A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 19, 2014
“I must be in the front row”

Bob Uecker has a mediocre baseball playing career, but he achieved fame joking about it. In a Miller Lite beer commercial from 1984, Uecker says that the front office has given him tickets and he sits down. An usher tells him that he’s in the wrong seat and escorts Uecker away. “I must be in the front row!” Uecker declares. He’s next seen high up, in the furthest seats from the action, shouting to the umpire, “He missed the tag!”

“I must be in the front row!” or “Must be front row!” is a joking comment still made by people when looking for their seats. Bad seats in a stadium have been called “Uecker seats” since at least 1985. In 2014, the Milwaukee Brewers honored the “Uecker seats” with a Bob Uecker statue.


Wikipedia: Bob Uecker
Robert George “Bob” Uecker (/ˈjuːkər/ ewk-ər; born January 26, 1934) is a retired American Major League Baseball player, later a sportscaster, comedian and actor. Uecker was given the title of “Mr. Baseball” by TV talk show host Johnny Carson. Since 1971 Uecker has served as a play-by-play announcer for Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcasts.
(...)
Humor
Known for his humor, particularly about his undistinguished playing career, Uecker actually became much better known after he retired from playing. He made some 100[9] guest appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, and appeared in a number of humorous commercials, most notably for Miller Lite beer, as one of the “Miller Lite All-Stars”
(...)
Uecker appeared in a series of Miller Lite commercials. In one commercial from the 1980s, Uecker was seen preparing to watch a baseball game when an usher informs him he is in the wrong seat. Uecker pompously remarks, “I must be in the front row,” which became another of his catchphrases. The punch line was that Uecker’s seat was actually in the nosebleed section. Since then, the farthest seats from the action in arenas and stadiums have been called “Uecker seats”. There is a section of $1 seating called the “Uecker seats” at Miller Park, which is an obstructed-view area in the deep upper grandstand above home plate where the stadium’s roof pivot comes together (in reference to one of his Miller Lite commercials). Another of Uecker’s catchphrases from the aforementioned Miller Lite ‘front row’ commercial is, “He missed the tag!”

19 August 1984, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), pg. 12-B, col. 7:
Milwaukee broadcaster Bob ("I must be in the front row") Uecker said he doesn’t have a favorite Lite beer commercial. ‘The reunion deals are the best time. Five days with 24 animals,” Uecker said.

Sports Illustrated
Extra Points
Originally Posted: October 15, 1984
(...)
The Raider tight ends—Todd Christensen, Andy Parker, Derrick Jensen and Dave Casper—and assistant coach Bob Mischak took their wives to see Joe Namath in the musical Sugar on Sept. 28 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A.

As they settled in, somebody standing in the aisle said, “Excuse me, but you’re in our seats.”

Said Jensen, a la Bob Uecker: “Bingo. We must be in the front row.”

The Raider group stood up, checked their tickets...and discovered they were late—by one night.

17 August 1985, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Affable Uecker finds fame in the front row,” pg. 2-E, col. 5:
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Go ahead, the next time you’re at the ballpark, as the usher leads the way down the aisle, tell somebody that your seats “must be in the front row!”

Heads will turn, those sitting nearby will nod knowingly, and smiles will almost certainly spread over those within earshot.

The utterance, born in a beer commercial, has made a cult hero of its owner—the ever-bungling Bob Uecker (whose seats end up not in the front row, but in the farthest-reaching bleachers).

His following awaits him wehrever he goes as the play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers.

“People are sitting in the farthest sections of the stadium, in their Bob Uecker seats, and the guys have banners, ‘Thanks for the great seats, Ueck,” said Uecker.

The seats are one thing, but it’s the line that people remember.

“Just ask any of the ushers,” Uecker said. “Somebody will be in the wrong seats, and they’ll say, ‘I must be in the front row,’ or ‘He missed the tag, he missed the tag.’”

YouTube
Bob Uecker’s “Front Row” commercial
BobOberan
Published on Feb 28, 2014
I couldn’t find this old gem anywhere else here.
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Tom Lovin 2 months ago
Great.  I’m glad you found this.  Whenever something goes my way, I say, “I must be in the front row.” Nobody under a certain age knows what the hell I’m talking about.

PinupFotoStudios 2 months ago
Same here.  I use it all the time as well, and no one knows what I’m referring to.
(...)
Cary Moy 2 months ago
This commercial actually had two different endings. The most famous one is shown above. The lesser known one had him clinging to the back of a post. He yells the same thing; “Good seats, hey, buddy” (right side of post), “He missed the tag, he missed the tag” (left side of post).

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI)
April 25, 2014
New Bob Uecker statue far from Miller Park’s front row
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
(...)
That Terrace Level area already had been dubbed the “Uecker Seats,” and his sitting statue, a colorized bronze tribute with an adjacent empty seat, was not only in the last row but behind one of the support girders for the roof. Yep, an obstructed view if there ever was one.

“They had to make sure it was the worst seat,” Uecker said with a smile.

Uecker already had a standing statue outside of Miller Park, along with Yount, Hank Aaron and Bud Selig. But this was a tribute to the popular Miller Lite ads of the 1970s and ‘80s when Uecker was asked to change seats in a ballpark and exclaimed, “I must be in the front row!”

Of course, the joke was on him, as Uecker was relocated to the far reaches of the upper deck.

“To this day, they are the best that were ever made,” said Uecker, referring to sports-themed commercials.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, July 19, 2014 • Permalink