Milwaukee Brewers baseball announcer, comedian and former professional baseball player Bob Uecker will undergo heart surgery on Friday, April 30th. According to SI.com, 75-year-old Uecker will have his aortic valve replaced Friday morning, and will be away from the team for up to three months while recovering.
According to Wikipedia.com, Uecker signed a professional contract with his hometown Milwaukee Braves in 1956 and made his major league debut as a catcher with the club in 1962.
Uecker played major league baseball for six years, part of that time with the St. Louis Cardinals, including 1964 when they won the World Series. He then went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves, after they moved from Milwaukee. After retiring in 1967, Uecker could be seen in TV commercials and on the hit TV series Mr. Belvedere. He reportedly made 64 appearances on the Tonight Show, wherenicknamed him “Mr. Baseball”.
He has been a Brewers broadcaster for 40 years, but also hosted shows for hockey and wrestling, including Wrestlemainias III and IV. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001 and in 2003, received the Ford C. Frick award from the Baseball Hall of Fame, given annually to announcers who make major contributions to baseball.
To non Milwaukeans, he is perhaps most famous for his role of Harry Doyle, a baseball announcer for the Major League, Major League II, and Major League: Back to the Minors, where he popularized the phrase "Juuuust a bit outside...", referring to a pitch that is several feet outside the strike zone. He appeared in some DirecTV ads in the spring of 2007 uttering his famous phrase., in the movies
In his press conference on Wednesday 4/27, Uecker explains that health issues began to surface last September but his lead doctor, Dr. Jim Kleczka of Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin, told him to continue on with his life as they monitored his condition. However, things took a turn for the worse after the Brewers’ most recent road trip to Pittsburgh and Uecker says that Dr. Kleczka feels the surgery can’t wait any longer.
Uecker, who said he didn’t have any health problems other than shortness of breath while swimming, said he would do only home games upon his return, hoping to eventually add away games as he continued to heal.