"The joy that Bob has brought to us over the years is priceless, and with 2012 being the 50th Anniversary of his first Major League game, there's no better time than now to celebrate his achievements," said Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio. "Bob represents everything that is good about Milwaukee and Wisconsin. He is an iconic figure for the franchise, and his passion for the Brewers is second-to-none. Bob is a national treasure who calls Wisconsin home. I'm proud to have him as a great friend. I couldn't be happier to add this statue to his legacy."
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.
"I am honored and grateful to everyone in the Brewers organization for this tribute," Uecker said. "I would especially like to thank Mark Attanasio, who has become a friend and a confidant, his wife Debbie, and the Attanasio family. I would also like to thank our fans for their support. I hope they have enjoyed listening to the games as much as I have enjoyed doing the broadcasts. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you."
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. And this April the honors will continue as Uecker takes 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 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.
Uecker will be the fourth person to be honored with a Miller Park statue. Hank Aaron and Robin Yount were the first to be recognized with statues that were unveiled on April 5, 2001, the first year of Miller Park's existence. The first two statues were donated by the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Foundation. On August 24, 2010, Major League Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers Owner Allan H. (Bud) Selig became the third honoree when his statue was unveiled in an afternoon program.
The date of the Uecker statue unveiling and related ceremonies will be August 31, 2012. Specific details related to the ceremony will be announced at a later date.
The statue will be cast in bronze, measure over seven feet in height not including the base, and is being designed and produced by Brian Maughan, who (along with Douglas Kwart) also created the Aaron, Selig and Yount statues.