There is only one voice of the Seattle Mariners on Throwback Thursday, and his name is Dave Niehaus. Ever since the first game in 1977, Dave has been in the broadcasting booth calling the play by play.
Making every boring play sound amazing, and every losing season feel like the most important of all time. With his iconic one liners and his old timer baseball antics, baseball without him just hasn’t been the same.
Dave doesn’t know it, but he was the godfather of our summers. He would take us on vacations, visiting 32 ball parks and maybe a hot dog or two.
He would tell us a three hour bed story before we lay down for the night. His voice echoed through our heads as we reminisced on the adventures we were just told.
The Seattle Mariners had some good seasons, but Dave Niehaus made them great years. He even took us on the amazing roller coaster ride we call the 1995 season.
Those Griffey home runs, those Edgar doubles, and those Randy strike outs would have been just that, but Dave made them more. He made every at bat seem like it the game was on the line, every strike out like it was the final out, and every win like it was game 7 of the World Series.
Dave Niehaus never got to see his beloved Mariners win the World Series, but they did give him one heck of a ride in 2001. The Mariners gave Dave more wins to announce, than any other broadcaster… ever. 116 wins to be exact. Dave reminded us how important that season was, and how special we all were for being a part of it.
The other day I found a copy of Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest for the old Nintendo 64. Hours after searching for my old system, I couldn’t wait to hit the play button.
I was pleasantly reminded when I heard Dave’s voice as the commentator for the video game. Instead of actually playing the game, I just let the demo run. It didn’t matter that the graphics were out dated and the players looked nothing like they do in real life. I just wanted to hear Dave call nine more innings.
Dave was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, and received the Ford C. Frick Award as the highest tribute for baseball broadcaster in the business. Even though he wasn’t a player, he was the first elected into the Hall of Fame representing the Seattle Mariners organization.
Dave may have left us in 2010, but his presence still lives with us every summer. His statue is a permanent resident beyond the center field seats in Safeco Field. Where fans can visit him every home game and share an inning or two from the stands.
To this day, our hearts still hear him say “My oh My” when we witness a fantastic play. We all think it’s “Grand Salami Time” when our player rounds the bases after blasting a monster grand slam.
Dave had a way of turning a regular nine inning game, into more than just watching baseball. He made every game seem like it was the most important matchup being played that day. He made us feel like the most important fans.
Thank you, Dave Niehaus, for all that you did for our team, city and fans. Even though you did “Fly Fly Away,” you will forever be a part of the Seattle Mariners.