Brewers Honor Former Owner
It's not a bronze Fonze, it's a bronze Selig
The Brewers rolled out the red carpet for Commissioner Selig, and the guest list that attended the event was very impressive. There were owners and representatives from nearly every Major League Baseball club; Hall of Fame players such as Ernie Banks, Al Kaline, and Frank Robinson; University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez; and even Rachel Robinson, the widow of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, was present for the ceremony.
The master of ceremonies was none other than Brewers radio announcer Bob Uecker, who was his usual humorous self, but did have some very heartfelt words about Selig.
“He’s a unique individual, and is responsible for everything we have here today, (especially) this magnificent ballpark that sits behind us,” Uecker said.
Speakers at the event included Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, Milwaukee Bucks owner Sen. Herb Kohl, “The Kid” Robin Yount, and Milwaukee Braves/Brewers icon Hank Aaron.Yount thought that this honor for Selig was long overdue.
“I honestly believe that the first statue that should have gone in front of this stadium should have been Mr. Selig’s,” Yount said.
Bud Selig and Hank Aaron has been close friends for over 50 years, and when asked at what point did he know that they would be lifelong friends, Aaron joked, “It was when I first went to buy a car from him, and he didn’t give me the correct change.” Aaron went on to add, “Seriously, I saw that he (Selig) meant what he said, he reached out to others who are less fortunate, and he was always concerned about other people.”
Also present at the event were several former Brewers from the Selig era such as Paul Molitor, Rollie Fingers, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas, and Pete Vuckovich , just to name a few. The players were called in, and greeted and embraced Selig onstage. Selig was touched by their presence.
“They were great players, they were great human beings, and they were great for this city,” Selig said.
The statue was donated by Attanasio and his wife Debbie, and it was designed and produced by Brian Maughan, the same artist who created the statues of Aaron and Yount. The newest statue depicts Selig dressed in a suit with a baseball in his right hand, and his left hand in his pocket. Selig was very pleased with how the statue turned out.
“Well given the guy (Maughan) didn’t have much to work with considering I’ve never been confused with Clark Gable, I thought he did a masterful job,” Selig said.
Attanasio purchased the Brewers from the Selig family prior to the 2005 season, and since Selig was the man who bought the bankrupt Seattle Pilots and moved them to Milwaukee in 1970, and was the driving force behind getting Miller Park built, Attanasio felt that this was the best way to pay tribute to the man who saved baseball in Milwaukee.
“Simply put, there would be no Major League Baseball in Milwaukee without Allan H. “Bud” Selig,” Attanasio said.
When all was said and done, it was very clear to everyone present that Selig was very touched by Tuesday’s ceremony.
“This was some kind of human experience,” Selig said.