Yesterday, Dave Niehaus passed away. He was the announcer for the Seattle Mariners for 34 years, and the voice of summer. I have been listening to him since childhood, through the bad years and the really bad years, and the good years, and the great years and back to the bad years. Right now, it feels like a favorite uncle has died, and I can't imagine what baseball will be like without Dave. I am not particularly a baseball fan, but I am a Mariners fan, and that is in large part due to Dave.
My dad and I would go to games in the Kingdome, each with our own headset and radio, so we could hear Dave's descriptions of the games. In 1994, when the season was shortened by a player's strike, Dave put together and broadcast an imaginary World Series game between Seattle and Atlanta. Even though I knew Seattle had to win, since it was our announcer doing it for us, I listened to that game as intently as if it was real. I remember the first time I ever heard his grand slam call - "Get out the rye bread and the mustard Grandma, it's Grand Salami Time!" and how fans started lowering salami to the press box.
I'll miss you Dave. We all will. Thanks for all the memories.