My favorite baseball announcer, Dave Niehaus, passed away yesterday. Dave was the primary radio play-by-play announcer for the Seattle Mariners from their first game in 1977 through the end of the 2010 season.
For me Dave Niehaus became more than just a local baseball announcer, he was like a favorite uncle who would invite me over and then tell some great stories. During the summertime his voice would go everywhere with me, whether I was working in the yard or gaming with friends.
Dave did more than just describe what was happening on the field, he described everything that was happening at the game. He provided descriptions of not just the sights and sounds of the ballpark, but what it felt like to be there. He had this wonderful ability to draw you into the whole game experience making you feel like you were sitting next to him. He was truly one of the great storytellers and made you feel like you were part of his small select group of friends.
Dave always made it fun to listen to the game, even when the Mariners weren't very good, which was more often than not. He rarely complained about how the team played in the same way a normal fan would. But when a player (or the team) wasn't putting out their best effort he would say something, which was pretty rare for a team employed announcer.
For me his passing is really like losing a member of the family. Summer will not be the same without Dave Niehaus. Good-bye Dave, we will miss you.