2.11.2010

A statue of who??

Answer me this: Can you see yourself finding a statue of Bud Selig and asking a passerby to take your camera and shoot a photo of you standing next to it?

I mean, this guy?

Me neither.

So what gives, Attanasio? Why Selig?

Mark says , "The Brewers and Miller Park are in this city because of the Commissioner's vision and dedicated efforts. Just as importantly, he has remained a prominent and highly philanthropic member of our community while effectively leading Major League Baseball during his tenure as baseball's top executive."

Okay, then say thank you. Give him a plaque. Maybe do a bobble-head day.

But a statue amongst the two greatest men to ever play baseball in Milwaukee?

The decision to put up a statue of Hank Aaron was a no-brainer. He was at the time the Home Run King (and arguably still is), and is probably the most recognizable face of Milwaukee baseball, dating back to his days as a Milwaukee Brave. That he hit his final homer as a Brewer just sealed the deal.

Yount being the other player immortalized in bronze was another fantastic choice. He's a representation of the Brewers' glory days, The Kid, Mr. 3,000 hits, each one made as a Brewer (sorry Molitor). The handlebar mustache in baseball generally elicits thoughts of relief pitchers in most baseball fan's minds, but for the Brewer fan, the first face they see is Robin Yount.

And...Bud Selig.

I'm sorry, him making the trio is incredibly unsatisfying to me. Yes, its true, on paper the move makes sense. Without Selig Milwaukee may have either been moved or contracted. He made it possible for the team to return to the NL, and as MLB Commish he's already solidified himself as one of the most recognizable people to ever be associated with the club. But there are two key flaws that negate all his accomplishments:

1 - He oversaw (and willingly overlooked until his hand was forced) the steroid era.

2 - He's a sour looking man whose visage sparks no positive memories.

If the club really wanted a third statue to complete the ever-satisfying magic number 3, I have a suggestion. Some know him as Harry Doyle, others as Mr. Baseball. Me? I just call him Uke.

Bob Uecker, voice of the Milwaukee Brewers, advocate for Usingers, and the man single handedly responsible for getting Brewers fans throughout Wisconsin through the final 4 innings of many a blowout during the Crew's 12 year reign of error. For many, he is Brewers baseball.

There have been endless discussions on who would go on the Mount Rushmore of Wisconsin sports, and I've always felt Bob would be one of my four. And if he's worthy of that, then he certainly deserves to be the third person immortilized in bronze outside Miller Park.

Mark Attanasio, I want my tourist-photo with bronze-Bob Uecker, not bronze-Bud Selig. You dropped the ball.


3 comments:

  1. You make a valid point about Uecker deserving to be given a statue at Miller Park and he almost certainly will receive that recognition, sooner than later. But Selig deserves to be remembered too.

    It's easy to look at Selig the Commissioner and forget about Selig the Owner. Yes, Selig the commissioner has had his down moments, including a work stoppage and the steroid era, but he also brought about some major improvements to the game (the wild card and interleague play).

    But disregarding Selig the Commish, Selig the Owner deserves to be immortalized. Without him the Brewers don't stay competitive with a higher payroll throughout the 80's. Even more importantly, without him the Milwaukee Brewers simply don't exist. It was Selig that brought the failing Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee. As long as there is pro baseball in the Brew City, we have him to thank and for that.

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  2. Without Selig, Aaron doesn't come back to MKE to finish out his days, and without Selig, there is no Brewers for Yount to hit 3,000 hits for. Immortalize the man for this contribution to Brewers baseball. I've said this a couple of times now, I think they should wait until after 2012 when he steps down as commish, but he deserves a statue nonetheless.

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  3. You're both very right, and I'm willing to overlook reason number one for not erecting a Selig statue. But I just can't get past #2.

    You erect statues of icons, not the men behind the scenes. Statues go to the heroes, the Vince Lombardis and the Robin Younts. Men take their sons up to a statue, say, "When I was your age, I watched this man play," then tell their favorite memory. This statue is an elaborate, public and permanent thank you card which will be appreciated by few outside the man and his family.

    There are a number of ways to honor Selig. A bust in a glass case when you walk into the main entrance at Miller Park. Rename Miller Park Way Bud Selig Way. And by all means put his name up on the wall of fame with the retired numbers. But statue number three should go to Bob Uecker, whose "GET UP, GET OUTTA HERE, GONE!" is known by every Brewer fan in the state.

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