The Milwaukee Brewers will formally unveil a statue of Hall-of-Fame Broadcaster Bob Uecker on Friday in a ceremony just outside of Miller Park. In front of an audience of friends, family and dignitaries, the statue will be revealed at its home near Miller Park’s Home Plate Plaza. Bob Costas, broadcaster with NBC Sports and the MLB Network, will serve as emcee.
Uecker’s statue will join those of Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and Commissioner of Baseball Allan H. “Bud” Selig. The Aaron and Yount statues were unveiled on April 5, 2001, the first year of Miller Park’s existence, and were donated by the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Foundation. On August 24, 2010, Selig became the third honoree when his statue was unveiled in an afternoon program.
The Uecker statue is cast in bronze, measures over seven feet in height not including the base, and was designed and produced by Brian Maughan, who (along with Douglas Kwart) also created the Aaron, Selig and Yount statues.
Please note: there will be an extremely limited amount of standing room available for the general public outside of the tent. Space is first come, first served. The ceremony will also be televised live on FOX Sports Wisconsin.
Affectionately known as “Mr. Baseball,” Uecker’s name is synonymous with summertime in Wisconsin as he has brought Milwaukee Brewers baseball to generations of fans listening to games on the Brewers Radio Network. His irreverent style and knowledge of the game are unrivaled, and Uecker’s talents have been known to audiences worldwide for years through his work on television and film projects.
Uecker’s resume is stacked with activities and honors, but all feature one common thread – he always leaves the audience laughing. There may be no better testament to this than when he was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award in 2003. Uecker’s acceptance speech has now become legend as he left the audience, which included former U.S. President George H. Bush, in tears from laughter.
While Uecker’s roots will always be in baseball (including six seasons as a player and 42 years as a Brewers broadcaster), his career includes an incredible base of performing and entertaining.
Uecker blasted onto the national scene as an entertainer in 1969. A visit with Al Hirt led to Johnny Carson booking Uecker for an appearance on the “Tonight Show.” The chemistry between Uecker and Carson was immediate, and it led to approximately 100 encore appearances. Uecker soon became one of the most sought-after guests on the Talk Show circuit as appearances followed on the “Mike Douglas” and “Merv Griffin” shows, “Late Night with David Letterman” and even a hosting role on “Saturday Night Live.”
Highly respected in the industry, Uecker was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001. This past April, Uecker took his place in the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Hall of Fame.
Uecker’s credits go far beyond guest appearances and play-by-play. In 1985, he launched a television acting career as one of the stars of ABC’s sitcom “Mr. Belvedere,” which put 122 episodes into syndication. He also hosted two syndicated television shows, “Bob Uecker’s Wacky World of Sports” and “Bob Uecker’s War of the Stars.”
One of Uecker’s most memorable roles came as the anchor of arguably the most successful advertising campaign in the history of television – The “Miller Lite All-Stars.” For years, Uecker served as the captain of the crew that acted in spots promoting Lite Beer from Miller.
As a film actor, Uecker starred in what is widely regarded as one of the best-known baseball movies of all time, serving as a radio announcer in the film “Major League.” He followed that up with a reprised role in the equally popular “Major League II.”
Uecker’s national sports broadcasting experience included serving as color commentator for ABC Sports coverage of Monday Night Baseball, League Championship Series and World Series, and NBC’s Major League Baseball Game of the Week.
A former catcher who spent six seasons in the Major Leagues, Bob authored a book entitled “Catcher In the Wry,” a humorous look back on the years he spent with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. One of his career highlights as a player came in 1964 when he was a member of the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Despite his national attention and success, Uecker has always worked toward helping others. His charitable efforts benefit many organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.