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.”