Dave Niehaus, voice of the Seattle Mariners passes away

75 year old Dave Niehaus, the man whose familiar voice became a trademark of the Seattle Mariners since the team’s inauguration in 1977, passed away on Wednesday at his home in Bellevue, Washington after suffering a heart attack.

The Seattle Mariners chairman, Howard Lincoln said, “This is truly devastating news.”

Seattle Mariners president and COO, Chuck Armstrong, went on to say, “Speaking for ourselves, our ownership and the entire Mariners family, our thoughts and prayers are with Marilyn, their children, Andy, Matt and Greta, and the grandchildren.

“Dave has truly been the heart and soul of this franchise since its inception in 1977. Since calling Diego Segui’s first-pitch strike on Opening Night in the Kingdome some 34 years ago, Dave’s voice has been the constant with the franchise. He truly was the fans connection to every game; to wins and losses; to great plays and heartbreaking defeats; to Hall of Famers and journeymen. With the exception of his love for his wife, Marilyn, his children and grandchildren, there was nothing Dave liked more than the game of baseball and to be at the ballpark. He was the voice of spring and summer in the Northwest.

“He was the fans’ choice to throw out the first pitch in Safeco Field history, and no one has had a greater impact on our team’s connection to fans throughout the Northwest. One of the best days we’ve ever spent was in Cooperstown in 2008, as Dave took his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

In 2008 Dave Niehaus was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving the Ford C. Frick Award which is the highest accolade for American baseball broadcasters, and his signature catchphrases ,”My oh my,” and home run statement, “It will fly away!” will be remembered fondly by fans.

NorthWest Cable News is running a special report on Dave Niehaus tonight at 9:30 p.m. PST. Watch it live on NorthWest Cable News, KING5.com and NWCN.com

The Niehaus family wish for privacy through this difficult time.

Watch this video to hear the voice of the Seattle Mariners:

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images: americansportscastersonline.com, seattletimes.nwsource.com