Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Uecker signed a professional contract with his hometown Milwaukee Braves in 1956. He made his major league debut as a catcher with the Braves in 1962. A mediocre hitter who finished with a career batting average of .200, Uecker also played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies before returning to the Braves, who had by then moved to Atlanta. He closed his 6-year major league career in 1967.
After retiring as a player, Uecker returned to Milwaukee. In 1970, he began calling play-by-play for Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcasts, a position he holds to this day, as of 2005. He also served as a color commentator on network television broadcasts in the 1970s (for ABC) and 1990s (for NBC).
Known for his humor, particularly about his undistinguished playing career, Uecker actually became much better known after he retired. He published two books, including an autobiography, Catcher in the Wry (ISBN 0515090298), Catch 222 (ISBN 0399137440).
Uecker also pursued an acting career, and played the part of George Owens during the five-year run of the television sitcom Mr. Belvedere in the 1980s. He was a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and appeared in a number of humorous commercials. Uecker jokingly identifies himself by the sobriquet of "Mr. Baseball".
Uecker also appeared in the movie Major League as Harry Doyle, the announcer for the team the movie is based on, the Cleveland Indians. A very popular and funny phrase is often quoted from this movie; "Just a bit outside..." on a pitch that is several feet outside the strike zone.
Uecker was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2003, he received the Ford C. Frick Award, bestowed annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball."
- "I was a little nervous when I played my first game. The manager told me next time I should wear the protective cup inside the uniform."
- "I won the Comeback-of-the-Year Award five years in a row!"
- "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait 'till it stops rolling and pick it up!"
- "I must be in the front roooow!" -- In one of his TV commercials where a Yankee Stadium box-seat usher informs him he is in the wrong seat. His correct seat turns out to be in the last row of the right field upper deck.
- "Get up! Get up! Get out of here! GONE!!!" - is his "claim-to-fame" homerun call.
- Actually, his first "claim-to-fame" homerun call (from the early 80s, when the Brewers made it to the World Series) is: "It's gotta chance to GOOOOOOOO - GOOOOONNNNEEE!"