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On this date in Cardinals history: March 14, 2003

He got a lot of mileage out of his routine in which he claimed he was one of the worst major league ballplayers in history.

But apparently former Cardinals catcher Bob Uecker was pretty good at something.

On this date eight years ago "Mr. Baseball" was named to the National Baseball Hall of Fame... as a broadcaster.

Uecker, 76, retired from baseball as a player after the 1967 season and soon picked up a microphone. He joined the broadcasting team of his hometown Milwaukee Brewers in 1971 and has been in the booth for the Brew Crew ever since -- minus a couple of periods of absence because of health issues.

One of the most popular broadcasters in the game today, Uecker is also one of the best fictional broadcasters, playing the part of Cleveland Indians play-by-play man Harry Doyle in the Major League movies.

Uecker played six seasons in the majors as a back-up catcher, including two with the Cardinals -- 1964 and 1965.

He was a .200 career hitter with 14 homers in 297 games. But he was best known in St. Louis for borrowing a tuba and using it to shag fly balls before game one of the 1964 World Series. His other hijinks included talking grumpy pitcher Bob Gibson into holding hands with him in a team photo, forcing the Cardinals to re-shoot the picture.

His time with the Redbirds may have been brief. But Uecker has been a tremendous ambassador for baseball throughout his career. I hope he's in the booth for years to come.

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