Dave Niehaus was the voice of the Seattle Mariners since the team’s inception in 1977. He broadcast more than 5,000 games over the course of 34 seasons. His rich baritone, great storytelling ability and infectious love of baseball made him the most beloved personality in the team’s history. He died suddenly on November 10th of a heart attack.
The outpouring of love and affection for him is remarkable. On call-in shows and online, ordinary fans are paying eloquent tributes to the Northwest’s “voice of summer.” It makes you believe in Walt Whitman’s assertion that there is poetry in each of us. We all felt we knew Dave. The leisurely pace of baseball and the long, slowly unfolding season leaves ample time for chat and storytelling in baseball broadcast booths. We develop deep connections with radio play-by-play announcers like Vin Scully, Mel Allen and their fellow Hall of Famer, Dave Niehaus.
I knew Dave Niehaus as a fan through the radio. I was also fortunate enough to know Dave personally and professionally. As the long-time agency for the Mariners, we frequently worked with Dave. One of the joys of my career was to write TV and radio scripts for his voice, trying to capture the lyrical magic of baseball. The video below is a commercial the Mariners have run in anticipation of Opening Day each year, welcoming back baseball.
We’ve made a slight edit, and we offer it up as a tribute to Dave. It was an honor to have worked with him. He was a great talent and a delightful human being. Enjoy his voice, one more time.
Photo: The Spokesman-Review