Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fly, fly away!

It was with great sadness and a few tears that I learned last night that Dave Niehaus, the long-time play-by-play announcer of the Seattle Mariners and Seattle icon, passed away at his home in Bellevue at the age of 75.  From the time I was a little girl, I listened to baseball on the radio.  Dave Niehaus was there every summer night for my youth, my high school years, my college years, and into my twenties.  His colorful visions of the game prompted Gene Autry to remark once, "The best game I ever saw was the one I heard Dave Niehaus do on the radio."  He threw out the first pitch at the Mariners first ever game in 1977.  He was chosen by the fans to throw out the first pitch at Safeco Field.  He was there for every great moment, every depressing season and every emotional victory along the way.  His calls, his voice and his enthusiasm for the game were broadcast through Seattle for years.  He was more a part of the city than the brick and stone that  make it up, and to many of us, he was the voice of baseball.

Summers will never be the same without him, baseball will never be the same without him, and Safeco Field will certainly never be the same.  He summed up all that is great about baseball, the green grass, the smell of hotdogs and the warm summer nights at the ballpark.  He brought the joy of the game into houses all over the state and the country, and he will be very sorely missed. 

So grab a glass of beer, get out a hotdog, some rye bread and mustard, and raise a toast to a man whose voice warmed our hearts.  To Dave.

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