Mariners Insider

Voice of the Mariners, Niehaus dies

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Nov. 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm with 27 Comments »
November 10, 2010 7:20 pm

Dave Niehaus, the voice of the Seattle Mariners from their first pitch in 1977 to their last in 2010, died today of an apparent heart attack at his home.

Dave Niehaus

A Hall of Fame broadcaster, who turned 75 last spring, Niehaus was better known – and more popular – than many of the players on Seattle’s expansion team. He could be delighted or disgusted by what he saw on the field, but always loved the game.

“I just drove home from the grocery store and someone called to tell me the news and I almost threw up,” said Jay Buhner, the long-time Mariner outfielder. “I haven’t cried  since my mom died last year. This hurts. I lost a family member today. We all did.”

“This is truly devastating news,” said Howard Lincoln, the Mariners CEO.

“Dave has truly been the heart and soul of this franchise since its inception in 1977.” team president Chuck Armstrong said. “Since calling Diego Segui’s first pitch strike on Opening Night in the Kingdome some 34 years ago, Dave’s voice has been the constant with the franchise. He truly was the fans connection to every game”

Niehaus received the Ford Frick Award in 2008, resulting in his reaching a cherished goal – the Hall of Fame. His often heard ‘My, oh my!’ became a signature call, and his broadcast of the ’95 post-season captured the imaginations of fans listening to a rag-tag group of Mariners beating the New York Yankees in the Kingdome.

When Edgar Martinez doubled Ken Griffey Jr. home in that American League Division Series, this was Dave’s call:

“Right now, the Mariners looking for the tie. They would take a fly ball, they would love a base hit into the gap and they could win it with Junior’s speed. The stretch… and the 0-1 pitch on the way to Edgar Martínez swung on and LINED DOWN THE LEFT FIELD LINE FOR A BASE HIT! HERE COMES JOEY, HERE IS JUNIOR TO THIRD BASE, THEY’RE GOING TO WAVE HIM IN! THE THROW TO THE PLATE WILL BE … LATE! THE MARINERS ARE GOING TO PLAY FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP! I DON’T BELIEVE IT! IT JUST CONTINUES! MY, OH MY!”

It sounds even better, and if you want hear it again, click HERE

Heart problems in 1998 gave Niehaus and his fans a serious scare, and he gave up smoking and drinking, and colleagues worried about him in recent years – but stepping away from the microphone was an impossibility for him.

His home run calls – ‘It will fly, fly away’ – always changed when he was describing a grand slam: “Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time!”

Buhner spoke for many in the Northwest:  “In the late ’80s, early’ 90s – some of my teams – there wasn’t much of a product on the field but people tuned in to hear Dave. He’d rant and rave off the air, then ‘bam be’ back on the air and be totally at peace calling the game. The booth was his home, and he made you feel every pitch, every play. He could call a sunset. It’s a sad day for all of us.”

Niehaus is survived by his wife, Marilyn, their three children and six grandchildren.

Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. jeremybarnes03 says:

    Thank you Mr. Niehaus for being the voice of summer. You will truly be missed.

  2. Pat_riot says:

    An end of an era, he will be sorely missed. Dave, thanks for the memories!

  3. fbergford says:

    Pull out the rye bread and the salami grandma cause its grand salami time! We’ll miss you Dave, I grew up listening to you and it will never be the same! Thank you bud!

  4. Kevindot1 says:

    My oh my, how incredibly sad….RIP Dave. You will be eternally missed.

  5. greywolf2010 says:

    My heart felt sympathy to the family. Mr Niehaus was the very best at bringing such joy to the listeners. Although he will be missed , he will also be remembered forever!

  6. He’s one of the reason I liked the Mariners.

  7. Wow, what an ironic capper to a crappy season for the Mariners. RIP Dave. Even us non-sports fans loved you.

  8. denismenis says:

    Summer will never be the same.

  9. hightaxes says:

    Thank you my friend for all of the years you served as the voice of Mariner’s Baseball. You sir, will be deeply missed.

  10. dave’s voice and understanding of the game will be missed, it just wont seem the same

  11. mannix49 says:

    Our hearts are heavy on this day. Not only in Seattle and Puget Sound, but in the entire Northwest from Alaska to Idaho and Oregon. He was the voice we all grew up with as baseball fans. I don’t think we’ll truly feel how much we miss him until March when the boys of summer make their way to Arizona. Dave was larger than life and brought us together as a region like no other ever will. Rest in peace Mr. Niehaus.

  12. Dave could read me the phone book and I would enjoy every second of it!
    Thanks for entertaining us for so many year. Enjoy your hot stove league.

  13. mannix49 says:

    I think the “Hit It Here Cafe” needs to be renamed “The Grand Salami”……

  14. sunup500 says:

    My oh my………that Dave will fly, fly away! You earned your wings Dave. Some names fade with the passing of time……..but yours will always be synonomous with the Mariners. His family should be proud that he was so well loved by so many fans.

  15. dave8557 says:

    Very sad news. I’m stunned. You’ll be missed Dave. Your shoes can never really be filled.

  16. gonefishin69690 says:

    The entire Pacific Northwest has lost an ICON! We will miss you Dave, rest peacefully in the field of dreams.

  17. kristicharles says:

    Thanks Dave , for the memories and Thank You to your family for sharing him with all of us.

  18. bkeyport1970 says:

    RIP, Dave, and may there be a game to call in heaven just for you. You’re already missed.

  19. jmhoward says:

    Name one of the streets around safeco…My Oh My Drive in his honor.

  20. wabubba67 says:

    I’ll never forget falling asleep on summer nights to the sound of his voice between the ages of 8-13….those were great memories that made me fall in love with the game.

  21. Regardless of how well or bad the Mariners have played through the years the one single claim they’ve always had was “we have the best announcer in baseball”.

    We’ll miss ya, Dave. Hope you’re calling games in an Iowa cornfield where it’s warm and sunny every day, and someday we all get the chance the chance to hear “MY OH MY” again.

  22. Rowdy_Rob says:

    God bless you Dave Neihaus. I hope you’ve got the best seats in the house at the great big ballpark in the sky along side all the other legends of the game….

  23. sidrat38 says:

    What a total gentleman. Had the honor of meeting him once, and he was just as nice as he seemed on-air.

    God bless you, Dave.

    Fly away!

  24. tacomaguy30 says:

    His voice may have given a bit of his age away, but his enthusiasm surely did not. They say enthusiasm is contagious. It’s safe to say quite a few fans caught his enthusiasm over the years.

    Rest in peace as you fly, fly away…

  25. bellabelle18 says:

    Dave, you were a CLASS ACT. They broke the mold with you. Thanks for being a genuine role model to us all!

  26. “Ditto” to all those sentiments posted previously. A true indication of how this man was viewed by his widespread ‘community’ and a heartfelt testament to an individual whose voice gave such long-lasting memories to so many.

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