Dave Niehaus — The Most Exuberant Voice of Summer is Stilled

by M.C. Antil on November 11, 2010

Dave Niehaus

One of the most unexpected and delightful benefits of the MLB Baseball Package is that one gets to hear the hometown broadcast teams, raw and unvarnished — and not just in micro-byte form on some highlight show.

That’s why I was especially saddened by the death yesterday of Hall of Fame announcer and Mariner legend Dave Niehaus.  While he became known for his animated, over-the-top calls of home runs and game-changing plays, I’d come to realize over the course of the last three seasons that what set Niehaus apart was not so much the man’s enthusiasm, as it was his simple decency. 

Though he lived much of his life on the West Coast in places like L.A. and Seattle, all it took was an inning or so of listening to him to realize the guy was, and would forever remain, a Hoosier; a humble, small-town kid from the heartland who loved baseball, respected just about everyone, and was from a generation of Americans who lived by the maxim that if you don’t have anything nice to say about a man, it’s better to say nothing at all.

He was also as loyal as loyal could be, and seemed to have this incredible ability to love the things he loved, warts and all.

He really wasn’t one of a kind as much as he was the last of a dying breed; a hometown announcer who knew the difference between rooting and shilling, and an on-the-scenes reporter who, despite his animated home run calls and corny catch phrases, knew how and when to practice restraint;  a working-class observer of the game who understood that in the news business the stories you don’t tell can often have just as much impact as the ones you do.

Here’s to you Dave Niehaus, and thank you for over the years letting so many of us share in your joy, your warmth, your passion, but most of all, your incredible sense of decency.

Previous post:

Next post: