Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

1st Anniversary Repost: Loss of a Legend

on August 19, 2011

Our View From Here is one year old! In celebration of this occasion, we’re reposting our favorite post from the last year! Enjoy! I chose the post I did just after Dave Niehaus, the Seattle Mariners broadcaster for over 30 years, passed away suddenly in November. I was supposed have done something else that week, but I felt that I had to talk about this instead.

Dave Niehaus.

Image via Wikipedia

“Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time!”

I know that this week theme is families, and maybe I’ll do that next week, but something more pressing happened and I need to write about it.

Wednesday afternoon, beloved Seattle Mariners broadcaster, Dave Niehaus, died of a heart attack.  He was 75 years old.

In most towns, the play by play announcer for the local baseball team is just another guy in the press booth.  Most people don’t give the guy a lot of thought. Not so in Seattle.  Dave Niehaus called the first pitch of the Mariners back in 1977.  Recruited from the Angels, he quickly became a fan favorite.  I heard someone describe him as everybody’s uncle – that familiar voice that emanated from the radio almost every summer evening.

I became a baseball fan in the latter half of the 1980s, when I was about 9 or 10.  By that time, though, I was already quite familiar with Dave’s voice.  As I got older, I came to respect him even more as that gentlemanly guy who brought us the game each night.

Seattle loved Dave.  When the city built Safeco Field, they chose Dave to throw out the first pitch at the first game. They didn’t tell him until that day, but they made sure his family was there to celebrate.  Two years ago, Niehaus was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. He got to see Cooperstown and go through the ceremonies.  Again that year, he threw out the first pitch in honor of his accomplishment. I was there that day and got to see him wave to the adoring crowd.

As I was driving home Wednesday evening, I changed the radio station to hear the traffic report. I came into the middle of a story about Niehaus, but I wasn’t sure what was going on.  It didn’t take long, though, until I realized what had happened. Facts were still sketchy – it had only been confirmed by the Seattle Times and details weren’t available yet.  My heart sank and I almost started crying right there in my car.  I have never known anyone else to call the Ms games.  He’s had partners – Mike Blowers, Rick Rizzs – but there is no way they can replace this giant of the broadcast booth.

Seattle is in mourning right now. We feel lost without him. I think it will really sink in in April when Dave isn’t there to give us the play-by-play. My Oh My, Dave, what an impact you had on all of us.

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