Today at Miller Park, Brewers officials, former teammates, fellow broadcasters, and Brewers fans everywhere will help unveil the latest addition to statue row at Miller Park – the legendary Bob Uecker.
There isn’t a Brewers fan alive today that doesn’t know and relish in the sound of Bob Uecker calling a Brewers game. His voice, sense of humor, insight, and enthusiasm have been the backdrop to every good and not-so-good season Milwaukee has had since 1971, when Ueck got his start in the booth with the broadcast team of Merle Harmon and Tom Collins. As legend has it (and I have to believe it, as I was a scant 15 years from birth at the time), there came a game where both Harmon and Collins could not broadcast the game, leaving Bob Uecker to take on the play-by-play duties himself.
It’s been his gig ever since.
Bob Uecker was one of the reasons, while attending UW-Oshkosh, I decided to try my hand at radio. I often (to this day, in fact) imagine myself calling the games – but even as I pursue the career I realize that I am out of my league. A personality like Ueck’s comes along once in a lifetime – and we’re lucky enough he hasn’t hung up the mic yet.
In honor of this wonderful occassion, we present you with a collection of our favorite Bob Uecker quotes.
On Playing in the Majors
"I signed with the Milwaukee braves in 1962 for $3,000. That bothered my dad at the time because he didn’t have that kind of dough. But he eventually scraped it up."
"Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. To last as long as I did, with the skills I had, and the numbers I produced was a triumph of the human spirit.–From his Autobiography, Catcher In the Wry"
"If a guy hits .300 every year, what does he have to look forward to? I always tried to stay around .190, with three or four RBI. And I tried to get them all in September. That way I always had something to talk about over the winter."
"Gene Mauch was my favorite manager. He’d tell me ‘grab a bat and stop this rally.’"
"I knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture."
On Highlights and Awards
"I didn’t get a lot of awards as a player. But they did have a Bob Uecker Day Off once in Philly."
"Career Highlights? I had two. I got an intentional walk off Sandy Koufax and I got out of a rundown against the Mets."
"In 1962 I was named Minor League Player of the Year. It was my second year in the bigs."
On Family Traits
"The biggest thrill a ballplayer can have is when your son takes after you. That happened when my Bobby was in his championship Little League game. He really showed me something, struck out three times. Made an error that lost the game. Parents were throwing things at our car and swearing as we drove off. Gosh, I was proud."
On Changing Times
"If I played today, I’d be a million dollar player. Is that scary or what?"
On His Statue Dedication
"I couldn’t afford the down payment–When asked by Adam McCalvy what took so long to get his statueI have posed for the statue. Kind of a Schwarzenegger-type thing. Beefcake. Speedos. Pretty buffed."
"We’re going to invite pigeons. We are. That’s the other enhancement, I’m holding a stand. It’s a feeder-type thing.– When asked by Adam McCalvy if he was worried about pigeons on the statue."
[Ed.’s note – read the whole interview with Adam McCalvy here. It’s worth it.]
So what is YOUR favorite Bob Uecker quote? What about your favorite story or moment about the broadcaster? Leave them in the comments below or send them to us on Twitter.