always worn his number.”
Pudleiner was rushed to Aurora’s Medical Center in Summit after he was injured during the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack. He underwent surgery and treatment there.
“My doctors and nurses have become like family,” he said. “They really helped us get through those first few days, and they still check on me.”
In addition to his medical team, Pudleiner credits baseball with helping him and others heal.
The love of the sport is shared by many of the young people and families directly impacted by the parade tragedy.