Brewers honor Uecker with statue _ in the last row
Apr. 25, 2014
MILWAUKEE (AP) — There's no mistaking what row Bob Uecker is in now — all the way in the back of the upper deck.
On Friday, the Brewers unveiled a new statue of the longtime radio broadcaster in the last row of the upper deck behind home plate at Miller Park. It's a nod to the popular 1980s Lite beer "All Stars" campaign that featured a cast of sports celebrities, including Uecker, who has served as the Brewers radio voice since 1971.
"The Miller Lite years were one of the most unbelievable times I've ever had, working with hall of famers from their respective sports, Uecker said. "To put together that series of commercials, to this day they were the best that were ever made."
One of the classic ads features Uecker anticipating a move to front-row seats only to wind up in the upper reaches of the ballpark.
Fittingly, the statue's location features a view partially blocked by a steel beam. Fans can take photos next to the statue for a fee that goes to charity.
"When I first heard about the project, I turned it down," Uecker said. "I was under the impression that they wanted me to work from up there."
Uecker played for the Milwaukee Braves in 1962 and 1963 and had a six-year major league career overall. He also starred in the television show "Mr. Belvedere" and the movie "Major League."
"We're all very, very lucky to have you here in Milwaukee as long as we have," Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount said of Uecker.
Yount attended a private unveiling of the statute, along with other former Brewers, including Rollie Fingers, Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas and Ken Sanders. Current players and coaches, including Ryan Braun, also were on hand.
Video messages to Uecker from celebrities that included Jason Bateman, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Costner were played on the stadium's scoreboard.
Brian Maughan designed the new bronze Uecker statue. The artist also created four statues that sit outside Miller Park honoring Hank Aaron, Bud Selig, Robin Yount and Uecker.
A public presentation honoring Uecker was to be held on the field prior to the Brewers game against the Chicago Cubs Friday night.