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A real confidence builder for geezers

By Michael M. Bates
web posted June 12, 2006

The oldest baby boomers are turning 60 this year. Anyone mouthing that twaddle about 50 being the new 30 hasn't checked out my medicine cabinet. I could regale you with mesmerizing details of assorted aches, pains and maladies, but there isn't enough space here for that. Besides, I probably couldn't recollect all of them. Such is life in the slowing down quickly lane.

Yet, there is reason for optimism. If Milwaukee Brewers announcer Bob Uecker qualifies for his very own stalker, there's hope for the rest of us.

Bob UeckerAs reported on The Smoking Gun.com, which considerately included the Wisconsin court filing, Mr. Uecker seeks an injunction prohibiting an Illinois woman from bothering him again. He alleges the woman has been harassing him with unsolicited gifts, correspondence and contact for the last six or seven years.

She drives around his neighborhood. She shows up at hotels he has used. Her actions have justifiably caused him concern about his privacy, personal freedom and safety.

At first glance, Mr. Uecker wouldn't appear to be a chick magnet. He's a pre-boomer 71 years old and has thinning grey hair. If wrinkles are a map of life, he's been around the world and more than once.

Not that yours truly is in a position to disparage. I've never been mistaken for Cary Grant. Ulysses S. Grant, maybe, but definitely not Cary.

The stalker probably isn't driven by Bob Uecker's less than spectacular years as a major league baseball player. His .200 career batting average, while quite adequate by today's Chicago Cubs' standards, wasn't enough to keep him in the game for long.

He's been quoted as saying that he knew his career was over when his baseball card came out one season and there wasn't a picture on it. Bob wasn't discouraged. He parlayed his mediocre stats into a self-deprecating comedy routine that lead to commercials, TV and radio appearances, and steady work as a baseball announcer.

Certainly he's successful. But is that enough reason for a 45-year-old woman to become so fixated on him? Or is it that even guys eligible for AARP 20 years ago yet have the power to attract much younger women? Are men with more than a few miles on them making a comeback? Is it possible a senior moment may become the right moment?

On second thought, please strike that last question. It came from watching too many commercials on cable news channels.
A hearing on Bob's petition is scheduled for June 15. Maybe he'll get lucky and receive from Wisconsin the caliber of judicial consideration that New Mexico extends.

You may recall that last year in the Land of Enchantment a Democratic judge granted a temporary restraining order (since lifted) to a woman who claimed talk-show host David Letterman was using coded words, gestures and eye expressions to express his undying love over the airwaves. And here I thought I was the only one picking up on that.

At any rate, Mr. Uecker's claim clearly has more merit. It's not fair that he's perhaps viewed as nothing more than a sex object. Simple justice demands he be granted the relief he requests.

You may not believe this, but I feel Bob's pain. When the Barry Fitzgerald Fan Club disbanded only decades after their hero's untimely demise, a few of his admirers began directing their attentions toward me. Some 80-year-old gals can be quite persistent and at times it got downright creepy.

While I'm not like Mr. Uecker in that I wasn't sent unsolicited gifts, I think I could learn to live with that part. Especially if said unsolicited gifts were bags of small, unmarked bills. So if any of you Barry Fitzgerald groupies are still out there, get over to the bank and give it your best shot.

In the meantime, it's gratifying to see that Bob Uecker, a man who's even older than I, still has what it takes to attract women. This hottie is a credit to his generation and an inspiration to all of us.

Mike Bates is the author of Right Angles and Other Obstinate Truths. This appeared in the June 8, 2006 Oak Lawn Reporter.

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