Results tagged ‘ Bob Costas ’

Uecker Statue Unveiled at Miller Park

All month long we’ve been celebrating our very own Mr. Baseball with photos, our favorite “Ueckerisms” and more all leading up to his statue dedication today.

In front of a crowd that included too many notables from the worlds of baseball and entertainment to list, his family, friends, colleagues and fans, Bob Uecker‘s statue was finally unveiled, ‘juuust a bit outside’ Miller Park.

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Music was provided by Doc Severinsen and his Big Band. Bob Costas was the emcee. Speakers included Mark Attanasio, Dick Ebersol, Commissioner Selig and Hank Aaron. Robin Yount sent in a taped message from Italy where he was attending a family wedding. The Mr. Belvedere cast was reunited. Hank’s wife, Billye, serenaded Bob with a beautiful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

And the laughs kept on coming. Oh, the laughs.

“My dad says that every time you make someone laugh, you add 15 minutes to his life,” Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio said, calculating that if that’s true, then Bob has personally extended his life by at least one year so far–or over 34,000 laughs.

Well, everyone in attendance and watching on FSWisconsin also extended their lives today as each person who spoke during the hour and a half long ceremony (including Bob himself, of course) had their own funny stories to share.

In his speech, Commissioner Selig called Bob “the best ambassador for this franchise” who “embodies goodwill, not only for the Brewers but for the sport of baseball” and today we were reminded once again just how fortunate we are to have him here in Wisconsin with us, providing the soundtrack of summer for Brewers fans everywhere.

Cheers to Bob Uecker, everyone!

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

P.S. For those who missed out, FSWisconsin will be re-airing the ceremony after tonight’s game!

And don’t forget–we also want to hear from you! On Twitter, post any photos you may have, or share your favorite memories of Bob, or listening to Bob. Send us your well wishes and congratulations for him. Coming to the games this weekend? Share your photos near the statue!  As long as it’s Uecker-related, send it to us in 140 characters or less using the hashtag: #Uecker.

Not on Twitter? Share your stories by posting in the comment fields below our various Uecker-ism pictures on Facebook, or email your personal photos to: JohnandCait@brewers.com (Subject line: UECKER).

To see our collection of Ueckerisms, click here.

To learn more about Uecker’s history and the statue itself, click here.

9th Annual Evening with Hank Aaron a Success

The 9th Annual “Evening With Hank Aaron,” presented by Brewers Community Foundation and the Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, was held last night in the NYCE Stadium Club at Miller Park.

The exclusive event with the Hall-of-Famer, husband, philanthropist and businessman included a dinner with notables Hank’s former teammates Felix Mantilla and Johnny Logan, as well as former Brewers player Craig Counsell, now Special Assistant to the General Manager; a silent auction and a Q&A session with Hank hosted by Bob Costas, broadcaster with NBC Sports and the Major League Baseball Network. Each guest also received a professional photo with Hank, and a special gift autographed by him.

“My week goes from the sublime to the ridiculous,” Bob said in his introduction, referencing the fact that not only did he have the opportunity to interview Hank Aaron during the event, but that he will also be the emcee for Bob Uecker’s statue dedication on Friday.

The riveting interview touched on some of the adversity that Hank experienced en route to becoming the Home Run King.

Growing up in Mobile, Ala. Hank was told by his own father that he couldn’t be a pilot, something that he aspired to do as a young boy. “Forget about it boy, because there ain’t no colored pilots,” Hank recalled his father saying. When Hank told his father he would focus on baseball instead, his father told him, “You can forget about that too. Your only options are to become a school teacher or blow a saxophone.”

Hank didn’t let that stop him, though. And, when, as an 18-year-old, he attended a baseball camp with the Dodgers in Mobile and he was told, “Listen son, you’re too little, go home. You can’t play baseball,” he didn’t let that stop him either.

Coming up in the Negro and Minor Leagues, Hank started out as second baseman—batting cross-handed nonetheless—before he grew into the powerful home run hitter we remember him as.

And, even as his professional career flourished and he was chasing Babe Ruth’s home run record, there were a lot of people who wanted to see him break it, but there were also a lot of people who didn’t.

“The two years that I spent chasing Babe Ruth’s record were two years that I don’t talk about much because I have mixed feelings about it, really,” Hank said. During that time, he received a lot of hate mail and his family had to be protected.

In spite of those barriers, Hank prospered and is, as Bob noted, one of the two greatest players living today, along with Willie Mays.

“So, which one of you was better?” Bob asked.

Without missing a beat, Hank said, “I was! I say that jokingly. We played in many All-Star Games together and he truly was a great ballplayer, no question about that. But when I had a bat in my hand, I didn’t fear anybody. I didn’t think that anybody could get me out. I felt like I was in complete command of everything. I wasn’t worried about playing the outfield. I could steal a base when I wanted to; I felt like I had enough knowledge of how to run the bases. I didn’t have the strongest arm in the world, but I didn’t make too many mistakes throwing from right field. I felt like my baseball career was second to none and I didn’t take a backseat to anybody. I just played baseball. “

Hank talked about his two stints in Milwaukee, the city that bookended his career.  He hit his first home run as a Milwaukee Braves player and his last as a Milwaukee Brewers player.

“This is the greatest city in the world. I loved playing here in Milwaukee… I don’t remember ever being boo’ed  here….I always felt like I was treated fairly in Milwaukee. I was one of the first players to come through the system from Eau Claire to Jacksonville and I felt like I belonged in the city. I felt like people appreciated what I was doing.”

Throughout the night, fans were treated to a walk down memory lane as names like Joe Adcock, Wes Covington, Warren Spahn, Don Drysdale and more were bought up in a conversation that spanned a wide range of topics like pitchers Hank enjoyed facing, his greatest rivals and regrets, and how Hank and Bob each initially fell in love with the game.

And, while Hank’s statistical record speaks for itself, when Bob closed by asking him how he wishes to be remembered, Hank said,

“Not for whatever I did in baseball, but as someone who cared about other people. Baseball came easy to me, but I felt like there were other players who were capable of doing the things that I did.  The most important thing is how I tried to treat other people. I’ve tried to live my life that way.”

And indeed, Hank is already living this legacy with the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, created by Hank and his wife, Billye. The foundation’s goal is to help children with limited opportunities and financial barriers develop their special talents and pursue their dreams.

All proceeds from the event benefit the fund and are administered locally to help children in the Milwaukee area.

A slideshow from the event is below. I hope you will join me in 2013!

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-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

To learn more about Brewers Community Foundation’s Evening with Hank Aaron and how you can support both BCF and the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, click here or contact Meredith Malone at meredith.malone@brewers.com.

Brewers Set to Unveil Bob Uecker Statue on Friday at Miller Park

We’ve been celebrating Hall-of-Fame Broadcaster Bob Uecker all month with photos, our favorite “Ueckerisms” and more across our various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, all leading up to a statue unveiling this Friday juuust a bit outside of Miller Park.

Fans have been inquiring about details for the event and we have them for you here now:

In front of an audience of friends, family and dignitaries, the statue will be revealed at its home near Miller Park’s Home Plate Plaza in a ceremony that is scheduled to start at 1:30p.m. Bob Costas, broadcaster with NBC Sports and the MLB Network, will serve as emcee.

There is a very limited amount of standing room for the general public around the perimeter of the tent, and it is available free of charge on a first come, first served basis. For those at home or work, you can watch the ceremony live on FOX Sports Wisconsin.

If you’re unable to make the ceremony, you can still be one of the first people to see the statue in person at Miller Park as tickets still remain for Friday night’s game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 p.m. Make sure you get there early, as Uecker will be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.
Uecker’s statue will join those of Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and Commissioner of Baseball Allan H. “Bud” Selig. The Aaron and Yount statues were unveiled on April 5, 2001, the first year of Miller Park’s existence, and were donated by the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Foundation. On August 24, 2010, Selig became the third honoree when his statue was unveiled in an afternoon program.

The Uecker statue is cast in bronze, measures over seven feet in height not including the base, and was designed and produced by Brian Maughan, who (along with Douglas Kwart) also created the Aaron, Selig and Yount statues.

Watch as preparations are made to get the statue in place for Friday:

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We also still want to hear from you! On Twitter, post any photos you may have, or share your favorite memories of Uecker, or listening to Uecker, in 140 characters or less using the hashtag: #Uecker. 

Not on Twitter? Share your stories by posting in the comment fields below our various Uecker pictures on Facebook, or email your personal photos to: JohnandCait@brewers.com (Subject line: UECKER).

 

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

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