Mariners broadcaster Niehaus dies at 75

November 11, 2010

For 34 seasons, Dave Niehaus narrated baseball in the Pacific Northwest.

The golden Midwestern tones and trademark “My Oh My” and “It will fly away” tags of Seattle’s first baseball icon were silenced Wednesday.

Niehaus, who called the first pitch in Seattle Mariners history and described more than three decades of occasionally good and mostly bad baseball, died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack at his suburban Bellevue home, according to his family. He was 75.

“He was one of the great broadcast voices of our generation, a true gentleman, and a credit to baseball,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “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.”

From Diego Segui’s first pitch on April 6, 1977, through the end of the 2010 season, Niehaus called 5,284 of the Mariners’ 5,385 games. He was the instructor for a region void of the major league game sans the Seattle Pilots’ one-year experiment in 1969. Adults and kids regularly tuned in on summer evenings to hear Niehaus try and put his best spin on what were among the worst teams in baseball during much of the club’s history.