The Brewers and the Milwaukee County Parks System put more than 1,000 of the ornaments, featuring team mascot Bernie Brewer, in various spots along the city's lakefront, with the rules stating fans had to wait until 7 a.m. before picking only one up for free.
The idea of the "Where's Bernie?" event was to promote an upcoming sale of game tickets at reduced prices.
But reports on social media soon trickled in of some people scooping up dozens of the garden gnomes and offering them for resale on eBay -- in one instance for $122, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
That in turn triggered angry online reactions directed at the hoarders.
Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes told the newspaper there were some isolated instances of hoarders taking more than one Bernie Brewer, but overall, he added, "we were thrilled with the promotion."
"I wish we could have gotten some of the gnomes in the hands of those who wanted them. At the end of the day, though, it went well."