Uecker riffs on statue

Mr. Baseball is getting a statue outside Miller Park, which begs the question: What the heck took so long?

“I didn’t have enough for the down payment,” Bob Uecker said.

The Hall of Fame Brewers broadcaster, star of film and television and all-around funnyman will be immortalized in bronze on Aug. 31, alongside the three other members of the Mt. Rushmore of Milwaukee Baseball: Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and MLB Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig.

Uecker will be depicted standing with his hands in his pockets, just like the thousands of times he’s stood around the Brewer’ batting cage since taking a broadcasting job with the team in 1972 1971. Selig moved Uecker from the scouting apartment to the booth, the story goes, because Uecker’s reports always arrived covered in mashed potatoes and gravy.

Forty years later, the light-hitting catcher turned broadcaster turned actor is a baseball icon.

“It’s going to be there forever and ever,” Uecker said.

And he’s being serious. This is a huge honor.

“My family, my friends, are all excited about it,” Uecker said. “I’m honored, and I’m pleased with it. I thank the whole organization. [Principal owner] Mark Attansio. The players. Who are we as broadcasters without the guys who make the game to call and make the games exciting? I hope the fans have enjoyed listening as much as I’ve enjoed doing the games.

“I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the park where I’ve had a bad day.”

He pauses.

“Discounting playing,” Uecker adds. “A lot of bad days there.”

So much for a moment of seriousness amid Uecker’s usual deadpan. Asked how they would keep pigeons away, he said, “We’re going to invite pigeons. We are. That’s the other enhancement, I’m holding a stand. It’s a feeder-type thing.”

Before a Brewers spokesperson arrived to tell the straight story, Uecker was asked what the statue will look like.

“I have posed for the statue,” Uecker said. “Kind of a Schwarzenegger-type thing. Beefcake. Speedos. Pretty buffed. It’s really enhanced. I’ve seen pictures of the finished product, and, yes, I’m very pleased as a matter of a fact. It’s drawing a lot of attention. More than that swimsuit issue.”

Uecker appeared in some skimpy swimwear in the background of a 2008 Sports Illustrated photo. He has since dubbed it, “My swimsuit issue.”

For more from Uecker, check Brewers.com this afternoon.

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Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy

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