I Must Be In The Front Row : The Genius Of Bob Uecker

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I Must Be In The Front Row : The Genius Of Bob Uecker
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Bob Uecker makes me wish I had been able to listen to Brewers games since 1971 from the same booth in which he broadcast from.

Milwaukee fans know what I mean.

The rest of us are lucky just to catch snippets of him.

From his TV shows, movies, and commercials, the man has entertained Americans for decades.

And say what you want to about his playing career, the man owns a World Series ring. He may try to say he didn't earn it, but it is obvious he did.



Bob is 74 years young these days, and is as sharp as he has always been.



Here is a montage of some of his quips :




Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. But to be able to trick people year in and year out the way I did, I think that was a much greater feat.


Baseball hasn't forgotten me. I go to a lot of old-timers games and I haven't lost a thing. I sit in the bullpen and let people throw things at me. Just like old times.


Career highlights? I had two. I got an intentional walk from Sandy Koufax and I got out of a rundown against the Mets.


I didn't get a lot of awards as a player. But they did have a Bob Uecker Day Off for me once in Philly.


I had slumps that lasted into the winter.


I hit a grand slam off Ron Herbel and when his manager Herman Franks came out to get him, he was bringing Herbel's suitcase.


I knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture.


I led the league in "Go get 'em next time."


I set records that will never be equaled. In fact, I hope 90% of them don't even get printed.


I signed with the Milwaukee Braves for three-thousand dollars. That bothered my dad at the time because he didn't have that kind of dough. But he eventually scraped it up.


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 during the winter.


In 1962 I was named Minor League Player of the Year. It was my second season in the bigs.


Let's face it. Umpiring is not an easy or happy way to make a living. In the abuse they suffer, and the pay they get for it, you see an imbalance that can only be explained by their need to stay close to a game they can't resist.


One time, I got pulled over at four a.m. I was fined seventy-five dollars for being intoxicated and four-hundred for being with the Phillies.


People don't know this but I helped the Cardinals win the pennant. I came down with hepatitis. The trainer injected me with it.


Sporting goods companies pay me not to endorse their products.


Sure, women sportswriters look when they're in the clubhouse. Read their stories. How else do you explain a capital letter in the middle of a word?


The highlight of my career? In '67 with St. Louis, I walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in an intersquad game in spring training.


The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up.


When I came up to bat with three men on and two outs in the ninth, I looked in the other team's dugout and they were already in street clothes.


When I looked at the third base coach, he turned his back on me.


I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually, I was born in Illinois. My mother and father were on an oleo margarine run to Chicago back in 1934, because we couldn't get colored margarine in Wisconsin. On the way home, my mother was with child. Me. And the pains started, and my dad pulled off into an exit area, and that's where the event took place. I remember it was a Nativity type setting. An exit light shining down. There were three truck drivers there. One guy was carrying butter, one guy had frankfurters, and the other guy was a retired baseball scout who told my folks that I probably had a chance to play somewhere down the line.

Well, a couple of grand slammers and the Brewers are right back in this one (Uecker during the 8th inning of a game the Brewers were losing 8–0.)

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 at us as we drove off. Gosh, I was proud.


I had slumps that lasted into the winter.

A doctor told me to drink lemon juice after a hot bath. But I have never finished the bath.


I won the Comeback of the Year Award five years in a row!

I'm scared of the Reds.

I had been playing for a while, and I asked Louisville Slugger to send me a dozen flame treated bats. But when I got it, I realized they had sent me a box of ashes.

 

Thank You for letting us have front row seats to your brilliance Ueck

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