Dave was born and raised in Princeton, IN, and is a graduate of Indiana University. He worked for the Armed Forces radio and TV service, calling the action for Dodgers games before moving to New York to handle Yankees baseball as well as basketball and hockey. After leaving the Armed Forces Network, he returned to Los Angeles to broadcast
for the Dodgers, Rams and Lakers. From 1969-76, he teamed with Dick Enberg and Don Drysdale to call the action for the California Angels. Dave also broadcasted UCLA football and basketball (1973-76). He resides in Bellevue with his wife Marilyn. They have three children: Andy, Matt and Greta and four grandchildren,
Zach, Steven, Madeline and Alexa.
Dave Niehaus grew up listening to the late Harry Caray's play-by-play of the St. Louis
Cardinals with his friend John Henneberger. The front porch of Dave's
family's house in Princeton, Ind., was the heart of Cardinals Country, just like every front porch within the vast 50,000-watt signal of KMOX radio in St. Louis.
"I don't think baseball is worshipped more fervently anywhere than in that Mississippi Delta region," Niehaus said.
Cardinals baseball wasn't the Niehaus' sole interest, growing up in the Tri-State region of southern Indiana, he listened to Waite Hoyt broadcast Cincinnati Reds games, and with Princeton also being the hometown of Gil Hodges, he was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan.
But there was something about the way Harry Caray called a game that made the Redbirds larger than life.
"That was prior to the days of television and you couldn't see them," Niehaus said. "Harry had put these guys on such a level. To me it was like listening to God."
Niehaus said Caray and Cardinals baseball influenced his life, although he didn't know it at the time.
"I never had a burning desire like a lot of kids to be a major league baseball announcer," he said. "But that's the reason I can understand when people write me and say, 'You've become such a member of our family.'
"Harry certainly was a member of my family and everybody's family in the Midwest because you listened to him every night. It was the picture that he painted. And his home run calls, 'It might be! It could be! It is! A home run!'
"I have never ever tried to copy anybody's style, but I guess the first guy you hear has more influence on you than anybody else."
Because of Caray, the players were immense figures in Niehaus' mind and old Sportsman's Park in St. Louis was nothing less than a shrine.
Niehaus hasn't been back to St. Louis in about 30 years, but that hasn't lessened his affection for what he considers one of the two best baseball cities in America.
"Believe me, the baseball fans here in Seattle are as good as anywhere in the country," he said. "But back there, it's a religion. The closest thing to it I think is Boston, the Red Sox Nation. I think there are better baseball fans in St. Louis and Boston than in New York.
Dave Niehaus has broadcast Mariners baseball since the club's inception in 1977. During his 27 seasons behind the microphone for the Mariners, he has missed only 70 games, including 21 in 1996 (17 due to medical reasons). Entering the 2004 season, he has witnessed 4,119 of the 4,189 games played by the Mariners. He is recognized as one of the best and most exciting broadcasters in the game. In November of 2003, Niehaus was nominated by national vote of the fans for the Ford Frick Award for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Niehaus threw out the Ceremonial First Pitch for the Inaugural Game at Safeco Field (July 15, 1999). He was named one of Seattle Times' Top 10 Most Influential People of the Century and named the Entertainer of the Century by a local radio station. In 1997, Niehaus was honored by the Washington State House of Representatives for his "contributions to the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest." He was elected Sportscaster of the Year for the state of Washington in 1995 and 1996 by his contemporaries in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His expressions like "My Oh My" and "It will fly away" (for home runs) have become familiar throughout the Northwest. In addition, on May 7, 2000, Dave was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame. Niehaus joined Mariner first baseman Alvin Davis as the only two members of the club's Hall of Fame.
How you can vote 2005 Ford C. Frick Award Nominee Voting
For the second consecutive year, fans have the opportunity to participate in the Ford C. Frick Award voting process. Select up to three candidates from the ballot below. The top three vote-getters will be placed on the final ballot for consideration for the 2005 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually to a broadcaster for major contributions to the game of baseball. View a list of Frick Award winners.
A minimum of 10 years of continuous major league service with a club, network, or combination thereof is required to be considered. Broadcasters may be active or retired.
Voters may select up to three candidates and should base their selections on four criteria: longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including awards and national assignments, such as the World Series and All Star-Games; and popularity with the fans.
Voting will run from November 1, 2004, through December 1, 2004. Be advised that only one ballot per person, per day, will be accepted.
The final 2005 Ford C. Frick Award ballot, including the three fan selections, will be announced in December.
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