As those in the Northwest and the extended Seattle Mariners family react to the news of his death, Dave Niehaus is being remembered by those who worked with and around him tonight.
We’re going to keep updating them as they come in, and feel free to share your own memories. Here’s a few from some familiar names.
From Ken Griffey Jr., on 710 ESPN – “He meant everything. Everybody talks about the players who went there and the players who left, but he made the Mariners who they are. Without him, the guys out there are nothing. Day in and day out he brought the excitement and drove thousands and millions of people to the ballpark to come watch us. It’s tough because he’s like that grandfather to all of us especially Jay, me, Edgar and Dan and so many other Mariners, he was like our grandfather. He would give you a little bit of advice, and he was tough on you when he needed to be. This is a day that I was hoping would never come. It’s just a sad day for all of us, not just his family, but for everybody in the great Northwest. When I got drafted he came up to me and just looked at me and said: “You’re going to be a good one” and he said “go out and have fun.” When I got to Seattle I struggled for like the first couple weeks and he said “Where’s that smile?” He said something and I started smiling and he said “That’s what I want to see, that’s why people come to the ballpark, to see you smile.” Those are the things that I’ll never forget because he was caring and loving. You didn’t know if you were the number one guy on the team or the number 25 guy on the team, he treated everybody the same.”
From Norm Charlton – “Dave did it his way. He never stopped working and having fun. It’s a sad day for Seattle baseball. He always had a smile on his face, always had a joke or two, usually not too clean but always funny. I’ll miss him.”
From Harold Reynolds – “I was 19 when I met Dave Niehaus and he was one of the greatest people I’ve ever known. The most amazing thing was, you’d have thought we were the Yankees and had 27 championships – he made our games sound like we were going to the World Series. We might be 20-81, but he made it sound like we always had a chance.”
From John Olerud – “He’s what you think of when you think of the Mariners. Dave was baseball in the Northwest, and he had that great, familiar voice. I went to school with two of his kids, Matt and Greta, and was part of the same neighborhood. Dave was the most important man in that neighborhood.”
From Jamie Moyer – “We had the good fortune of hearing Dave all of our lives in the Northwest, and we have to appreciate and cherish that. The celebration of a life and how he touched so many people is what it’s all about.”
From Kevin Cremin, Dave’s radio producer – “Dave was the best there ever was. Best guy, best announcer, best friend. No one could draw you into the moment, the drama of a game like he could. His style, his mannerisms, he was one of a kind. He was like a brother, an uncle, a relative to me. He brought me here, it will never be the same without him. No one could paint the picture like Dave.. The Voice has been silenced, but we can still hear him. We always will.”
From Eric Naidel, Texas Rangers broadcaster – “Dave was a sensational announcer who never lost an ounce of his passion for the game. I loved driving home from our games listening to him do the Mariners games from the West Coast on XM. He was a wonderful friend to me as well, really funny, and always willing to share his great wisdom and experience”
From Chuck Armstrong – “He was the fans choice to throw out the first pitch in Safeco Field history, and no one has had a greater impact on our team’s connection to fans throughout the Northwest. One of the best days we’ve ever spent was in Cooperstown in 2008, as Dave took his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
From Jay Buhner – “I’m so grateful I called some games this year – the absolute pleasure and honor of sitting next to Dave for four innings a night with one of the most recognizeable names in America … He could be full of bleep, but he was a beautiful person, a great story teller. I’ll miss those ugly ass white shoes and the orange coats – and his hugs. I loved him.”
From Ron Fairly, a one-time broadcast partner – “The thing that sticks out about Dave is that he genuinely loved baseball and the Mariners. What you heard on the radio and TV, that was exactly Dave. He put everything he had into the Seattle Mariners and the broadcast every night. He was a huge Mariners fan, probably the biggest one in the Northwest.”
From Bud Selig – “All of baseball is terribly saddened tonight by the tragic news that Dave Niehaus, the voice of the Seattle Mariners, has passed away. He was one of the great broadcast voices of our generation, a true gentleman, and a credit to baseball. He was a good friend and I will miss him. But he will be sorely missed, not only in the Pacific Northwest, where he had called Mariners games since the club’s inception in 1977, but wherever the game is played. Dave was a Hall of Famer in every way. On behalf of Baseball, I offer my condolences to his wife, Marilyn, his children and grandchildren, to the Seattle Mariners organization, and to his many fans.”