Dave Niehaus, a former California Angels broadcaster who made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame by calling Seattle Mariners’ games since their inception, has died of a heart attack. He was 75.
Niehaus, who lived in Bellevue, Washington, battled heart problems in the past, undergoing two angioplasties in 1996.
Niehaus worked on the Angels’ broadcasts with Dick Enberg and Don Drysdale as the No. 3 man starting in 1969, and also did games on KMPC-AM for the NFL’s Rams and UCLA basketball.
He joined the Mariners as the lead play-by-play man for their first game on April 6, 1977 and called more than 5,200 games over 34 seasons.
He was the recipient of the 2008 Ford C. Frick award and was inducted into the broadcasters wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“I’m a fan, No. 1,” he said of his induction. “I’m a lucky guy. I love the game. If I wasn’t out here doing the games broadcasting I’d be out here sitting in the stands.
“I’ve been very lucky. I’ve said this a million times: I’ve never had to go to work a day in my life. And I hope that comes across to the people that have listened to me for generations.”
Niehaus also said of doing play-by-play: “I can’t imagine not doing it. I can imagine not doing it, but might as well dig a hole and put me in it.”