How can a player with a six-year stint in the majors, and a .200 career batting average become one of the most beloved characters in Major League Baseball?
Be Bob Uecker—that's it, fairly simply.
Milwaukee Brewers' fans are lucky enough to have the opportunity to listen to the "Ueke's" colorful and often legitimately laugh-out-loud funny commentary on a nightly basis.
Uecker, 75, will undergo major heart surgery on Friday, and most likely be out of commission for 10 to 12 weeks.
Uecker spent six seasons as a catcher with four different Major League clubs: the Milwaukee Braves (before they moved to Atlanta), the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies, and he wrapped his career back as a Brave in Atlanta.
As mentioned Uecker hit for a career .200 batting average, popped 14 home runs in 731 at-bats.
He was a horrible backstop. Over his career he nabbed only 33 percent of base stealer's, and in his final season, 1967, allowed 27 passed balls in 59 games played.
However, that is a major reason he is so famous.
With his self deprecating look back on his playing days, Uecker is one of the most quoted men in the history of baseball. Perhaps even more so than Yogi Berra.
Some great Uecker quotes:
"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."
"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."
"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."
Uecker even parlayed his wit into a movie career, appearing in six films—most notably as announcer, Harry Doyle in the "Major League" trilogy.
Harry's line, "Juuust a bit outside," has been used over and over again to the point where most don't even know where it originated.
Superstar, legend, icon, are all words totally overused in today's society.
But they, along with any other superlatives, could be used to describe Bob Uecker.
Ueck, get well...then get your butt back into the booth. The possibility of not hearing your voice again until August is nearly unbearable for Brewers' fans.
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