She’s becoming as popular in Milwaukee as Bernie Brewer’s lederhosen and if you’ve watched any Milwaukee Brewers home games over the last few years, you’ve probably seen her.
Her name is Amy Williams (better known as “Front Row Amy”) and she’s the diehard fan in the tube top and sunglasses sitting behind home plate at Miller Park scoring the game. She makes the 90-minute trip one way from Osh Kosh to Milwaukee to catch as many games as she can and she’s as excited for this season to start as anyone.
So with the help from Colin Bennett from Reviewing the Brew, we tracked down “Front Row Amy”, found out her story and got her to preview the upcoming season.
HOVG: Your story has gotten some national attention, but outside of just being a Brewers fan, no one really knows your story. When did you start following the Brewers? And when did you actually start being “Front Row Amy”?
AMY: I began following the Brewers relatively late in life, in 2007. I just wasn't exposed to baseball before then. My dad wasn't around much when I was young and my mom wasn't a sports nut. I was kind of a girly-girl anyway, so I’m not sure I would've wanted to go to games even if they'd offered to take me. Plus, I grew up in Illinois and I'd hate to be a Cubs fan! So, it was all meant to be. The Brewers caught my attention in May 2007 with a picture of J.J. Hardy on the front page of the Oshkosh Northwestern sports section. I read the article and was intrigued. The Brewers were in first place at the time and were hitting home runs like crazy. I liked sports in general, mostly football at that time, so thought I'd watch a game. That first game I watched on TV, I wish I could remember the exact day, but I know there were a lot of moonshots! I watched with my husband and he answered all my questions about the game of baseball. I fell in love with the game and the Brewers that very night. “Front Row Amy” began in 2011. Unbeknownst to me, WSSP in Milwaukee used to talk about me on their show and one of my season seat holder row-mates called them and told them my name. “Front Row Amy” was born.
HOVG: Over the last couple of years, you’ve been a fixture over at Deadspin as well as the subject of numerous feature stories in and around the Milwaukee area. How has your rise in popularity affected your every day life? For the most part, are people pretty decent when they meet you?
AMY: My every day life? Not so much. In the offseason, I really don't do much besides work at home and spend time with my family. There have been a couple times when someone has recognized me at the store or at a restaurant, but not many. And, yes, everyone has been very nice when they meet me. I'm always surprised when they're nervous! I mean, it's just me, you know? I don't view myself as a "celebrity" at all.
HOVG: What does your husband think about your recent rise in popularity in and out of the ballpark and, especially, on Facebook and Twitter? And since you mainly travel solo, it is safe to say he doesn’t enjoy baseball as much as you do?
AMY: He thinks it's cool for the most part. He does NOT like the hate I get on Twitter and Facebook. But he likes the fact that people appreciate my dedication to the Brewers. One thing that has come out of this “Front Row Amy” thing is me having the opportunity to meet people who I would probably not otherwise be able to meet. Tom Haudricourt, Todd Rosiak, the Timber Rattlers, some Brewers players and coaches. He thinks that's awesome. He enjoys baseball, but he's a casual fan. He's not obsessed like I am. He goes to a few Brewers games with me and we sit up in loge. It's not that enjoyable to attend a Brewers game with me though because I'm VERY focused on the game and am keeping score. I don't talk much! I do cheer though!
HOVG: Who is your favorite current Brewer and why?
AMY: My favorite Brewer right now is Corey Hart. I just love what he did at first base last season, and he improved a lot at the plate by not swinging at that outside slider so much. I also like the guys with a lot of personality! T-Plush (Nyjer Morgan) was a favorite and still is. I also like Frankie (Francisco Rodriguez) a lot. I'll miss them both very much. Oh, and of course there's Zack (Greinke)! He's probably at the top of the list. He's SO good. Watching him pitch is an ethereal experience for me.
HOVG: And, since we’re on the subject…what about all-time?
AMY: Favorite all-time? Even though I wasn't watching the Brewers at the time, I have 1982 DVDs and have read much about Brewers history. I think Robin Yount has to be my favorite all-time. Although I do also like Paul Molitor and Jeff Cirillo. It's hard for me to pick just one player!