CATCHER IN THE WRY by Bob with Mickey Herskowitz Uecker


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Bob Uecker, like Joe Garagiola (Baseball Is a Funny Game), made a lackluster stint as a major-league catcher the laughing-stock-in-trade of a successful broadcasting career--and has now taken pen in hand. The result is an engagingly droll journeyman's view of the national pastime. The son of an immigrant Swiss tool-and-die-maker, Uecker ""was your average hot-shot athlete"" at his suburban Milwaukee high school. After an Army hitch, he signed with the hometown Braves. Following six enjoyable years in the club's farm system (though Chuck Dressen once cut him because ""there's no room on my team for clowns""), the free-spirited Uke returned to Milwaukee in 1962. In addition to a lifetime batting average of precisely .200, his chief claims to fame from a six-year, three-team stay in the majors were an inexplicable ability to hit Sandy Koufax, a roster spot on the 1964 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, and the ongoing adulation of the Bob Uecker Fan Club--an antic inspiration of students at Missouri's Drury College. Like brings a sense of proportion as well as humor to his memoir. ""Anyone with ability can play in the big leagues. To last as long as I did with the skills I had, with the numbers I produced, was a triumph of the human spirit."" Almost as good as Old-Timers' Day--and a credit to the prescience of the Bob Uecker Fan Club.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1982
Publisher: Putnam