Friday, July 04, 2014

I always miss Dave Niehaus on July 4th

Dave Niehaus, the longtime Seattle Mariners' broadcaster who passed away a few years ago had many traditions.  One was to wear a hideous red,white, and blue sportsjacket every July 4th.  One year, when I was his partner, we were in Detroit for Independence Day.  We split duties on radio and TV that day and of course Dave wore the jacket for the opening.   I asked if I could wear it when I came on TV.  He said sure, I appeared on camera in it and could not have looked more ridiculous.  Wouldn't you know, they picked it up on ESPN and it led off every edition of Sportsnight that evening.   For weeks I took shit from the players. 

But God bless, Dave.  He loved his country, team, and family.  And I miss him everyday.  

I don't have a shot of him in the notorious jacket, but that was the shirt he wore with it.  Also in the picture is Kevin Cremin, our producer-engineer (who is still there today). 

Enjoy the fireworks tonight.


Michael Green said...

You, and tens of thousands of fans, Ken.

Dave WAS baseball, especially for those of us pushing 50 in the areas covered by the Mariners' network.

I miss his voice every March to September.

Phantom Dreamer said...

I remember that game, Dave Fleming vs Frank Tanana and several rain delays. I believe the Seattle station showed an episode of Taxi during one of the delays. One of the Tigers' relief pitchers went to Stanford and the camera then went to Ken Griffey Jr. and Niehaus said " that man went to the University of Baseball". I always liked that line.

Beach Blogger said...

It wasn't summer for me until Dave's voice was coming out of the radio. He was the voice of my childhood. Baseball hasn't been the same here in Seattle since he passed.

RoanokeRogue said...

Ken, I'll always remember the July 4 broadcast in which the camera was first on the stadium flag, you commenting "There's 'Old Glory'". Then the director switched to a shot of Dave's flag-festooned jacket, and you added "...and there's the [television] test pattern."

Breadbaker said...

Ken, the only good thing to come out of Dave's death was that I was linked to this blog by someone who was grieving as much as I was and your tribute to him made me start becoming an everyday reader. I think we both agree that if we could make the trade, the blog would have gone, but that's not our option.

Part of what Dave so great were the corny traditions like that coat the white shoes. Most of what made Dave great was his incredible sense of the game and its pace and the audience and its interests. I miss him from the first spring training game to the last game in October. When we finally win a World Series, he will be the first person I think of.

Anonymous said...

Although Dave is best known as the Mariners announcer, I remember his as the California Angels voice with Dick Enberg. What a "Dream Team".

Jahn Ghalt said...

The current Mariners TV and radio team are just fine - competent, relevant, and entertaining.

But I do miss Dave Niehaus. He had a terrific command of the lingo, some of which is fading. Some favorites:

Can of Corn. Texas Leaguer. Chin Music.