"Just a bit outside." The famous line uttered by Bob Uecker in the all-time great baseball flick Major League. That same Bob Uecker who played Harry Doyle, the announcer for the hapless Cleveland Indians actually played Major League Baseball himself in real life and was a Phillie. His professional career in the bigs was lackluster at best- 6 seasons, .200 average, 297 games, and 14 homeruns while playing catcher for the Milwaukee Braves, Cardinals, Phillies (1966-67), and ending with the Atlanta Braves. Uecker isn't best remembered as an athlete though, he's known for his humor which has garnered him many roles after his playing days.
Uecker played the dad, George Owens, in the 80's tv sitcom Mr. Belvedere (one of Corey's favorites). He's currently doing radio for the Milwaukee Brewers, and I must admit he's a pleasure to listen to on XM. He made numerous appearances on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and used to do humorous Miller Lite commercials. He's written two books- Catcher in the Wry and Catch 222 (those titles sound strangely familiar). He's also a member of the Radio Hall of Fame and has won the Ford C. Frick Award.
Some classic Uecker quotes:
"You know, I was once named Minor League Player of the Year...unfortunately, I had been in the majors for two years at the time."
"I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually, I was born in Illinois. My mother and father were on an oleo margarine run to Chicago back in 1934, because we couldn't get colored margarine in Wisconsin. On the way home, my mother was with child. Me. And the pains started, and my dad pulled off into an exit area, and that's where the event took place. I remember it was a Nativity type setting. An exit light shining down. There were three truck drivers there. One guy was carrying butter, one guy had frankfurters, and the other guy was a retired baseball scout who told my folks that I probably had a chance to play somewhere down the line."
Poker? I hardly know her!
New Phillie Geoff Jenkins is busy being a good boy this offseason. How? By playing poker of course. Hey, betting is cool as long as it's for charity. The charity Jenkins is helping to raise funds for is the Boys and Girls Club of Phoenix (where he resides during the winter). Pro athletes in attendance were MLB players Jermaine Dye, Chris Young, Conor Jackson, Doug Davis, Eric Chavez, Jacque Jones, Justin Morneau, Paul Konerko, Bill Hall, J.J. Hardy, Aaron Boone, Ryan Garko, Russell Martin, Brian Roberts, Randy Flores, Mike Hampton, and Grady Sizemore; the NFL was represented too with Javon Walker and Larry Fitzgerald. The event, which Geoff hopes becomes annual, raised nearly $60k...not too shabby. Now time to focus on baseball, no more poking around with poker.