Doc (echsdoc) wrote,

138 - Fly Away, Dave!

I just saw on FB that Dave Niehaus died today, and I want to write a few words on Dave. Dave was one of those few people who is in the background of your life and your summer activities for your entire life. Think of the people who make up the sounds of life, of seasons. People who you have strong personal feelings for as you do for friends and relatives. Your childhood has these people, and often they are sportscasters.

When I was a boy, my youth was partially defined by two men, Earl Gillespie and Blaine Walsh, who called the Milwaukee Braves all through the fifties and early sixties. No one will ever bring that rush of nostalgia to me, the way their voices do. On the car radio. Coming out of windows while I am mowing the lawn. Lying in bed with the clock radio, listening to Aaron and Mathews and Adcock, etc.

Dave Niehaus has that role in Seattle. You have to have seniority and longevity to do this, like Halsey Hall in Mpls. You don't have to be good; you have to be there like music in the background of life.

I wonder if you noticed that the last couple of years Dave made a huge number of mistakes when he called a game. He was always repairing a booboo of some sort. You know what? All that did was make him more endearing. We who listened to him since 1977 knew that he was getting on, and getting on meant a stumble here and there. Heck, we are getting on, too. All I could do was smile and feel warm for the oldster as he kept plugging along.

This is as close to the death of a community grandfather as we can ever get, and it will take decades for someone else to fill the role. I am so sad to see him go. He was our grand salami of a sports announceer. Time for mustard and rye bread. RIP, Dave.

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