Dave Niehaus Dies at Age 75

Dave Niehaus passed away earlier today and took with him a generation’s worth of Mariner memories.  In an era dominated by the increasing presence of TV, Internet and Sportscenter highlights, Dave’s was a voice that mattered. He narrated some of the best Summers that Seattle has ever seen: 1995’s refusal to lose, the record breaking season of 2001 and all the ups and downs before, between, and after.

If you’re a Mariner fan, chances are that Dave’s voice is intertwined in all of your favorite baseball moments. One such moment for me occurred during the 1995 Divisional Playoffs against the Yankees. My grandmother was damn near on her deathbed with cancer, but listened intently to every single game, most of all to follow the exploits of Edgar Martinez. She had a bit of a crush on the friendly Puerto Rican DH.

Game 4 of the divisional series occurred on a night when my parents had already planned to take her out to a nice dinner.  No problem it turned out, she could bring a portable radio, and Dave Niehaus, with her to follow all the action. And what action there was. My grandmother provided her tablemates with brief updates throughout the game. From what everyone could gather, the Mariners had stormed back from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game at 6-6 in the 6th inning….and Edgar Martinez was up with the bases loaded.

A few moments later, my grandmother points her finger and jabs it into the air repeatedly, reaching higher and more gleefully each time. But, what had happened? If you watched carefully, you could see her mouth the words to a now familiar Dave Niehaus home run call…

“BREAK OUT THE RYE BREAD AND THE MUSTARD!”

 

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