Dave Niehaus Passes Away

Dave · November 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

One of the most vivid parts of my childhood has died. We all have the shared memories of the big events – The double, the no-hitters, Jr’s catch on Jesse Barfield, my oh my and the rye bread. However, I can still hear Dave describing a spring training game in which Bip Roberts got a couple of hits. Even though he was on a Padres team that the Mariners never played, that memory never fades because of the man who called it. He was a great storyteller, and he made baseball magical for myself and millions of other children who grew up with his voice.

It was always a beautiful day out for baseball when Dave Niehaus was behind the mic. Thanks for everything, Dave – you were one of the reasons I fell in love with this game.


137 Responses to “Dave Niehaus Passes Away”

  1. mlathrop3 on November 10th, 2010 9:16 pm

    this sucks

  2. Badbadger on November 10th, 2010 9:32 pm


    A big piece of a lot of childhoods went away today. There was no other feeling like tuning in the radio for that first spring training game and hearing Dave Neihaus. I guess we were lucky to have him for so long. I’ll miss him.

  3. G-Man on November 10th, 2010 9:48 pm

    It’s pretty hard to have a thread here without some disagreement, but this is the clear exception. There can be nothing but love and respect for Dave.

    I knew there was only one thing that would ever get him out of the booth. I just wish he could have called a Mariners World Series before he left us.

  4. enazario on November 10th, 2010 9:49 pm

    I am not a Seattle native but in the last 15 years I came to love the Mariners through the voice of Dave Niehaus. His infectious enthusiasm made it impossible not to love the team. May he rest in peace.

  5. HubofPNW on November 10th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Touch ’em all in heaven too Mr. Niehaus.

  6. kmsandrbs on November 10th, 2010 10:21 pm

    You know, I’ve had many players that I was (and still am) a fan of, and I have fond memories of the Kingdome (yes, even of that concrete monstrosity); but Niehaus has been there through it all. He outlasted stadiums, players, owners, jerseys, and more. His voice just WAS the Mariners. So rich, such clear descriptions. He is missed.

  7. msb on November 10th, 2010 10:22 pm

    The Associated Press article is good; I was wondering how the national media would cover this story, and whoever wrote the AP article appreciates what Dave Niehaus meant to the fans of the Mariners.

    Tim Booth, who grew up listening to Dave call games

  8. BillyJive on November 10th, 2010 10:30 pm

    Wow! I don’t even know what to say right now. Mariners baseball will never be the same again.
    RIP Dave and thanks!

  9. Madison Mariner on November 10th, 2010 10:31 pm

    RIP Dave.

    You will be missed more than words can express.

  10. Kris on November 10th, 2010 10:39 pm

    Like so many others, I became an Ms fan because of Dave. Moved to Seattle at the start of the ’83 season and it didn’t take much more than a game or two for me to realize what a gem of an announcer Seattle was blessed with.

    I spent the four years before that as a long-haul driver and had listened to probably every radio play-by-play voice of the time. And Dave was the best. He was old-school. Poetry on the fly.

    Even in the middle of a putrid game in a horrific season, he kept me listening. For 27 years Dave was the soundtrack of my life from the first pitch of spring training to the last pitch of the season. I cannot imagine what the first pitch of 2011 will be like.

    A major reason for being a day-in day-out Ms fan no matter what just disappeared.

  11. henryv on November 10th, 2010 10:55 pm


    Oh, please, no.

    Thank you so, so, so much Dave.

  12. AssumedName on November 10th, 2010 11:02 pm

    Godspeed, Dave. You brought life to your work and a smile to many faces.

  13. Phightin Phils on November 10th, 2010 11:07 pm

    I’m an east coast transplant, 15+ years ago, and I owe a lot to Dave to quickly help me adjust here and have my own (new) team again to follow.

    Dave, thanks for making me feel welcome to become a Mariners fan!

  14. henryv on November 10th, 2010 11:45 pm

    A member of the family, and the truest Mariner ever is gone.

    Nothing else to say.

    Man… I want to say how much he meant (oh man, past tense…) to me… But all I can come up with is sadness. Ugh.

  15. Westside guy on November 10th, 2010 11:53 pm

    Rob Neyer has posted about Neihaus’ passing, as I expected he would (being from around here originally).

  16. Westside guy on November 11th, 2010 12:02 am
  17. Carson on November 11th, 2010 12:02 am

    I just have been lost all night.

    I moved here in 1995 from California, as a 15 year old kid. I loved football and only sort of liked baseball.

    Some things changed that. One of them was the timing of the move, watching that team rally back and hearing Dave’s voice detail it.

    You just feel like you were there, you know? He’d describe the players, the way the dirt kicked up, the sun going down, all of it.

    Somewhere, a football fan turned into a baseball fan. I’ll now regret not going to see his HOF induction forever, but I’ll also thank him for his part in turning me on to the most wonderful game ever.

    Thank you Dave, and I hope you’re with us when we finally celebrate the one thing you wanted as much as us.

  18. Faceplant on November 11th, 2010 12:10 am

    I’ve been a Mariners fan for most of my life. I’ve seen the occasional highs, and the frequent lows. I felt the elation of “the double”, and the dispair of 100 loss seasons. But, as a Mariners fan, I have never been as heartbroken as I am tonight.

    R.I.P Dave.

  19. Iconoclast1985 on November 11th, 2010 12:28 am

    Just got back from the store to buy a Haywire Hefeweizen, The beer I drink at Safco Field, toast to Dave and realized why I feel like a family member died. My father died when I was four so it was Dave that introduced me to and taught me about this game. So again Dave thanks for all the memories and I am glad that you never let a bad team dampen your spirits because you helps many more people get through the summer months then you will ever know.

  20. islandmariner on November 11th, 2010 1:17 am

    My older brother and I grew up in Kamloops British Coloumbia in Canada. Our parents are from the Seattle area so natrually we were Mariner fans. Baseball news was hard to come by except via radio. Reception was poor on 710 being so far away so we spent many summer nights tenting so we could get better reception and hear the great Dave in the later innings. The first baseball memories I have are from the radio period in the 80s. Would we have done this if not for Dave?? I think not…thanks Dave. RIP

  21. Iconoclast1985 on November 11th, 2010 2:00 am

    To steal the line from Bret “the Hit man” Hart

    Dave Niehaus truly was in my mind “The best there is, The best there was, and The BEST there EVER will be!’

  22. regnaD kciN on November 11th, 2010 4:09 am

    It’s just so damn unfair that Dave will never get a chance to call a Seattle World Series game. (Just as unfair as my father passing on three months before his Red Sox finally won it all.) And I still can’t imagine tuning in to broadcasts in seasons to come, and hear someone else described as “the voice of your Seattle Mariners.” Sorry, but not a chance.

  23. MrZDevotee on November 11th, 2010 8:11 am

    Sad, sad day.

    Thank you, sir, for those 5000+ days you devoted to making Mariners baseball a better experience.

    And thank you for helping us make it through this last year. I only wish we could have sent you off on a higher note.

    You’ll be missed. Both by the 10 year old who first heard you on opening day in 1977, and the 43 year old who feels a tad guilty for thinking you’d lost a little bit this past season. Both then and now, you were always the only voice I wanted to hear call the games. And I was always a little disappointed when I tuned in to either the radio or the tv broadcast when the “other guys” were on.

    Opening day 2011 is going to be a very sentimental moment. If the M’s do it right, NOBODY will call the first pitch that day. Just silence, and the crack of the ball hitting either the mitt, or the bat. And after that they should immediately stop things and give that 1st pitch ball to Marilyn, your wife, to keep in your honor.

    Farewell, sir.

  24. DEO on November 11th, 2010 8:33 am

    My thoughts are a little long to post here, but I’ve written in my blog about how Dave helped my son fall in love with baseball:


  25. bongo on November 11th, 2010 8:42 am

    Here in Seattle, we have had many ups and downs with respect to the Mariners. But one thing we could always depend on to be world-class was Dave Niehaus. No matter how the team was doing, you could depend on Dave to make the situation as enjoyable as possible.

    One of my favorite moments this past season was hearing Dave’s description of Colomé’s struggle to throw a strike: “Watching him pitch is like watching a hen lay a dozen eggs all at once. It’s gotta hurt!”

    This season was one of the worst that I’ve ever endured as a baseball fan. Yet, somehow Dave Niehaus was able to transform a moment of the tragedy of 2010 into comedy.

    Rest with the angels, Dave.

  26. Nettle on November 11th, 2010 9:19 am

    Such a sad day. Whenever I watch a game, it is always Dave’s voice in my head. The way he dropped an octave with “That was low and outside”. The way he made every long fly exciting. And such a great laugh. I wouldn’t be an M’s fan if it wasn’t for Dave. It helps, a little, to see there is a community of people here who feel the same way.

  27. Pete Livengood on November 11th, 2010 9:22 am

    I heard this news on the radio as I was driving home from the grocery store and had to immediately pull over. I found a little bar where I knew some diehard Mariners fans hang out, and we all raised a cold one to the greatest broadcaster this City will ever see.

    If you look up my address on that Google Maps feature that lets you see a photo of any place you want to look up, you can see me hanging out on my front porch in my Adirondack chair, drinking a beer and listening to Dave Niehaus on the radio. And that’s what is so profoundly sad to me. I’ve just lost the great storyteller I spent the last 30+ years hanging out with on my front porch – a true friend, a grandfatherly presence. Summer will never be the same.

    Dave Niehaus is really the only reason I still own a portable radio, which seems so outdated and anachronistic today. I guess I won’t be needing that anymore.

    Goodbye, Dave. We’ll miss you terribly. I hope there is an afterlife, and that there is a broadcast booth waiting for you at a baseball stadium so beautiful that only Dave Niehaus can adequately describe it. Rest in peace, my friend. I’ll think of you often.

  28. GarForever on November 11th, 2010 10:13 am

    Goodbye, Dave. We’ll miss you terribly. I hope there is an afterlife, and that there is a broadcast booth waiting for you at a baseball stadium so beautiful that only Dave Niehaus can adequately describe it. Rest in peace, my friend. I’ll think of you often.

    Beautifully said, Pete. I can think of nothing to add but 🙁

    That can scarcely say it all, but it’s the best I can muster right now. One of the true greats, a man who knew the game, loved the team and the city, but never played the shameless “homer.” We’ve lost a treasure…

  29. yofarbs on November 11th, 2010 10:37 am
  30. vj on November 11th, 2010 11:32 am

    This is now officially the worst season in franchise history

    No question about that.

    Though I couldn’t help being amused by this line in the ap orbituary:
    Niehaus, who called the first pitch in Seattle Mariners history and described more than three decades of occasionally good and mostly bad baseball, …

  31. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on November 11th, 2010 11:34 am

    It was the golden voice of Dave Niehaus that made this (then) youth fall in love with a very bad Mariners team some 23 years ago. I fell asleep to his play-by-play calls on late summer nights more times than I can remember. More than creating a love-affair for me with the Mariners, he helped create a love in me for the game. He was everything good about what baseball is to the fabric of America. You will be missed, Dave

  32. geofftoons on November 11th, 2010 11:41 am

    I just created this Facebook page group to petition the city of Seattle to rename the section of 1st Ave. S. next to Safeco Field, between S. Royal Brougham Way and Edgar Martinez Blvd. on the south, Dave Niehaus Ave. in honor Dave.

    Feel free to join if you like and pass it around!

  33. Westside guy on November 11th, 2010 12:19 pm

    GarForever reminded me of something else that I really appreciated about Neihaus. He loved the Mariners, but he was very fair in his commentary. If RRS was out there struggling to find the strike zone, Dave would say exactly that. If an opponent made an amazing play, Dave would sound almost as excited about it as if it were a Mariner. When the M’s got the benefit of a bad call – he’d say that too.

    I’ve listened to other teams’ broadcasts on occasion, and that degree of even-handedness is very rare. I suspect it was the result of Dave’s great love and respect for the game itself.

  34. Gregor on November 11th, 2010 1:01 pm

    This blog post by Ken Levine is well worth reading …

    Farewell, Dave. I would not have become a baseball fan without you.

  35. MrZDevotee on November 11th, 2010 1:13 pm

    Here’s a shot that brought tears to my eyes… (Not the greatest photo, but definitely does the job).

    Hallowed Ground

  36. Shanfan on November 11th, 2010 1:44 pm

    Hall of Famer says it all. My heartfelt sympathy to the Niehaus family, I hope they throw out the first pitch this year. And my condolences to Rick Rizzs and Kevin Cremin for their loss too. I can’t imagine the first day back in the booth for them.

    These past 34 seasons, no matter how lonely I ever got, no matter how crummy a day I might have had, no matter what loss I might have suffered or affliction I might’ve endured, I always had the radio and Dave to fill up the space and reassure me that every day was a brand new game. Hope is what the Voice of Summer created so well.

  37. GarForever on November 11th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Westside guy — thanks so much for the link to Caple’s piece. That was poetic.

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