Macklemore and Ryan Lewis — “My Oh My” Tribute for Dave Niehaus Gives Us Chills With Images + Memories of Mariner Baseball and Seattle History
I grew up in and around Seattle — when I wasn’t growing up in Montana that is — and Seattle Mariners baseball was what spring was all about! As kids, we all used to pretend to be Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez and Randy Johnson as we played baseball with our friends. There was always someone in the back of the field who took on another familiar role though — that of commentator Davie Niehaus, i.e. the voice of the Mariners.
Niehaus died unexpectedly Nov. 10, 2010. In early April 2011, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis put together a moving, yet catchy, tribute to the man who apparently narrated the spring days of their childhood too.
I’m clearly fairly behind, but on this April evening I saw the video pop up on my news feed on Facebook as a former Seattle Times co-worker shared it with a friend of his. I quickly clicked the link and was instantly enamored as Macklemore described what Niehaus and the Mariners meant to him growing up, as well as chronicled listening to one of the greatest moments in Mariners history — the Mariners winning the division series in 1995.
Just as incredible was seeing the clips of the Kingdome — where the Mariners played before the days of Safeco Field — and the shots of old baseball card collections we all used to be so proud to own. Add that to his references to playing ball growing up with Big League Chew in his mouth and pretending he was on “The Sandlot,” and this is a brilliant reminder of what great storytellers Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and their team really are! (The lyrics are by Ben Haggerty and the video was directed by Jason Koenig)
For those that aren’t familiar with Niehaus, let’s just say he was far more than a stadium announcer. He was THE voice of the Mariners, litteraly. He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the team from their innagural game until he died following the 2010 season.
To call him a Seattle icon, would be more than appropriate. His voice was beyond recognizable, and so was his image. In fact, I remember the day he came through my checkout line when I was working at Safeway in high school. I asked him a question without looking up, and when he answered I immediately knew it was Niehaus, smiled and looked up to continue our conversation.
It’s only fitting that his signature phrase “My Oh My” is the title of this tribute, and I’m so happy to have found it on this somewhat spring day in Missoula.
My Oh My is right! Thank you Macklemore and friends!
Let’s play ball!