Catonsville resident Ron Verrecchio travelled to Milwaukee, Wis. last weekend as one of three finalists in the Milwaukee Brewers' Design a YOUniform Contest.
Though Richfield, Minn. resident Ben Peters won in the end, Verrecchio said Monday that it was a great experience.
"It was a short weekend, but it was really fun," Verrecchio said Jan. 29 of the 36-hour trip. "I think the Brewers did a first class job."
According to Tyler Barnes, vice president of communications for the Brewers, the team spent a lot of time on new uniform designs in the past few years and decided it was time to let the fans have a turn.
"We just decided to do one where we turn it over to the fans and allow them to create a design, submit their design ideas and then (have the players) wear them during a game during the upcoming season," Barnes said.
Verrecchio, a graphic design artist for ManTech International, said he saw the contest online and jumped at the opportunity to utilize his creativity in an unrestricted setting.
"I work at a business that's just corporate stuff, and I don't get a chance to draw the stuff that I like doing," Verrecchio said. "Designing a uniform is one of the coolest things ever."
Little did he know, he would be one of three finalists from nearly 700 applicants and would receive a free weekend trip to Milwaukee for the announcement of the winner.
"I didn't even know the finalists were being flown out to Milwaukee or anything," Verrecchio said before his departure last week.
He received the news the same night that the Ravens beat the Denver Broncos in double overtime to advance to the AFC Championship that he was receving the trip.
"The night the Ravens beat the Broncos, I look and saw I had an email telling me that I was flying out to Milwaukee. It was a pretty good day," Verrecchio said.
Though he admits he is a die-hard Orioles fan, Verrecchio said there is something unique about the Brewers logo that he found inspiring when creating his design.
"It's an M and a B that makes the baseball glove," Verrecchio said. "They've never worn one with that logo on the uniform."
According to Barnes, the contest had eight judges, including one of the Brewer players; the team's general manager; a representative from Majestic Athletic Uniforms, which makes and produces the team's uniforms; and four other individuals.
Fans also voted for the design they liked best and their choice counted as one judge's vote.
Verrecchio said last week that he thought he had a good chance of winning.
His confidence rose after the remarks by two of the judges — a Brewers pitcher and the team's general manager — during a press conference Jan. 28.
"Both the voters that got interviewed, they voted for mine," Verrecchio said. "So it was looking good. So after they went down the panel, the only two judges there, both who had voted for mine, and they announced the winner, and it was Ben."
Verrecchio said he is happy for the winner.
"I've said all along, if I lost to him, I'd be ok. Because I really liked his work," Verrecchio said.
Barnes said the panel really enjoyed Verrecchio's work.
"The voting was very close as all three finalists had terrific support from the judges and the fans. We liked Ron's design because it blended tradition with a creative style and we appreciate the work that he put into it," Barnes said.
This story has been updated.