Results tagged ‘ Bob Uecker ’

Uecker sits down with Costas in Studio 42

If the innings that Bob Costas spent in Bob Uecker’s radio booth last summer were any indication, MLB Network will feature some must-see TV on Friday night. 
Uecker sat down for a hour-long episode of MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas that will air Friday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. Uecker and Costas are old friends who used to broadcast games together for NBC, a relationship that was reprised on Aug. 22 during a Brewers-Padres game at Miller Park. 
Costas was in Milwaukee for a ceremony to honor Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig, and stopped by the radio booth for what was supposed to be a quick visit. Uecker talked Costas into calling a few innings, including a very tough sixth for Brewers left-hander Manny Parra. 
 “A ringing single for David Eckstein,” Costas quipped at one point, “who, in my view, is the perfect size for an American male.” 
As the Padres knocked Parra around, Costas noted that some in the Miller Park crowd had begun to voice some displeasure. 
 “Bob, don’t take it personally,” Uecker said. “The booing will stop.”  
They will get serious for at least part of Friday’s interview. Uecker, 75, discusses his more than 55 years in professional baseball including his 40 seasons as the Brewers’ radio voice. He talks about the health issues that forced him to miss a significant chunk of the 2010 season and to undergo heart surgery in April and again in October. 
Costas will also explore Uecker’s place in pop culture, including his starring roles in the film series Major League, the TV series Mr. Belvedere, commercials for Miller Lite beer and his frequent guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, who gave him the nickname “Mr. Baseball.” 
“[Carson] didn’t know that much about baseball but as we went along he let me do whatever I wanted,” Uecker told Costas. “As a matter of fact, when I started doing the shows in New York, you get a script to follow and promote whatever you want to talk about. After about the tenth time I did the show Johnny said, ‘Do you need this stuff?’ and I said, ‘No, I thought you did.’ So from then on we pretty much just ad-libbed and went along and whatever he said I just jumped in and went along with it.” 
Baseball remained Uecker’s first love. 
“Not bragging by any means, but I could have done a lot of other stuff as far as working in films go and working in television,” Uecker says in Studio 42. “I had chances to do that stuff, but I like baseball, I really do …. The Mr. Belvedere series was great, it lasted six years, but each March when we finished up in California, I couldn’t wait to get to Arizona and get back to baseball and be around what I’ve been around for practically my whole adult life. After getting out of the service and going into baseball I never wanted to do anything else.” 
Of course, Costas and Uecker will have some fun. 
“Any teammate of mine that had a kid and a boy that was capable of playing baseball, I think I set a terrific example of ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘Don’t do that,'” Uecker told Costas. “And that’s one of the things that I’m most proud of.” 
He added: “I was sent to winter baseball in June and July sometimes.” 
Prior to Studio 42 with Bob Costas, MLB Network will air Best of Hot Stove, its offseason nightly studio show, at 6 p.m. ET. The show features a look at the moves all 30 clubs are making and planning in preparation for the upcoming season.
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Uecker released from hospital

Just in from the Brewers:
Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker has been released from Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital after undergoing successful heart surgery last Tuesday.
“I want to thank the doctors and staff at Froedtert again for the terrific care throughout the surgery and recovery,” Uecker said. “I am encouraged to be going home and I appreciate the kind wishes from Brewers fans as I continue to recuperate.”
The surgery was performed by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiothoracic Surgeon Alfred C. Nicolosi, MD.  
“We’re pleased that Bob’s doing well and can continue his recovery at home,” Nicolosi said. 
No interviews are available at this time, but it is expected that Uecker will be made available to the media in a press briefing at Miller Park at some point during his recovery. 
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Successful surgery for Uecker

Good news from the Brewers:

Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcaster Bob Uecker today underwent successful heart surgery at Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital. The six-hour surgery was performed by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiothoracic Surgeon Alfred C. Nicolosi, MD.  
“The surgery went very well,” said Nicolosi. “We did a limited repair of his pseudoaneurysm without having to redo anything from his first surgery.”  
It is expected that Uecker will remain hospitalized at Froedtert for approximately one week. The recovery time for the surgery is projected to be a minimum of eight weeks.
“On behalf of the entire Brewers organization, we are relieved to know that Bob’s latest surgery went as planned, and we look forward to his complete and speedy recovery,” said Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio.  “As always, we look forward to having Bob back at Spring Training in a little more than four months from now.”
“Our family is thankful today’s surgery went as expected,” said Bob Uecker, Jr., son of Bob, Sr. “We again thank all of those who continue to provide support through expressions of concern and well wishes.”
Periodic updates regarding Uecker’s condition will be announced through the Brewers. At this time, no interviews are being granted. All requests for information should be directed to the Brewers through the contact information listed above.
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Uecker to have additional heart surgery

Brewers Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker, who missed about 10 weeks of the 2010 season following heart surgery, will undergo an additional procedure next week, the team announced Thursday. 
The surgery, scheduled for Tuesday, is necessitated by a tear at the site of Uecker’s valve replacement.  According to a news release from the Brewers, doctors believe the tear occurred due to a skin-related staph infection which entered the bloodstream about six weeks after Uecker’s April 30 surgery and seeded itself into his surgical repair site.  
Uecker will need a minimum of eight weeks to recover from this latest procedure, according to the team. 
“I’m approaching this with the same optimism that I had the first time, and I appreciate all of the kind thoughts and well wishes from Brewers fans and everyone who has reached out to me,” Uecker said in the Brewers’ statement. “I have the highest confidence in the doctors and staff at Froedtert Hospital and I look forward to being ready to go well before Spring Training in Arizona.” 
Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin cardiothoracic surgeon Alfred C. Nicolosi performed the first surgery and will operate in Tuesday’s procedure as well. 
“Bob’s heart is stronger now following his initial operation and therefore I think he will tolerate this operation very well,” said Dr. James Kleczka, Uecker’s cardiologist.  “I expect that he will need 8-10 weeks to fully recover, after which he will be back to life as usual.” 
 
The Brewers will provide an update on Uecker’s condition following Tuesday’s surgery but made it clear that neither Uecker nor his caregivers would have further comment before then. 
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Uecker returns to booth, will work all home games

MILWAUKEE — A familiar face, and voice, has returned to the Brewers broadcast booth.

 

Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker, who had been gone since April after having heart surgery, was back Friday in his familiar role alongside Cory Provus as the Brewers play-by-play announcer.

Before the series opener with the Nationals on Friday, Uecker was his usual self.

“I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll,” Uecker said to open his press conference. “The doctors kind of said, ‘OK.’ They knew I was coming back anyway so there was nothing they could do.”

Uecker announced that he would work every home game through the end of the season while also covering select road trips.

As for where he might travel, Uecker suggested close cities such as Chicago and Cincinnati, as well as San Francisco because he “likes it there.”

“I’m really looking forward to coming back and working,” Uecker said. “Depending on how I feel, and I think I’m going to feel OK, I’m going to go back to work.”

Surgeons replaced Uecker’s aortic valve and a portion of his aortic root and performed a coronary bypass on one vessel on April 30. He was expected to return within 10-12 weeks, but a staph infection slowed his progress.

Uecker said the infection, his inability to put the weight back on — he’s still 10 pounds down from before the surgery — as well as getting the right mix of medications have the been the biggest struggles since he’s been away.

Even with the set back of the staph infection, however, Uecker’s return Friday came exactly 12 weeks to the date of the surgery.

“It’s been a long haul,” Uecker said. “Not from the surgery. I got that staph infection right after we had the last [press conference]. That was the thing that really put me down. I don’t know if it ever goes away. I’m still on a lot of medication for that.”

“It something that attacks new things in your body.”

Uecker said he had an 80 percent blockage in his aorta, though he “never had a pain, never had a problem.”

“I noticed the first night I was breathing better,” Uecker said. “I was breathing easier, not that I ever had a problem. … Now I feel stronger. I really do feel better.”

While he was away, Uecker joked that he was renting people to come stay with him due to the boredom of being away from Miller Park for so long.

That, he said, was what he missed most during his time off: being in the clubhouse, around the guys and being with Provus and producer Kent Sommerfeld in the radio booth.

“Every day at a certain time you’re supposed to be at the ballpark. When you can’t go to the ballpark, it’s terribly boring,” Uecker said. “When you’re around here as long as I’ve been here and you make friendships, you miss that stuff.”

Uecker’s doctors, Aldred C. Nicolosi and Jim Kleczka, in recognition of the work they did on the Brewers broadcaster, were given the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitches before Friday’s game.

After mentioning it, Uecker — right on cue — shared his thoughts about how they might do.

“I hope they do better than they did on my incision,” Uecker joked. “I hope they throw a good pitch tonight. They’re all fired up about that.”

Provus said earlier in the week that Uecker would have his usual pregame show with Brewers manager Ken Macha while doing play-by-play for six innings to Provus’ three.

So how would Uecker make his return to the broadcast booth even better?

“I’d like to win, I’d like to win all the time,” Uecker said. “I don’t worry about what I say or do. I could make stuff up, in my mind we’ll win. But I want them to win. I always want them to win.

“Winning is a lot more fun in the broadcast booth.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

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Uecker to resume in-game routine

I just spoke to Brewers radio man Cory Provus, who is thrilled to have his broadcast partner, Bob Uecker, returning to the booth beginning Friday. Uecker will address his workload that afternoon, but Provus’ understanding is that when he does call games, Uecker will resume his regular routine.

“He’ll have the Macha show, and he’ll call six innings and I’ll call three,” Provus said. “I’m really excited about it. I think everybody should be.”
Uecker has been on leave since undergoing heart surgery on April 30. 
“I’m looking forward to hearing the first ‘Get up, get up, get out of here! Gone!'” Provus said. “It’s been a blast with Davey [Nelson] the last three months, and he’s been a huge help to me and the broadcast. It’s just the Bob is the Brewers. This is the voice of the franchise, and we miss him.”
Look for more on Uecker’s pending routine over at Brewers.com later today.
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OMG: Torre and Uecker are texting

A certain sports magazine might call it this week’s sign of the apocalypse: Joe Torre and Bob Uecker are trading text messages. 
Torre, the Dodgers manager and Uecker’s onetime Milwaukee Braves teammate and roommate, said he sent a get well message to Uecker via text after the Brewers broadcaster underwent heart surgery last week. 
Was Torre surprised to learn that the old-school Uecker was a texter?
“Not as surprised as I was to be texting,” Torre joked.
Uecker called his old friend Torre before making his health issue public, and it came as no surprise that he delivered sobering news with a touch of his trademark humor. 
“He’s been that way at least for the part of his life that I know him, which is back into the early 1960s,” Torre said. 
The Brewers have sent a pair of updates about Uecker’s recovery since his Friday surgery and so far all reports are positive. Fans who don’t have Uecker’s cell phone number to send him a text can still post their messages here and we’ll pass them along. 
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Send your 'Get Well Ueck' messages

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AP Photo

he well-wishes for Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker have been pouring in from Miller Park and points elsewhere, and here’s your chance. Post your “get well soon” message or a favorite memory in the comments box below and we’ll make sure they get to Mr. Baseball during what everyone hopes is a speedy recovery from heart surgery. 
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Baseball to Ueck: Get well soon

Uecker01 copy.jpgScott Paulus/Brewers
Some of Bob Uecker’s closest friends have known for months that he’s been battling heart trouble. But when it became public on Tuesday that Uecker would undergo surgery and miss as much as three months of baseball, the well-wishes started really pouring in. 
“From around the world, really,” an appreciative Uecker said. “It’s really something.” 
Uecker will have surgery Friday morning to replace his aortic valve and remove a portion of his enlarged aorta. His doctor described the procedures as “a commonly done operation,” but it could sideline the 75-year-old Uecker for up to three months. 
He will have plenty of people around baseball pulling for a speedy recovery. 
“I’ve been talking with Bob regularly and knew this was coming but I’m just as worried as everybody else is,” said Braves broadcaster Jim Powell, Uecker’s on-air partner from 1996-2008. “I know this: ‘Ueck’ has overcome big hurdles his whole life and I fully expect this to be just another one he clears.  My guess is that he will use the experience as a source of a lot more trademark laughs after he’s recovered. 
“All the swimming he’s done over the years will come in handy in getting his body through this ordeal. Froedtert is a great hospital and he could not be in better hands. I’ll be among the legions who are praying for him before, during, and after the surgery. I expect my friend to be back in the booth calling games sooner than you think! I’ll be looking forward to going to see him in a couple of weeks when the Braves come to Milwaukee.”
Here are some more well-wishes from around the game to right here in Milwaukee:
Rangers president Nolan Ryan, who notched his 300th win in Milwaukee: “I just think he’s one of the true characters of the game. If I’m driving somewhere and the Rangers aren’t on, I’ll turn on his broadcasts and listen to him because I enjoy him. He looks at the game a little different than other people.” 

Former Brewer CC Sabathia: “My thoughts and prayers go out to him. I was only there for a couple of months, but every time he was around, he was real talkative — just a funny guy. I can remember he was always talking about fishing and how he loved to do it on his days off. He’s cool. He’s a good dude.”
Former Brewer J.J. Hardy: “He’s kind of like a grandpa to me. He’s treated me that way and I guess you could kind of say we’re friends more than co-workers. But we have a pretty good relationship. It’s tough [hearing about his health issue]. He’s got that personality that everybody loves. He’s always telling stories, always telling jokes. Whenever he’s around you’re always laughing. He’s just a great guy. … He just has an impact on people any time they meet him, they remember it. It’s sad to hear about this. But the way he is, I’m sure he’ll be fine. Just like he says, he wants to be back out there the day after it happens.”
Pirates reliever Jack Taschner, a Racine native: “Games here weren’t on TV as much as they are now, so everybody listened to Uecker. I’d ride my bike to my grandfather’s house in Milwaukee and cut his lawn and he’d sit out on the deck listening to Bob Uecker. My other grandfather, I’d go to his house, and the game is on and we’re listening to Uecker. You have a lot of people in different parts of the country that talk about someone being a voice. But Uecker has been here from the beginning. He is the Brewers. Bernie Brewers’ thing — “Get up. Get up. Get outta here. Gone” — is Uecker’s home run call. Obviously, I hope the best for him. He is everything to baseball in Milwaukee. Bud Selig saved the team, but Bob Uecker is the voice.”
Pirates catcher Jason Jaramillo, also of Racine: “I always listened to him a lot when driving home from games. He is just such a distinct voice. When you think of summers and baseball here, you hear that voice.”
Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum: “I’ve known Ueck since I was 19 years old. He’s a friend, a member of my family. It goes to show you that time flies and things like this happen. My prayers are with him, and hopefully things work out great.”
Brewers infielder Craig Counsell, who grew up in the Milwaukee area: “We’re concerned. He’s just one of the guys, so every time you take someone out of that, you miss him. He swims every morning and I’m kind of an early riser, so from time to time on the road we’ll meet and have breakfast together. Just sitting with him and listening to him tell stories, that’s something everyone should experience.”
 
Counsell used to listen to Uecker on the radio, just like the rest of Wisconsin. Counsell was born in Indiana but grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay.
“My memories were listening to him, like a lot of people, on a summer night outside the house while we played baseball until it got dark,” Counsell said. “I remember listening to him in my front yard for sure.” 
“It’s unfortunate, but he’s had a good spirit about it,” Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder said. “No matter what, he’s always a happy person. He has a good aura about him. Whenever he’s around, it’s a good time.” 
Counsell and every other Brewer said the same thing about Uecker on Tuesday: “He’s part of the team.” 
“That’s the way they treat me,” Uecker said. “They’re concerned, I know they are. So am I.”
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Uecker to undergo heart surgery

Update: You can read my full story about Uecker over at the main site. 

Hall of Fame Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker will undergo heart surgery at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee on Friday and will miss the next 10-12 weeks of games.

The Brewers made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon and plan to provide further details about Uecker’s health in a 3:30 p.m. ET press conference at Miller Park. Uecker and Dr. Jim Klezca of Froedtert Hospital will be present.

Uecker, 75, has been calling play-by-play on Brewers radio broadcasts since 1971 and was inducted into the broadcasters’ wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. He’s better-known nationally for his work in film and television, including appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It was Carson who dubbed Uecker, “Mr. Baseball.”

Uecker went on to star in commercials for Miller Lite, in the hit TV series Mr. Belvedere and the Major League series of films. He also hosted a pair of Wrestlemanias and was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last month during Spring Training.

Since the start of last season, Uecker has been paired with Cory Provus on Brewers radio broadcasts.

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