"People have asked me a lot of times because I didn't hit a lot—we all know that—how long a dozen bats would last me," Bob Uecker once said. "Depending on the weight and the model that I was using at that particular time, I would say about 8 to 10 cookouts." All jokes aside, it does appear that Uecker either wielded a small number of bats in his 6-season playing career, or else they were thoughtlessly discarded due to his mediocrity!
From 1962 to 1967, Mr. Baseball logged just shy of 300 games and just over 700 at-bats with the Braves, Cardinals and Phillies. His entire career stats (146 hits, 14 HRs, 74 RBIs and 96 walks) amounted to little more than a season's worth of production for his contemporaries. Or, as Uecker described his plate prowess: "If a guy hits .300 every year, what does he have to look forward to? I always tried to stay around .190 with three or four RBIs. And I tried to get them all in September. That way I always had something to talk about during the winter.” Another source of perverse pride was that 2 of his paltry 14 homers (plus an intentional walk!) came off none other than Sandy Koufax.
But how could anybody have predicted that this unassuming bullpen catcher would become an institution, a national treasure, a Hall of Fame member? The beloved "Voice of the Brewers," Uecker entered the broadcast booth 50 years ago and never left, despite a promising career in comedy on the Tonight Show (more than 100 interviews with Johnny Carson), Mr. Belvedere, Saturday Night Live, Major League and those classic Miller Lite commercials. Before all that, not a soul had the foresight to hold onto Uecker's game-used bats for posterity.
Yet somehow this fine specimen survived, and not only is it the first Uecker gamer to reach the auction block in the past two decades, it's also the only authentic example ever documented by PSA! The 35", 33.1-oz. beauty demonstrates outstanding use (w/back-barrel crack) and features a labeling period just after his trip to the 1964 World Series. "I helped the Cardinals win the pennant in ’64," he boasted. "I came down with hepatitis. The trainer injected me with it." Uecker's unique brand of side-splitting, self-effacing comedy is exactly what we all need during these tragic times. So let us leave you with two of his most famously funny lines (both linked on our website): I must be in the front row and Just a bit outside. Don't leave us, Bob! Baseball will never be the same without you. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.