Sad day in Seattle as Dave Niehaus flys away….

The late Dave Niehaus in his prime

I had a nagging sense of nostalgia and sadness all day today much the same as the feeling I had on Labor day in 2008 on the day my Mother Suzanne passed on. And sure enough at around five this afternoon I got a call from a friend with the sad news of the passing of Dave Niehaus at the age of 75 due to a heart attack.

 As we speak I am listening to the radio as people are calling in with stories and memories of Dave Niehaus and his long era as the announcer for the Seattle Mariners. Ken Griffey called in a few minutes ago, and he along with all the other fans all seem to share the same love and admiration for this giant in Seattle history.

Apparently there is a candle light vigil going on down at safeco field as we speak that I am going to head down to once I finish this post to honor  the voice and spirit of Seattle and our team the Mariners.

I have been listening to Dave Niehaus for 30 years and have heard it all. My best memories come from the magic 95 season when I brushed against the great one a couple of times. The first time was when I brought a vacuum cleaner handle to the third game of a series which the Mariners went on to sweep for their second sweep in a row at home during the magic run of 95. Apparently someone tipped off Niehaus and he saw me and announced on the air that ” The fans are going crazy and one even has a vacuum cleaner!” True story check out the tape from 95 and it shows a clip of me with the vacuum cleaner handle going crazy!

   My second story comes from that same season when I decided to meet the team when they flew back from New York after losing the 2 first games of the series. Turns out they were arriving at Boeing Field and I waited there from 3 am till they arrived at 530 with my little Mariners banner cheering the guys along with a couple other fans as they walked in from the plane. Once they got inside the small terminal and were sorting baggage I said hello to a couple of the players and I remember Niehaus turning the switch on and saying to me and those around us ” That we could still win this thing” Of course we all know the rest of the story for that series which Niehaus got to call on the famous run scored by Griffey that I witnessed first hand.

  This is a sad way to end a terrible season. The thing that saddens me most is that  Dave never got to call a World Series for his beloved Mariners. I could sense all year he was fading as perhaps he could not hold out any longer for his team. I remember seeing him look over at the USS Mariner event that was held at the end of the season before a game with Jack Z. and a few hundred modern sabermetrics type fans. I recall looking over at Niehaus in his booth as he leaned back and sort of glared at us. I think he knew that his style,values and indeed his era was fading away to a new modern world, that like myself he doesn’t quite understand where it is all heading too but it’s not like the good old days back in Indiana where Dave grew up.

   Dave Niehaus was a wonderful , funny and interesting man. I will miss him along with all of you on this sad day  when Dave Niehaus flew-away …..http://jeffsmariners.com

Rye Bread and Mustard left by a fan at Safeco in memory of Dave Neihaus

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Comments

  1. Scott Rinear says

    “Right now, the Mariners are looking for the tie. They would take a fly ball, they would love a base hit in the gap and they could win it with Junior’s speed. The stretch and the 0-1 pitch on the way to Edgar Martinez….

    I’ll never forget yesterday. On my way home from work, switching back and forth between KJR and 710 ESPN on the radio, just hoping I would catch them in a non-NBA portion of their shows. Calabro was talking about something or other, then there was a pause and a distinct change in his voice, then he broke the news. I went from disbelief to tears almost immediately. I got home from work, grabbed some computer paper, wrote a little tribute, and taped it to the back of my car where it will remain as long as I see fit.

    I started this response off with a portion of my most memorable Niehaus moment. I realize it’s and obvious choice and I realize typing out a Niehaus call does no justice whatsoever. But it’s my greatest baseball moment. While I don’t have near the street cred and history with the Mariners as our illustrious blogger, I almost feel luckier to have been watching that game in 1995 on TV rather than being there. I was able to witness that Niehaus call along with the Mariners win first-hand. I’ll never forget it, my little brother and I were watching the game and were unable to contain ourselves, racing outside with pots and pans and spoons to make enough noise to convince people it was New Year’s. And what a call, the call of calls, the call from a fan of the game like I’m a fan of the game, with the perfect combination of enthusiasm, excitement, and pure talent. To me, Edgar’s Double is not complete without the Hall of Fame call of Seattle and Baseball legend, Dave Niehaus. I will miss him more than I think I know.

    “…SWUNG ON AND LINED DOWN THE LEFT FIELD LINE FOR A BASE HIT…HERE COMES JOEY…HERE IS JUNIOR TO THIRD BASE THEY’RE GOING TO WAVE HIM IN… THE THROW TO THE PLATE WILL BE LATE THE MARINERS ARE GOING TO PLAY FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP! I DON’T BELIEVE IT! IT JUST CONTINUES! MY OH MY!!!”
    -Dave Niehaus, 1995 ALDS, Game 5

    • says

      Scott,Thanks for the wonderful post. I have heard so many great stories like your own in the past 24 hours about Dave Niehaus. I am grateful for the memories and the beauty of knowing so many other fell the same way about the Great One….See ya Dave

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