A few thousand fans turned out at Safeco Field on a chilly Saturday afternoon to pay tribute to Niehaus, the Hall of Fame Seattle Mariners broadcaster who suddenly died of a heart attack on Nov. 10 at the age of 75.
Niehaus was the narrator for 34 seasons of Mariners baseball, from the first pitch in franchise history in 1977 through the end of the 2010 season. He was getting ready to barbecue some ribs at his suburban Bellevue home on the afternoon of Nov. 10 when he passed away.
“All of us grew up with Dave. He taught you the game of baseball. There was no better teacher,” Rizzs said. “Dave put us right there in the front row at the Kingdome and the front row at Safeco Field and every ballpark he broadcast from on the road.”
The Mariners waited nearly a month before putting together a formal celebration of Niehaus‘ life. Fans filled the lower bowl of Safeco Field behind home plate with Niehaus‘ family and members of the Mariners front office seated on the field between home plate and the pitchers mound, where Niehaus threw out the first pitch in the stadium’s history in 1999.
The logo of the California Angels, the first major league team Niehaus worked for, was placed on the hand-operated scoreboard in the left-field corner, while a Mariners jersey with “Niehaus 77” hung from his spot in the Mariners broadcast booth.
“He was a guy who was a class act and he meant more to the city than the players,” former Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. said in a video message. “When he walked down the street people knew him. He’s more recognizable than any player that’s been here.”
From Diego Segui’s first pitch on April 6, 1977, through the end of the 2010 season, Niehaus called 5,284 of the Mariners‘ 5,385 games. He was the instructor for a region void of the major league game sans the Seattle Pilots’ one-year experiment in 1969. Adults and kids regularly tuned in on summer evenings to hear Niehaus try and put his best spin on what were among the worst teams in baseball during much of the club’s history.
But no matter how bad the Mariners were, Niehaus never let the on-field product affect his approach to the game. He always brought enthusiasm and drama to some horrible teams, horrible games and horrible seasons.
“You just could picture whatever was happening and eyesight wasn’t necessary,” said Marlaina Lieberg of the Washington Council of the Blind. “You’ve made blind and visually impaired people proud of you. You’ve made everyone proud of you and we love you.”
Armstrong said after Niehaus‘ induction in Cooperstown that the only item missing from his career resume was the opportunity to call a World Series game. Niehaus never got that chance in his time with the Angels or the Mariners.
Niehaus‘ daughter, Greta Niehaus Dunn, and one of his son’s, Andy, spoke about their dad away from the ballpark. Andy Niehaus joked that he sometimes heard his dad’s catch phrases of “My Oh My” and “Fly Away” but in a different context, especially when he was a teenager driving his parents crazy.View Entire Story
By Jay Sekulow
The left's outrage over the IRS turns to a plea to 'move on'
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Politics and pop culture from the perspective of an independent hip-hop conservative
Positive propaganda for a nation in peril.
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal