Rather than pull a charming/folksy idiom from famed Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus's body of work, we here at Walkoff Walk would like to offer our belated but sincere best wishes to the Niehaus family after Dave's untimely passing. Sincere is far from the default setting around here, but indulge me for a minute.
We've written and podcasted at length on the value of a wizened old man in the baseball booth and Dave Niehaus was one of the best. His voice took on an excellent gravely quality as he aged, delivering that fine gravitas as only an old dude can.
A simple buzz through Twitter will provide you with dozens of heartfelt and personal odes to Niehaus and his connection to a team right from their infancy. As general baseball fans, we can only admire guys like Niehaus for their connection to the game and the past.
It certainly feels like the regional quality of local broadcasters is slipping away, but our increased access to formerly foreign feeds spreads local voices to a wider audience. Sadly, as we lose magnetic local voices like Halas, Cheek, Harwell, and Niehaus, our perception is another slick bingo-caller jumps in to fill the seat until he gets the call from a bigger network.
In reality, I don't think this is true. It just takes time. Guys like Orsillo and Sims and Kuiper will occupy the same rarefied space in our memories, filling car rides and boozey bar rooms with memorable calls and shared experiences.
Right now, Mariners.com has an incredible variety of famous calls from the Niehaus canon for your listening pleasure; from the first-ever Mariners pitch to the legendary Edgar Martinez Double. A memorial is scheduled for Friday (today?) at Safeco Field for all fans to attend and pay their last respects to the baseball voice of a region.