Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT November 13, 2010

| November 13, 2010 8:00 PM

It's a safe bet that nobody in the Seattle baseball world will forget the 2010 season.

All the expectations, hype and hope that it could have been the year for the Mariners to make a serious run toward the American League pennant.

When the dust settled on the regular season, they'd lost a face of the franchise as well as a ton of games.

On Wednesday afternoon, their biggest loss of the year may not have shown up on the field, but in the eyes and ears of all the Mariner fans.

LONGTIME MARINER announcer Dave Niehaus passed away due to a heart attack at his home in Bellevue on Wednesday, leaving behind a legacy that took him from the first pitch at the Kingdome to the Hall of Fame.

Niehaus, who'd also worked for the California Angels and called a couple college football games in California, was best known for his work with the Mariners over the past 34 seasons.

From the first pitch in that inaugural game to the final game in October at Safeco Field, Niehaus had a voice that fans will remember describing the "Double," each amazing catch that Ichiro made and the long home runs Ken Griffey hit as the most exciting he'd seen.

The reason - because it was the next play.

And although Griffey never found what he was hoping for in a two-year return to Seattle, you'd never know it from the way Niehaus talked each time the future Hall of Famer stepped into the batter's box.

When you watched a game, you could tell he loved his job. No matter if the Mariners were leading the AL West in 2001, or leading the league in losses, he always painted a picture that things will get better sooner or later.

For the Mariners, it's going to be a long offseason, with some players leaving and others coming into the mix.

There will definitely be a different feel to the Mariners next season.

Both on and off the field.

WHOEVER THE team finds to take the spot of Niehaus will hopefully bring the same kind of energy and enthusiasm for the game as the Hall of Famer did.

But just adding players might not be enough as the entire landscape of the team has now changed.

For years, anytime you’d turn on the radio or television to a Seattle game, Dave was waiting to tell you exactly what you needed to know about the day’s opponent, and just what the Mariners needed to do for a win.

And despite the team’s best efforts in 1995 and 2001, the team never saw a World Series — maybe the only void in an otherwise great career.

But those moments such as the ’95 playoff run and the following seasons are what put him in the Hall of Fame.

Rest easy, Dave. Hopefully they’ll never run out of mustard and rye bread.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached via telephone at 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via e-mail at

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