Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fly, fly away!

Photo from KOMO news

We learned this evening the sad news that Dave Niehaus, announcer for the Seattle Mariners baseball team, passed away today at his home from a heart attack. He called the play-by-play for the Seattle Mariners since their inaugural game in 1977. On May 7, 2009, he called his 5,000th game for the Mariners.

[The Man I Love]
and Our Son had tickets to the American League Western Division playoff series in 1995. The Mariners had never been in post-season play before, and when the Mariners beat the Angels in a tie-breaker game, Niehaus was calling the game. Edgar Martinez hit a double down the left field line in the 11th inning, scoring Joey Cora and Ken Griffey to win. Niehaus's call starts out quietly professional, and then erupts with exuberance as the Mariners clinch the title.

It was a magical moment. I was at home alone jumping up and down in the living room in front of the TV, making the dog bark. [The Man I Love] and Our Son were shouting themselves hoarse in the Kingdome.

What I remember about Niehaus was his signature calls. "My, oh my!" he would shout. And "Fly, fly away!" when someone hit a home run.

And best of all - when someone hit a grand slam home run, he'd cry in that distinctive gravelly voice of his - "Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it's grand salami time!"

Rest peacefully, Dave. You brought a lot of joy into peoples' lives. Fly, fly away!


unmitigated me said...

Just like my late, lamented Ernie Harwell. Not to be flip, but I'm a little worried about Vin Scully.

The current Tigers guy, Dan Dickerson made a similar call in 2006. In 2004, the Tigers were one game away from setting the record for most losses in a season. In 2006, Magglio Ordonez hit a walk-off home run that sent the Tigers to the World Series. Dan's call on that dinger is a classic.

CaShThoMa said...

What a lovely tribute to a great man. He will be missed. Thanks for your post.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'll buy some rye bread in his honor. (I've got horseradish mustard in the fridge, it's got quite a nice bite to it.)

Anonymous said...

"My, oh my!"
That is how I remember him.
A wonderful tribute, Aunt Snow.