The Milwaukee Brewers will finally unveil the long awaited Bob Uecker statue on Aug. 31 at Miller Park. Uecker is the voice of the Brewers and an inductee of the radio broadcaster Hall of Fame.
The statue will stand in front of Miller Park’s Home Plate Plaza and is a great way to celebrate Uecker’s 50th season in baseball. Uecker’s close friend Bob Costas will attend to provide coverage of the event for NBC Sports. MLB Network will also be covering the unveiling, which I am sure will involve live footage on the MLB Network. Fox Sports Wisconsin will be airing the ceremony live at 1:30 p.m.
“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,” Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio said in a statement. “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 will join Henry Aaron, Robin Yount and baseball commissioner Bud Selig as the three other members with statues dedicated in their honor. Aaron and Selig will both be in attendance for the ceremony, while Yount has sent a video recorded message.
When Uecker was asked by reporters earlier this year what took the organization so long to erect a statue of him, he gave the usual quirky response.
“It was kind of a finance thing,” he said. “I couldn’t come up with the right package. I didn’t have enough for the down payment. Once we got that taken care of, the monthly stipend, with the present administration, the way things have been going, I’ve been trying to put away a little on the side because when they put one of these things up, it means you’re getting close to the end. So, to have something available in case I go before this thing gets up is my main concern right now.”
As much as Uecker enjoys to joke around with everyone, he certainly understands the seriousness and importance of this day. To be honored by a team with a bronze statue and immortalized forever as generations of Brewers fans walk through the gates of Miller Park is a great thing.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. Any time you’re thought of in this light, something is going to be put up in your honor, and until we get attacked or something, it’s going to be there forever and ever, as long as Mr. Attanasio keeps it polished and everything. My family, my friends are all excited for it. I’m honored, as I said before, and pleased with it. I thank the whole organization, Mark Attanasio, the players. Who are we without broadcasters, without the guys who make the games to call and make the games exciting?
“I hope the fans have enjoyed listening as much as I’ve enjoyed doing the games. I don’t ever go to the park where I don’t have a good day. I don’t like losing. But I don’t think I ever go to the park where I have a bad day. I don’t think once. That’s discounting playing. I had a lot of bad days there.”
The Brewers are just as honored to have Uecker still calling games for them after all of these years. To have someone of his stature in the broadcast booth after years upon years of losing seasons is impressive. There is no man in the great history of the Brewers that deserves a statue more than he does.
Uecker is a living legend who decided to stick with Milwaukee even after a playoff drought of 25 years. Up until last season, the Brewers had not won a division title since 1982. He could have gone anywhere and worked for anyone as one of sports’ most famous television personalities. Instead, he remained as the voice of the Brewers, which is something for which the team can never fully repay him.
Brian Maughan, the same man who designed the Aaron, Yount and Selig statues, produced Uecker’s. It stands over seven feet tall and is cast in bronze. Uecker’s pose is him standing with his hands in his pockets.
Make sure to tune in Friday afternoon and watch the unveiling ceremony.