By Kirby Arnold
The reaction to Dave Niehaus’ death has flowed throughout the night.
Ken Griffey Jr.
“He meant everything. Everybody talks about the players who went there and the players who left, but he made the Mariners who they are. Without him, the guys out there are nothing. Day in and day out he brought the excitement and drove thousands and millions of people to the ballpark to come watch us. It’s tough because he’s like that grandfather to all of us, especially Jay, me, Edgar and Dan and so many other Mariners, he was like our grandfather. He would give you a little bit of advice, and he was tough on you when he needed to be. This is a day that I was hoping would never come. It’s just a sad day for all of us, not just his family, but for everybody in the great Northwest.
“When I got drafted he came up to me and just looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to be a good one.’ And he said, ‘Go out and have fun.’ When I got to Seattle I struggled for like the first couple weeks and he said ‘Where’s that smile?’ He said something and I started smiling and he said ‘That’s what I want to see, that’s why people come to the ballpark, to see you smile’ Those are the things that I’ll never forget because he was caring and loving. You didn’t know if you were the number one guy on the team or the number 25 guy on the team, he treated everybody the same.”
“There is not enough you can write that can do justice for what Dave Niehaus means _ to this city, to the Mariners, to baseball and to me personally. We lost one of the most beloved guys ever. It’s a rough day to say the least.”
“After I was traded over from the Yankees, he personally came up to me and introduced himself and made himself available. He assured me that if there was anything he could do, he would be more than happy to do it. That was the start of a great bond. I consider him a family member.”
“Dave has been the father figure for the Mariner organization for many years. His voice and his stories have graced the transistor radios, living rooms, and kitchens of Mariner fans throughout the Pacific Northwest for several decades. A true professional in every sense of the word, Dave brought us all to the heights with his “Grand Salamis” and “My Oh Mys” and always made us proud to be Mariner fans and players. One of the greatest honors in my career was to sit alongside this Hall of Famer and broadcast a few games with him. His love for the game of baseball was unsurpassed and that shown through every time he got behind the microphone. Dave’s passing today was a shock to us all and the game of baseball has lost a true legend. The Wilson family’s thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family tonight.”
“When I think about Dave, I think of so many great memories. He gave me the label Mr. Mariner, and it stuck, and we had a great relationship even after my playing days were over. Many things stand out, but the fact that he was honored as a Hall of Fame broadcaster tops them all. He was a star among stars. His ability to describe a game and keep people’s attention was remarkable. He had a way of actually making listeners feel like they were part of the competition. He brought energy to the broadcast booth, even during some tough years, and he consistently performed at this level for a number of years. One word comes to mind when I think of Dave Niehaus…PHENOMENAL. I have a ton of respect for Dave Niehaus and my heart goes out to the family. He LOVED the Seattle Mariners.”
“It’s a very sad day. Dave was one of the finest people you’ll ever meet in your life. I’ve known Dave since I was 19-years old, breaking in with Seattle. He was like a father to me. He built a fan base by making people think he was the broadcaster for one of the best teams in baseball. It didn’t matter if we were 25 games out, he acted as if we were playing for the pennant every single day. As a broadcaster, he had the greatest voice and enthusiasm. We know he had the greatest grand slam call ever. I grew up in the Northwest so I listened to Seattle games as a kid. We all wanted to go to Mariners games because they were the best team we’d ever heard of. The Mariners are a respected franchise because of Dave Niehaus. I’d venture to say he was more popular than Ken Griffey Jr. He had better games than all of us Mariners.”
“I used to love it when he called me the Big Guy. There’s a reason he’s in the Hall of Fame. He is one of those rare broadcasters who you don’t have to see to know who you’re listening to, he has such a distinctive voice. He’s one of the best.”
“I’d see people in the street or at the ballpark, and they’d always ask, ‘What’s it like working with Dave Niehaus?’ That’s an indication how big he is. Wow, what an icon.”
Producer/Engineer of Mariners radio broadcasts the past 28 years
“Dave was the best there ever was. Best guy, best announcer, best friend. No one could draw you into the moment, the drama of a game like he could. They broke the mold when they made Dave. His style, his mannerisms, he was one of a kind. He was like a brother, an uncle, a relative to me. He brought me here, it will never be the same without him. No one could paint the picture like Dave, and he was in his element behind that mic. There will never be another one like him. The Voice has been silenced, but we can still hear him. We always will.”
Eric Nadel, Texas Rangers broadcaster
“Dave was a sensational announcer who never lost an ounce of his passion for the game. I loved driving home from our games listening to him do the Mariners games from the West Coast on XM. He was a wonderful friend to me as well, really funny, and always willing to share his great wisdom and experience on the frequent occasions when I asked for his opinion or his help. I feel terrible for Dave’s family, which I believe includes everyone whoever considered himself a Mariners fan.”
Ron Fairly, former Mariners broadcaster
“The thing that sticks out about Dave is that he genuinely loved baseball and the Mariners. What you heard on the radio and TV, that was exactly Dave. He put everything he had into the Seattle Mariners and the broadcast every night. We talked several times about the broadcast and the one thing he always went back to was that it might be a bad game, but it didn’t have to be a bad broadcast. He was a huge Mariners fan; probably the biggest one in the Northwest.”
Commissioner Bud Selig
“All of Baseball is terribly saddened tonight by the tragic news that Dave Niehaus, the voice of the Seattle Mariners, has passed away. He was one of the great broadcast voices of our generation, a true gentleman, and a credit to baseball. He was a good friend and I will miss him. But he will be sorely missed, not only in the Pacific Northwest, where he had called Mariners games since the club’s inception in 1977, but wherever the game is played. Dave was a Hall of Famer in every way. On behalf of Baseball, I offer my condolences to his wife, Marilyn, his children and grandchildren, to the Seattle Mariners organization, and to his many fans.”