If you are a long-time Brewers fan, and enjoy listening to a few of the 162 games in the season on the radio, then Bob Uecker is an old friend.
We are spoiled to have him there for us, with his great home run calls and telling stories to fill the downtime during the games.
Growing up on the city’s north side, even when the team wasn’t all that great, my neighborhood friends and I would get our ball and gloves and have a catch in the alley behind our garages. As we ran around, using light poles and tar marks in the concrete as bases, we would play our mini stick ball games in the late afternoons.
When our dads would get home from their jobs and work on projects in the garage, we could hear Uecker make the call during the first few innings of an evening game before our moms would call us to come inside the house as darkness fell.
As mobility issues hit me early in my childhood, I was stuck inside and bed ridden. An old clock radio that was purchased for a couple dollars at a church rummage sale was my escape and connection to the outside world. I’d tune into WTMJ-AM 620 and hear Uecker broadcast from spring training and learned how to see the game in my head. He could paint a picture of what was happening at the ballpark and for a few hours I was able to be free of pain and reality of the world I knew.
I heard this week that Uecker was going to be pulling back on the number of games he would broadcast this season. At 80, I can’t say I blame him. I’m half his age and have had to pull back on the work I do too.
"I'm going to do most of the games this year. I'm going to start cutting back," Uecker said.
"59 years is going to be enough where I think I want to kick back and relax a little bit. I'm going to make some of the (road) trips ... but I'm going to spend most of my time, probably, at Miller Park doing the home games. The west coast trips, I think I'm going to kind of cut back on."
WTMJ’s Greg Matzek reported the news, saying there was no cause for alarm, that Uecker was taking a small step back, and will still do all of the home games at Miller Park.
If you are a fan of Uecker like I am, I think we all agree that we will be grateful to have him on the microphone for as many games as we can have him.
MORE SING-OFF: Although the latest run of NBC’s a cappella music competition "The Sing Off" is off the air until its next season, the show’s tour is going strong across the U.S.
Back in December, The Pabst Theater announced the tour was making a stop in Milwaukee with a show on Thursday, March 20. The ticket sales went so well, that a second show has been added.
"Due to overwhelming demand, The Pabst Theater Group has added a second "Sing-Off" show on March 20 at 5:30 p.m.," said Andy Nelson of The Pabst Theater. "The second show of the night is sold out."
The second show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the new 5:30 p.m. show will go on sale on Friday at noon. More information is available here.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.