04/27/10 6:01 PM ET
Uecker to have heart surgery
Popular broadcaster, actor expected to miss 10-12 weeks
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
"But the latest scans that we've gotten have shown that the aorta has grown larger, and even though Bob doesn't have any symptoms right now, it's grown to the point that something needs to be done because I'm afraid he would have problems in terms of this thing potentially rupturing before the end of the season."That decision was made after the Brewers returned last Thursday night from a three-city road trip. "Things changed dramatically, pretty much," Uecker said. "I was advised not to go on this [upcoming] trip and that the surgery was going to be moved up. I was kind of hoping I would go to the end of the year and have it during the offseason, but it didn't work." Uecker has been calling play-by-play on Brewers radio broadcasts since 1971 and was inducted into the broadcasters' wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. He was inducted into the Miller Park Walk of Fame the same year, and then was added to the Milwaukee Braves Wall of Honor at Miller Park in 2009. He's better known nationally for his work in film and television, including appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It was Carson who dubbed Uecker "Mr. Baseball." Uecker went on to star in commercials for Miller Lite, in the hit TV series "Mr. Belvedere" and the "Major League" series of films. He also hosted a pair of Wrestlemanias and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last month during Spring Training. He is an avid swimmer who maintains a locker at Miller Park for his afternoon workouts in the team's resistance pool. Acquaintances could see even at the start of Spring Training that he was weak, but Uecker continued to swim a mile every morning, right through last week's road trip. Even as he received treatment over the winter and called early-season games while woozy with medication, Uecker never considered taking time off until the doctors required him to. "I don't want to quit," Uecker said. "I don't want to become a gibberish idiot on the air, either. I'll know when to quit. I'll know when to stop all the other activities. But, no, I don't feel like I can't work anymore. I look forward to coming to the park every day. That's the highlight of the day. "I don't think I'm ready [to quit] until someone tells me to, Mark [Attanasio, the team's principal owner] or someone. Then we'll probably have a scuffle." He kids, he kids. When he is cleared to return, Uecker will probably begin on a part-time basis calling home games. "When they think I'm ready to travel, I'm going to go," Uecker said. "And I'll keep going."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.