Brewers fans have counted on hearing Bob Uecker on the radio every summer night since 1971, but starting this season, the Ford C. Frick award winner will start to cut back on his broadcast schedule. Uecker told Newsradio WTMJ 620 that he’ll reduce the number of road games he’ll call in 2014.
Considering Uecker turned 80 over the weekend, it’s not necessarily a surprising move, but still a disappointing one for most fans. Despite the schedule cutback, Uecker swears he’s not thinking about retiring until he has problems getting around.
Adam McCalvy says the Brewers would use a yet-to-be-named analyst in games that Uecker takes off, presumably with Joe Block calling play-by-play for all nine innings. The early favorite for the analyst/color role may be Craig Counsell, who already travels with the team as a member of the front office and did well filling in on Brewers Live and the TV broadcasts last season.
Uecker’s schedule could end up looking something like Vin Scully’s schedule in Los Angeles. The 86-year-old Scully calls every Dodgers home game and road games in California and Arizona (essentially every division game except for those in Colorado). Uecker said Scully was one of the people he talked to before making the decision, and suggested to WTMJ 620 that he would cut back on calling the Brewers’ West Coast road trips. He’s probably a good bet to call most, if not all, of the Brewers’ road games that are closer to Milwaukee.
Selfishly, it’ll stink to have less Uecker this summer. But after nearly 60 years in baseball, he’s earned the right to be more selective about his schedule.
You can listen to the full Uecker interview on WTMJ 620’s site.