Catch, Play, Laugh

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Bob Uecker

Before he was a play-by-play announcer, hilarious talk show guest, and beer commercial icon, Bob Uecker really was a professional catcher, playing at a level that relatively few ever achieve: the major leagues.

In a major league career that lasted six seasons, Bob Uecker batted .200 with 14 home runs and 74 RBIs. It was enough to launch an entertainment career that spanned radio, television and films.

Uecker was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1956. He spent the next eight years working his way through the Braves’ farm system, batting .250 in 46 games with the Braves in 1962 and 1963. At the beginning of the 1964 season, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Jimmie Coker and Gary Kolb. He batted .198 for the Cardinals in 1964, and hit .228 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 1965.

Following the 1965 season, Uecker was traded again, this time with Dick Groat and Bill White to the Philadelphia Phillies for Pat Corrales, Alex Johnson and Art Mahaffey. He batted .208 for the Phillies in 1966, with career highs in home runs (seven) and RBIs (30).

In 1967, he was traded back to the Braves for catcher Gene Oliver. He hit a combined .150 for the 1967 season, and was released at the end of the season.

At which point, Uecker retired … to fame and fortune.

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