Entering his 47th season as a broadcaster for his hometown team, calling games on 620 WTMJ and the Brewers Radio Network, Bob Uecker celebrates his 62nd year in baseball.
Uecker earned the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award in 2003 and will forever be recognized in Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. On July 27, 2003, he made one of the most memorable speeches in Hall of Fame history as he left his audience, including former President George H.W. Bush, in tears from laughter.
Also in 2003, Uecker became a member of the Brewers Walk of Fame, which is located near home plate outside Miller Park. In 2012, he was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
On August 31, 2012, Uecker was given a very special honor as a statue bearing his likeness was dedicated outside Miller Park. The ceremony was attended by celebrities, current and former players, family and friends. Uecker's statue joined those previously dedicated to fellow Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and Commissioner Emeritus Allan H. "Bud" Selig.
On April 25, 2014, a second statue was dedicated in Uecker's honor, this one in the last row of the "Uecker Seats" on Miller Park's Terrace Level. The statue commemorates Uecker's Miller Lite commercials in which he famously delivered the often repeated line, "I must be in the front row!" The statue allows fans a special photo opportunity. Also in 2014, Uecker was commissioned into the new Brewers Wall of Honor inaugural class.
Known across the country as "Mr. Baseball," Uecker is highly respected in the industry. In 2001, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, where he joined such baseball broadcasting luminaries as Vin Scully, Mel Allen, Red Barber, Ernie Harwell and Jack Brickhouse, as well as other American icons such as Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Edward R. Murrow and Orson Welles. In 2011, he was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.
Uecker has been named Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year five times during his career and was inducted into the Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Also, for his efforts, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Artists Hall of Fame in 1993, which was established in 1983 to honor nationally and internationally known performing artists with Wisconsin ties. In 1994, Uecker was elected to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In January 1995, he earned the Big B.A.T. Award from the Baseball Assistance Team at a dinner in New York City for his continuing support of former Major League stars who are in need of assistance.
Uecker's big break can be traced to a 1969 visit with Al Hirt, a renowned jazz trumpeter from New Orleans. Hirt opened a small nightclub in Atlanta and asked Uecker to come on stage. Hirt was so impressed that he arranged an appearance for Uecker on The Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson. Uecker became one of Carson's favorite guests, making 100+ appearances before Carson retired in 1992. He also made appearances on The Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin Shows, Late Night with David Letterman, and as guest host on Saturday Night Live.
Uecker became a national celebrity, and the ABC Network took advantage of his popularity. He made appearances on The Superstars and The Midnight Special, which opened the door for more high-profile appearances.
A versatile talent, Uecker's credits go far beyond guest appearances and play-by-play. In 1985, he launched a television acting career as one of the stars of ABC's sitcom Mr. Belvedere, which put 122 episodes into syndication. He also hosted two syndicated television shows, Bob Uecker's Wacky World of Sports and Bob Uecker's War of the Stars.
Uecker was one of the Miller Lite All-Stars in popular commercials for the beer during the 1980s. He was also cast as a radio announcer in the movie Major League, which was filmed at County Stadium, and Major League II. Uecker even made appearances in the pro wrestling circuit, serving as a host at WrestleMania III and WrestleMania IV, earning him a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.
Uecker's experience broadcasting Brewers games both on radio and television gained him national recognition as he went on to serve as color commentator for ABC Sports coverage of Monday Night Baseball, the League Championship Series and World Series.
Uecker's accomplishments are not limited to the electronic medium. He authored a book entitled Catcher in the Wry, a humorous look back on the years he spent as a catcher with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies during six seasons in the Major Leagues. One of his career highlights as a player came in 1964, when he was a member of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Despite his national attention and success, Uecker never forgot his roots. In 2015, he was honored with the Lombardi Foundation's Award of Excellence for his role in helping raise funds and awareness for cancer research. His philanthropic efforts have also benefitted several local organizations, including the United Performing Arts Fund, the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Fund, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
In addition, Uecker is an advocate for organizations that battle cystic fibrosis and heart disease, and is involved with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Jeff Levering is entering his third season with the Brewers after joining the organization in January 2015.
In addition to calling play-by-play on 620 WTMJ, Levering has also provided content through the Club's social media platforms as the creator of a podcast called Brewers on Tap and the Minor Details blog, which features information on the team's minor-league system.
During each of the past two offseasons, Levering also served as a play-by-play announcer for college basketball games on FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network.
Levering previously spent two seasons (2013-14) as the lead broadcaster of the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He worked for three seasons (2010-12) as the radio voice and manager of public relations for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. Prior to arriving in Springfield, he spent three seasons (2007-09) as director of broadcasting/media relations for the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Levering began his professional broadcasting career in 2005 as a field reporter and associate producer for FOX Sports West/Prime Ticket in Los Angeles, covering the Angels, Lakers and UCLA.
Levering received his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Chapman University in Orange, California, where he also played baseball all four years. He was the starting designated hitter on the 2003 D-III national championship team.
Jeff and his wife, Ashley, have a son named Brock. Levering tweets from @JLevering4.
Lane Grindle begins his second season with the Brewers after joining the radio broadcast team in February 2016. Throughout the season, he broadcasts games alongside Jeff Levering during games missed by Hall of Famer Bob Uecker.
Grindle joined the Brewers following 10 seasons (2006-15) behind the microphone for University of Nebraska baseball radio broadcasts on the Husker Sports Network. He spent his first two seasons as the Cornhuskers' pre/postgame host prior to becoming the play-by-play announcer in 2008. Grindle also held positions as a pregame host and sideline announcer for Nebraska football (2007-15) and hosted a television show for Nebraska basketball (2008-13).
Grindle graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2004 with a degree in contemporary media and journalism, and minored in history. He and his wife, Ali, have three daughters, Josie, Payton and Harper, and a son named Luke. They reside in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
Fans can follow Grindle on Twitter at @lanegrindle.
Kent Sommerfeld enters his 32nd season as the producer of Brewers radio broadcasts.
Sommerfeld has acquired a wide range of experience during his tenure in the broadcasting field. He has been the radio producer/director for the Marquette University radio network since 1990 and periodically fills in doing play-by-play for men's basketball. Sommerfeld was named director of the Marquette basketball radio network in 1999 and does play-by-play for Marquette University women's basketball on the BIG EAST Digital Network. He also works as a freelance producer and engineer for NBA games.
Sommerfeld attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he earned a degree in communications and broadcast journalism. While at Whitewater, Sommerfeld was the sports director of Cable TV-6, a wing of Whitewater's cable system, as well as the co-host of Sports Chat, a sports talk show on WSUW-Radio.
In addition to his radio accolades, Sommerfeld has worked with ESPN's technical staff on several events in the Midwest. He also worked at KRBC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Abilene, Texas, as a sports/news photojournalist.
Born in Milwaukee, Sommerfeld attended Brookfield Central High School. Kent and his wife, Karen, reside in New Berlin with their sons, Peter, Luke and Donovan.
Brian Anderson was named Brewers play-by-play announcer on January 10, 2007. The 2017 season marks his 11th as a Major League broadcaster.
Anderson was honored with the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year Award, presented by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters of America, for two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014.
For the past nine seasons, Anderson has been tabbed by TBS to do play-by-play for the network's coverage of the postseason. In 2011, he called the Brewers-Cardinals NLCS. In 2010, he was behind the mic for Roy Halladay's historic no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the NLDS vs. Cincinnati.
Since 2010, Anderson has called network play-by-play for Turner Sports' Sunday MLB on TBS package. He will continue to call select Sunday national games in 2017. In addition to baseball, he has covered the NCAA Basketball Tournament for Turner/CBS Sports since 2012, the NBA on TNT since 2014, and added the NFL on CBS in 2014.
Anderson joined the Brewers from the Golf Channel, where he was a play-by-play announcer from 2003-06. In his role there, he served as a host for a variety of the network's events, including the PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour. Anderson also worked at FOX Sports Southwest, calling NCAA college basketball from 2002-07 and serving as a sideline reporter for the San Antonio Spurs from 1999-2007, where he saw the Spurs win three NBA championships.
From 1998-2000, Anderson handled Minor League and Little League Baseball telecasts for ESPN. He received his start in baseball with the Double-A San Antonio Missions of the Texas League, serving as a radio/television play-by-play announcer from 1994-2003.
Anderson played catcher on the nationally-ranked baseball team at St. Mary's University (Texas) and graduated cum laude from the school in 1993 with a degree in English-communications. His brother, Mike, had a stint in the majors as a pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds (1993) and is currently a Major League scout with the Texas Rangers.
Brian and his wife, Michele, and daughter, Maddy, reside in Hartland, Wisconsin.
Bill Schroeder enters his 23rd season as color commentator on Brewers telecasts.
Schroeder began his career behind the microphone in 1995 following a distinguished playing career as a catcher. Only Hall of Famer Bob Uecker has broadcast more games in franchise history. Among his accomplishments, Schroeder was enshrined on the prestigious Brewers Wall of Honor on July 17, 2015.
For the past 14 winters, Schroeder has also served as the coordinator of Brewers Fantasy Camp. The camp is always a hit, selling out each year at the Brewers' Spring Training home in Phoenix, Arizona.
Schroeder spent eight seasons (1983-90) in the majors with the Brewers and California Angels, posting a career-best .332 batting average in 1987. He caught Juan Nieves's no-hitter on April 15, 1987 at Baltimore in the midst of the team's Major League record-tying 13-0 start. In addition, he clubbed a career-high 14 home runs and had 42 RBI in a backup role that season. Schroeder was traded to the Angels following the 1988 campaign before retiring in 1990.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Schroeder graduated from West Windsor Plainsboro High School, where he earned All-State honors as a junior and senior. He attended Clemson University, leading the Tigers to the Atlantic Coast Conference title in 1978 and 1979.
"Rock" and his wife, Kate, reside in New Berlin, Wisconsin. He has two daughters, Lindsey and Mallory, a son, Billy, and two granddaughters, Madelyn and Presley. The couple also has a miniature dachshund named Rupert.
Schroeder's book, If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers, which was written with Drew Olson, was published in 2016. He tweets from @BrewersFanCamp.
Jerry Augustine is in his 10th season as an analyst with FOX Sports Wisconsin.
Augustine played his entire 10-year Major League career with the Brewers after being drafted out of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1974. In 1976, he was named to the American League All-Rookie Team and was selected by Milwaukee baseball writers as Brewers Rookie of the Year. In June 2014, Augustine was part of the inaugural class of inductees to the Brewers Wall of Honor.
A native of Kewaunee, Wisconsin, Augustine was high school teammates with Jack Novak, who later played in the NFL, and Dale Koehler, who went on to start for the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team for three years.
Following his playing career, Augustine was head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1995-2006, where he compiled a record of 347-297-1. His teams made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Fans can follow Augustine on Twitter at @Jaugie46.
Craig Coshun begins his 17th season covering the Brewers as a pre/postgame host and sideline reporter on FOX Sports Wisconsin. He performs the same duties for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA following the baseball season.
Coshun has filled in as play-by-play announcer during his time with the team. In addition, he co-hosts the Brewers Extra Innings postgame show on 620 WTMJ Radio.
Coshun is a veteran sportscaster in the state, calling several events for the University of Wisconsin, the Big Ten Network and the ESPN family of networks. He has also handled the WIAA state high school football championships.
Coshun and the FOX Sports Wisconsin production team have captured multiple Emmy Awards for their work covering the Brewers and Bucks.
Coshun began his television broadcast career in Eau Claire at NBC affiliate WEAU before landing in Madison, where he was the sports director at NBC affiliate WMTV until 2000.
Craig is a graduate of UW-Whitewater. He and his wife, Pam, reside in Verona, Wisconsin, with their sons, John and Jake.
Fans can find Coshun on Twitter at @CraigCoshun.
Matt Lepay returns for his fourth season on the television broadcast team with FOX Sports Wisconsin after joining the network in January 2014.
Lepay has earned Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year honors seven times, presented by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Since 1994, he has been the voice of Wisconsin Badgers football, and the 2016-17 season marks his 29th as the men's basketball play-by-play announcer.
In his time with the University of Wisconsin, Lepay has announced five Rose Bowl Games and 20 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearances, including the Badgers' trips to the 2000, 2014 and 2015 Final Four.
Lepay joined WIBA Radio in Madison in 1994 after a stint as sports director at WTSO Radio (also in Madison). He authored a book entitled Why Not Wisconsin?, released in 2012. The book chronicles the Wisconsin football and basketball programs since he arrived in Wisconsin in 1988. In addition to his play-by-play duties, Lepay handles a number of speaking appearances on behalf of UW Athletics.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Lepay and his wife, Linda, reside in Cross Plains, Wisconsin. Lepay received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University.
Fans can follow Lepay on Twitter at @MattLepay.
Sophia Minnaert is entering her fifth season as a sideline reporter for Brewers broadcasts on FOX Sports Wisconsin. She also contributes to the network's social media coverage.
In addition to her role with the Brewers, Minnaert works on Milwaukee Bucks broadcasts, WIAA football state championships and Hockey Day Minnesota for FOX Sports North.
Prior to joining Brewers television, Minnaert worked for PlayOn! Sports Midwest on high school state championships for FOX Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Midwest and CSN Chicago. She also worked as a feature reporter on FOX Sports Wisconsin's Prep Zone.
Minnaert and FOX Sports Wisconsin traveled to the Dominican Republic in November 2013 for the series Baseball in the Dominican Republic, which included features on the Brewers Academy and former Brewer Carlos Gomez, and the Emmy-nominated Baseball in the Dominican Republic: Jean Segura.
A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Minnaert graduated from Edgewood High School. In 2009, she graduated from Marquette University with degrees in journalism and Spanish language and literature.
Minnaert can be found on Twitter at @SophiaMinnaert.
Dave Nelson begins his 11th season as an analyst for FOX Sports Wisconsin broadcasts. He also serves as Brewers director of alumni relations and leads the team's speakers bureau. In his front office role, Nelson maintains a database of former Brewers players and organizes events for Brewers alumni.
Prior to his current role, Nelson served as Brewers first base coach from 2003-06. In 2001 and 2002, he was a minor league outfield instructor with the organization. Nelson began his Major League coaching career in 1981 with Chicago-AL and later spent time coaching in Cleveland, Oakland and Montreal. In 1980, he was on the coaching staff at Texas Christian University.
Nelson enjoyed a 10-year Major League playing career from 1968-77. The former infielder played for Cleveland, Washington, Texas and Kansas City. His 51 stolen bases with the Rangers in 1972 ranked second in the American League and fifth in the majors that season. The following year, he was an American League All-Star with Texas as he batted .286 with 7 HR, 48 RBI and 43 stolen bases in 142 games.
Born in Fort Still, Oklahoma, Nelson graduated from Junipero Serra High School in California. He attended Compton Junior College for one year and Los Angeles State College for two years. Nelson also served in the Army Reserve for six years.
Nelson sits on the board of directors for Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa. He currently splits time between Bradenton, Florida, and Milwaukee.