Some may not understand but I love baseball, I have loved it since I was a kid. Maybe it's because I lived in Chicago and you had to be either a Cubby or a Sox Fan. Don't get me wrong, I love other sports too, like Football, Soccer, Boxing, the television and I are close buddies during the Olympic Games. Baseball is the sport I know the best and love the most. Maybe it's the stats, the players, the emotion or the fact that it is played in the summer, I can't quite pinpoint exactly why I love it but that's how it is.
Before we got the Seattle Mariners I was primarily a RedSox fan, obviously I have a masochistic streak. I can't help but be a supporter of the underdog (obviously the RedSox have done the unexpected in the last few years at last), win or lose these are my teams. The Mariners have had some of the all time greatest ball players sure to be Hall of Famers: Randy Johnson, Griffey Jr and Sr, A-Hole Rod, Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, Ichiro...the list goes on.
Players get traded, they move on but the one constant, reliable and inspiring Hall of Famer in the Mariner's Organization has been the Great Dave Niehaus. Dave was an icon in baseball broadcasting, a well loved and contributing member of the community. He painted a picture so vivid in his broadcasts that you didn't need a television to know what was happening in the game. Lord know he called many a lousy game but he never made them seem as lousy as they really were, he added anecdotes about the players, he shared his amazing knowledge of baseball history there was no doubt the man was passionate about the game and he passed that passion on to many a baseball fan in Seattle. Every fan in Seattle knew the calls..."Fly Awaaaay" "BELTED....into deep left field..." and the classic..."GET OUT THE RYE BREAD AND THE MUSTARD GRANDMA...IT'S GRAND SALAMI TIME". Sadly, Dave passed away this week and baseball in Seattle will not be the same without him. There is not a dry eye in Washington State, players, owners, cynical sportswriters have all shed a tear at Dave's passing, not just because he was a great broadcaster but because he left his mark as a humble, caring, kind human being. As a tribute to Dave the 1995 one game playoff between the Angels and the Mariners was re-broadcast for the fans yesterday...the greatest game Dave ever called. We Mariner fans love you Dave, we feel a profound loss and yes, it's raining in Seattle.