Uecker had made a pretty good name for himself by accurately describing his less-than-storied career as a catcher -- he used to tell Johnny Carson that he had been signed to play for the Milwaukee Braves for $1,000, "because that was all my dad could afford." In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was added to Miller Brewing Company's "Miller All-Stars" satirical commercials. Directed by an usher to leave his seats next to some patrons clearly tiring of his yammering, he made a claim based on his fame as a former pro: "I must be in the front row." In the next scene, he is of course alone in the nosebleed section of a mostly empty stadium.
The back-row statue will actually be the second honoring Uecker, who has another outside the stadium along with three other Milwaukee baseball names. Reading that was where the mixed emotions come in, because of one of the other three statues. Not, of course, the one of Hank Aaron, whose baseball career began with the Braves in Milwaukee before they moved to Atlanta and who ended his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. Nor the one of Robin Yount, the Hall of Fame third baseman whose entire illustrious career was with the Brewers.
But there is one of current Major League Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers' owner Bud Selig, a man who has visited upon us the annoyance of interleague play, the silliness of linking World Series homefield advantage to the outcome of the All-Star Game and the absolute abomination of the 2002 All-Star Game, which he called after 11 innings as a tie. The only previous All-Star tie came in 1961 because of rain. If there is any fitting monument to Selig, a man who has left the game more or less leaderless since his tenure as commissioner began -- first in an acting capacity in 1992 and then officially in 1998 -- it is not a statue. It is a scorecard with a tie game on it. Or better yet, a rainout.