When I heard the news of Dave Niehaus's death I was shocked. It was about 5:45pm. My Mom had just picked me up from football practice and she needed some Lettuce for Dinner. When she was about to leave I politely asked my Mom to turn the radio on. I had known nothing yet.
The Radio was tuned into 1040. The Vancouver B.C. station. The Vancouver Canucks were off yesterday so I wanted to hear what they were talking about on 950 KJR. I assumed they would be talking about Huskies Basketball/football or Seahawks, never in my wild imagination I would hear what I hared.
The radio station was playing the Double in 1995. Since it was November my first reaction was he retired. I quickly got out my cell phone and phoned my dad. to ask him if he retired. He had no idea what I was talking about. However, it was much worse. Dave Niehaus had passed away at the age of 75 due to a heart attack in his home. I was Devastated.
Dave has meant a lot to me. I am a high school student living in a city one hour east of Vancouver, Canada and fell in love with the Mariners when I was in Elementary school being a M's fan in Canada is hard. Unlike the fans in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. Canadian television does not get the amazing channel FSN NW. I have a channel in Canada called Sports Net Pacific. It gets about 50 games a year. Add that to the nine Blue Jay games I will get, About three White-sox games I will get, five on FOX on Saturday I enjoy and three or four random games on through out the year; I watch just under half of the Mariner games per year. So Dave Niehaus and my radio meant a lot to me because he was my source for finding out how they did day after day. Especially when I was young and my bed time was in the middle innings he gave the the play by play when I was in bed since he was on the radio from the fourth inning on.
I know how it feels to be a Mariners fan. I know when are Division Titles were, the years we went to the ALCS and how many numbers are retired at Safeco Field. I'm going to flash you back to another sad day in Mariners history. It was Saturday October 2nd 2004. The Texas Rangers were in town and at the park that night was Edgar Marinez ceremony night. Furthermore, Ichiro had just broken the single season mark for hits in a season. The best thing of all was I would be in attendance. The game wasn't a great game at all, Rangers won 10-4 but we saw a Ichiro ceremony before the game and Edgar's ceremony after. I remember Bug Selig being at the game fans booing him, After the game my family went down to the 100 level to get better seats for the farewell to Edgar. I remember Niehaus talking about the Mariners were the only team he played for, the Double and lastly that he would have a street named after him. So that is my Niehaus story and I will never forget it.
But Nieuhas was not just a broadcaster. He was a Seattle Icon every which way you look at it. He new the game his Vocabulary was extraordinary, but their was one thing that stood out to me the most. He was a Mariners fan. When the team was doing well he was excited. On the other hand if the team was playing bad he would tell you about. I can't stand those broadcasters like Hawk an DJ for the White-soxs saying stuff like "he gone" or "the good guys are winning." I can't stand that. The make it seem that the White-sox are the best team ever. But Dave Nieuhas wasn't that kind of broadcaster and considering he never wanted to take days off I think he is one of the best broadcasters on Earth. He is on the Same list as Joe Buck, Brent Musburger and Vince Scully.
I will have another story to tell closer to Opening Day.
You will be missed Dave Niehaus.