Dave Niehaus has died. The voice of the Seattle Mariners and the life-blood of the team, Dave Niehaus died on Wednesday at the age of 75. To say that Niehaus was the voice of the Seattle Mariners goes beyond what he did in the broadcast booth, as his involvement with the team goes back to the first day that the franchise came into being. Niehaus has been announcing games for the team since 1977, and had just finished out the 2010 season with Seattle.
The news that Dave Niehaus has died is already hitting Pacific Northwest baseball fans extremely hard, because even though players, manager, and even owners had come and gone, Niehaus was that steady rock that fans could count on every year. Even when the Mariners were losing 100 games a season, Niehaus was energetic and enthused about being in the announcer’s booth every game. It wasn’t an easy job, especially with a franchise that has struggled quite a bit over the years, but he did it with such flair that he will forever be remembered as one of the cornerstones of this franchise.
In 2008 Niehaus was recognized nationally, when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as an announcer. The inflection with which he called plays was infectious, and two in particular really stand out in the history of the Mariners franchise. One was when Luis Sojo hit a bases clearing double in a one game playoff against the California Angels in 1995 to put the Mariners into the American League Playoffs for the first time. The second was when he announced Edgar Martinez sending a double into the corner against the New York Yankees during Game 5 of the American League Divisional Series. That hit won the Mariners the series and sent them into the 1995 American League Championship Series.
Baseball is never going to be the same in the city of Seattle, and the game has lost one of its most enigmatic voices. The history of the Seattle franchise is never going to be the same, and the next generation of baseball fans are going to miss out on hearing one of the gems that the game has ever had to offer. Seattle has lost a legend, a true gentleman, and its voice in one of the saddest sports news stories that we have had to report out of the Pacific Northwest. To this city and state, baseball is never going to be the same.