For a .200 career hitter, Bob Uecker’s done pretty well for himself
There are very few people on this planet that can claim they’ve played in the majors, starred in a hit network sitcom, were a frequent guest on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, hosted Saturday Night Live and have some of the most quotable lines in movie history. Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker fits all those criteria.
Uecker, affectionately known as Mr. Baseball by Carson, has had quite the unique career (A career he was gracious enough to stop by the ArizonaSports.com offices recently to chat about). One could argue he was the quintessential example of the hometown boy makes good.
Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1940’s, he watched the local Triple-A Brewers of the American Association. Little did he know just mere years later — 1962 to be precise — he’d be playing for the city’s Major League Baseball team the Braves. His stint with the team, and his playing days in the Majors, didn’t last long.
He was only with the Braves for two seasons in Milwaukee, getting 80 plate appearances and compiling a .250 batting average. He would spend four more years in the Bigs between the St. Louis Cardinals — where he won a World Series in 1964 –, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves who had relocated from Milwaukee. He hit .200 overall with 14 home runs and 74 RBI. It was far from the end of his story though (which should be obvious, because that wouldn’t have been much of a story to write about).
In 1971 Uecker would return to his hometown of Milwaukee but this time in a different role. That year he began his second career in baseball, as the play-by-play man for the Brewers. While that has been his main job for the past 40 years, he’s also dabbled in the entertainment world as well. It would prove to be better than any second job most people could get.
Over the span of three decades, Uecker would become one of Johnny Carson’s favorite guests on The Tonight Show. He appeared over 100 times before the King of Late Night retired in 1992. Those appearances led to a starring role on the ABC sitcom Mr. Belvedere from 1985-90, where he played the father of a family.