MILWAUKEE (AP) — A statue of popular Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker was dedicated outside Miller Park on Friday, and those in attendance recalled it was all made possible because of some spilled mashed potatoes and gravy.
Uecker, affectionately dubbed "Mr. Baseball" by Johnny Carson in the 1970s, joined Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig as the fourth person to have a statue outside the main gates.
The 7-foot bronze statue features a smiling Uecker with his hands in his pockets.
"This is a good place to be," said the 77-year-old Uecker, who grew up in Milwaukee. "There are a lot of places that are warmer in the winter, but this place has been home to me for a long time."
More than half of the current Brewers players and the entire coaching staff turned out for the festivities before Milwaukee took on Pittsburgh. Former Milwaukee Braves teammate Joe Torre and former Brewers star Rollie Fingers attended the 90-minute ceremony, along with members of the television show "Mr. Belvedere," which starred Uecker from 1980 to 1985.
Carson's bandleader, Doc Severinsen, played with his 14-piece big band and Aaron's wife, Billye, sang an impromptu version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Yount was in Italy for a family wedding, but sent a playful video tribute.
A career .200 hitter in 297 major league games over six seasons as a catcher in the 1960s, Uecker was hired by his friend, Selig, in 1970 to be a scout for the first-year Milwaukee Brewers.