Uecker set to return to booth Friday
That will be the call Friday when Milwaukee Brewers radio legend Bob Uecker returns to play-by-play duty for the first time since undergoing heart surgery April 30.
WTMJ-AM (620) and the club announced Wednesday that Uecker, 75, will return to action when the Brewers host the Washington Nationals at Miller Park. Uecker will hold a news conference at the stadium at 3 p.m. Friday to provide further details about his schedule for the remainder of the season.
Uecker has been recovering at home from surgery at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital performed by cardiothoracic surgeon Alfred Nicolosi. The extensive procedure removed portion of an enlarged aorta, replaced a leaking valve and involved a partial bypass.
During his recovery, Uecker had a temporary setback with a staph infection but was determined to get back to the radio booth as soon as possible. He is expected to do home games at first, then gradually work back into games on the road.
In his 40th year of radio broadcasts for the Brewers, Uecker first learned of his heart ailment last fall but hoped to make it through the 2010 season before having surgery. When his condition worsened early in the season, the decision was made to have the surgery immediately.
In Uecker’s absence, broadcast partner Cory Provus has handled all play-by-play duties, with Davey Nelson pitching in with analysis.
“It’s going to be an emotional day Friday,” said Provus, who indicated Uecker would “jump right in” with his usual six innings of play-by-play as well as the pregame show with manager Ken Macha.
“This is a big deal and it should be. His absence has been a big deal, for me, the fans and the franchise. He’s healthy now. That’s the important thing.”
The Hall of Fame broadcaster has paid a few visits to Miller Park since his surgery and it was no secret that he was pushing to get back to work as soon as possible. Provus said he had not been apprised of Uecker’s schedule.
“I’m curious to hear his plans,” said Provus.
“I’m glad it all worked out. I’m going to be excited to ’throw it to him.’ I’m sure he’s going to get a standing ovation from the fans that night. I’m going to have chills. I’m sure we all will.
“I’ve been talking to him on the phone and he sounds good. He’s ready to get back. I’m looking forward to it.
“I just want to thank Davey for the great job he has done. He has been a big help to me and the broadcast.”