January 12, 2017

**UPDATE** A Bob Uecker Mystery

**UPDATE**

I talked to my Dad about the ball further and he said he found it at a St. Vincent DePaul thrift store in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. He agrees with the idea that it could be a batting practice ball as he remembers that Uecker would often pitch batting practice for the team in the late 80's early 90's which was about the time Doug Henry was with the Brewers. Uecker would mention that he pitched practice during his radio broadcasts at the time.

----------------------------------------------------------------

One of my Christmas gifts this year was an autographed baseball by Milwaukee Brewers announcer and all around baseball legend Bob Uecker. I believe my Dad came upon it at a thrift sale and so we knew nothing of the provenance of the piece. You might also notice that the ball is very dirty and played with and so we either have a kid who brought his only ball somewhere and got the autograph or, even better, the pristine autographed ball was played with, just like in The Sandlot.


Taking a look at the signature it matches up nicely with other certified Uecker autographs and so I'm pretty certain it is genuine.


Turning the ball over you will find a second autograph and this is where the mystery begins. Although the autograph is pretty legible, I was at a loss when trying to find exactly who signed it. 


I was pretty sure it was signed "Doug King" at first. But Doug King comes back as a minor league pitcher for the Reds and it doesn't quite fit with being on the same ball as a Uecker autograph.


Although I'm originally from Wisconsin, I grew up a Minnesota Twins fan and so my knowledge of the Brewers doesn't quite reach the "encyclopedic." Over the holidays I would look at the ball now and again and one day it hit me that the "K" could really be an "H." If we change the "g" to a "y" and re-imagine the middle squiggle then we have "Henry" instead. That's where we struck gold.

Doug Henry, member of the Milwaukee Brewers from 1991-1994. He recorded an impressive 29 saves during the 1992 season and collectors can find his rookie card in just about every major 1992 release.

Mystery solved and I can again sleep at night! But as I lay there wide awake, we still need to solve the real mystery, was the ball dirty when it was signed or did someone take it off the mantelpiece and throw it around the horn?

3 comments:

Tony Burbs said...

A Bob Uecker auto in a thrift shop? Well, that might be the find of the year already! I'm betting that the ball was dirty before it was signed - otherwise, I'm sure some ink would have bled or the auto would have been scuffed.

Laurens said...

Probably a batting practice baseball given to a kid at a MLB stadium - got the first guy who was signing [Henry] for fans, then lucked out to have spotted Uecker as well.

Bru said...

Definitely a Doug Henry on there. I've got a few from him from his stint with Houston.