Mr. Baseball

They unveiled a statue of Bob Uecker yesterday in front of Miller Park.

Who?

The voice of the Milwaukee Brewers, a former major league player (famously not a very good one), and a comedian of truly major league proportions with 70 appearances on the Tonight Show, a starring role on the TV show Mr Belvidere, and as Harry Doyle in the Major League Movie trilogy.

More than all that - he's been involved in calling games or analyzing them since the Brewers second season in 1971.  I was eight years old - I've listened to the Brewers all that time - every one of his 41 years in the booth.

During my high school years, I was blessed with the opportunity to work at WCLO/WJVL in Janesville, and a big part of my job was 'running the board' during Brewer games.  I played the commercials and did the station breaks and got in and out of the broadcasts.

Uecker and his early partner, Merle Harmon, were wonderful to listen to while reading a book in bed and as I dropped off to sleep on summer evenings back in Janesville. 

Even today when you tune in, you don't need to hear the score to know how the Crew is doing - all it takes is listening to the sound of Ueck's voice.

When we lived too far away from a good radio signal to pick up the Brewer games in north Wisconsin - we picked up an XM radio to listen to the games.  The XM followed us to Indiana - and the satellite brought the sounds of home and the aroma of the tailgate via Bob's voice.

His voice takes me back through time - listening to the games - sometimes nodding off during his natural pauses - and sitting up and bed when Braun or Hart or Weeks gets a hold of one and gets it up, up, and out of here.

I have never met Bob Uecker... but through the years and across the airwaves... I feel like I know him.  Prayed for him during several health scares the past couple of years, and thankful to hear him behind the mike.

Congratulations, Bob and thanks for the baseball throughout my life.

And to quote Bob's familiar sign-off of each broadcast, 'So Long, Everybody - you're listening to the Brewers Radio Network."

Gotta go - the game's coming on.