Honoring Dave Niehaus


dave_niehaus.jpgThere’s not too much I can say that hasn’t already been said by people who know him far better than I do, but there’s no question that the Seattle Mariners, Major League Baseball and broadcasting in general lost an icon in Dave Niehaus yesterday.

I crossed paths with Niehaus at the Peoria Sports Complex during spring training in 2009 and, unfortunately, did not introduce myself when I had the chance.  He was reading the paper in the lobby of the main office, and I didn’t know if he’d want to be disturbed by a kid from low-A Clinton.  Reading other’s words about how kind an indivdual he was, I now wish I had said something.  I’m sure he would have been happy to take time to speak with me about broadcasting, Mariners baseball and everything else in between.  Of course, I’ll never get that chance.

His legacy will live on past just the Northwest.  Since we signed on as a Mariners affiliate two years ago, it has been common to hear sound clips of “My, Oh My!” and “It will Fly Away!” played after LumberKings’ home runs, courtesy of Brad Seward.  I, myself keep a Dave Niehaus bobblehead in the home booth with me.  It has always brought us luck when we’ve needed it, something I’ve marveled at many times on air.

Mr. Niehaus, a man who missed about 100 games in the entire history of the Mariners, a man who remains the team’s only Cooperstown entrant so far, will be the toughest shoes to fill in baseball.  To be a team’s broadcaster is one thing. To be “the voice” of a franchise is another.  Niehaus was that voice for the Mariners, and he always will be.

-DL

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