erik lundegaard

Lancelot Links (My Oh My Edition)

Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus died yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 75 and appreciations immediately rolled in. I wrote mine upon hearing the news but didn't feel like I captured how much he meant to me. I wrote about meeting him, and I resurrected quotes, and audio clips, and LINED DOWN THE LEFT FIELD LINE FOR A BASE HIT, and all of those are good, but I tend to associate him with, of all things, cleaning my apartment on 44th and Evanston in upper Fremont on some weekend afternoon, the sun streaming in, a hopeless game on the radio. Cleaning isn't any fun, and Mariners games often aren't any fun, but he made them fun. Roger Angell has said that baseball is like life, because there's more losing than winning in each, and Dave was a guy you wanted to hang around with during all that losing. He made the losing, and thus life, bearable. Hell, he made it fun.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments field below. Here are some others:

  • Mike Henderson at crosscut opens with a bang and tries to capture that Niehaus-Ron Fairly banter during an M's shellacking.
  • Rob Neyer visits the broadcast booth. “I didn't imagine, for even a second, that I would never have another chance. I sort of thought Dave Niehaus would live forever.”
  • Various clips and remembrances, including this one from Jay Buhner: “He could call a sunset.”
  • This U.S.S. Mariner piece needed to be longer, but I like the Bip Roberts remembrance. That's the Dave I remember. He's been called a “homer,” but he always got excited about good play from the opposition.
  • Kirby Arnold gives us reaction from Junior, and Dan Wilson, and Kevin Cremin. Ron Fairly says, “He was a huge Mariners fan; probably the biggest one in the Northwest.” 
  • John McGrath, in a piece about Niehaus' induction into the Hall, on how a Jay Buhner homerun call made him feel welcome in Seattle.
  • Mike: Off Mic, the voice of the Rainiers, on sharing the broadcast booth with a legend. “And nine miserable innings they were, Mike.”
  • Jim Caple on Joey and Joy. Here comes one, there goes one.
  • I choked up listening to these radio calls. They even have the grand-salami call off Roger Pavlik from '95. But make sure you stop it before the end. For some reason, KIRO 710 ends their tribute with an awful, generic radio voice; I'd rather end it with his very distinct radio voice.
  • Finally, Seattle Times' sports columnist Steve Kelley writes one of the best eulogies I've read: “He could be calling a baseball game, and it would seem as if literature broke out. ... In the cynical world of big-city sports, Dave Niehaus truly was beloved. I bet he didn't have an enemy in the game, in the business, in Seattle. And — my, oh, my — there will be times next season when his absence will feel almost too heavy to bear.”

Posted at 07:40 AM on Thu. Nov 11, 2010 in category Seattle Mariners  
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COMMENTS

David Hirning wrote:

Thanks for the links and the coverage, Erik. I'm still in shock, but it's good to read all the great remembrances and comments. I agree with Neyer when he said that he felt like Dave Niehaus would live forever. I didn't even contemplate ever listening to Mariners baseball without him. It's almost as if they just need to roll up the carpets now--no Niehaus, no Mariners. He was that irreplaceable to this franchise.

Comment posted on Thu. Nov 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Mister B wrote:

Dawn and I went down to the first memorial yesterday and I was fine for the first few minutes or so. But after walking around, hearing the Ken Burns-baseball-documentary-type instrumental baseball music playing on the speakers and seeing the collection of photos of him through the years, I was hoping no one I knew would see me and I wouldn't have to talk to anyone about it.

As I was signing one of the autograph books, a reporter came up (Dawn tells me there was a camera guy with him) and said he had noticed us earlier and that it was an emotional thing for us. He asked me what I was writing in the book and I got as far as being able to tell him. After that, I asked Dawn to talk to him because I couldn't go on anymore and I was hoping not to cry in front of at least one complete stranger.

She told the reporter about important the Mariners were to us meeting in the first place and a couple of other things I don't recall now and then he asked us for our names. No idea if or where anything we said was used online or in print.

What I wrote in the book was “Whenever the Mariners are getting blown out, I was always think of 'Wabash Cannonball'. Thanks, Dave.”

I wonder now how or if the before-gates-opening audio medley will be altered and what will be visible around the stadium in 2011 to honor Dave, when the statue will be built, etc.

This wasn't just yet another 100-loss season. We lost a legend before we had a chance to recover from it.

Next season won't be 2011. It will be 1 A.D. — After Dave.

Comment posted on Sun. Nov 14, 2010 at 03:03 PM

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