If you’re anything like me, it’s probably impossible to imagine watching or listening to a Mariners game without hearing the gruff, but soothing voice of Dave Niehaus. He’s been here since the very beginning, and over the years his name has become synonymous with Mariners baseball. As a lifelong Mariners fan, it’s hard to call anyone else, aside from my parents, the voice of my childhood. Through the good years, and the bad ones, he’s been the one consistent piece, and no matter how terrible things have gotten at certain times, he never gave up on, or stopped loving this team.
True passion and enthusiasm is an uncommon quality in announcers, but Dave Niehaus never had a shortage of it. His genuine love for this game, this city, and this team, was apparent with every “My, oh my!” call, with every charming simile, and with every beautiful picture he painted with his words. His zeal for the sport of baseball was unmatched, and listening to him do his thing could turn the most boring game into a thrilling affair.
I’ve always watched most Mariner games on TV, and I think Dave Sims is awesome, but during the last few years, it had become a habit for me, during a Mariners win, to switch to the radio for the ninth inning. There was simply nothing like listening to Dave Niehaus call the final out of a Mariners win. It could be an entirely meaningless game, but if you didn’t know that, you’d swear it was game 7 of the World Series. He was who you turned to if you wanted to get excited about Mariners baseball, as no one was better at getting you there.
Baseball in Seattle will live on, but it will simply never be the same without him. He has been the lifeblood of this organization for the last 34 years, and no one, no matter how talented, will ever be able to fill his shoes.
Thank you for everything you’ve brought to this city, Dave. I hope there’s a broadcast booth in Heaven.