Brock: Saving Dave Niehaus: The work to preserve a beloved broadcaster’s voice

From Corey Brock at The Athletic on August 28, 2019:

When he was a kid, Gary Hill Jr. spent hours listening to the Mariners on an old clock radio he strategically situated by his bed, stealing a few innings before falling asleep each night. Unless …

“There was an issue with the volume on the clock,” Hill said. “If I turned it even just a little wrong then it started to blare. I was supposed to be asleep, so I had to be really careful.”

Still, Hill risked it. He didn’t want to miss anything Dave Niehaus had to say.

It has been nearly a decade since Niehaus, who died in November 2010 at 75, called his last game. But for 33 seasons, he was the voice of the franchise, behind the microphone for moments big and small. And during the lean years — of which there were many — he was sometimes the only reason to tune in.

Hill, 42 and the executive producer/engineer for the Mariners’ radio broadcasts, is doing his part to make sure Niehaus’ voice lives on. He’s knee-deep in what’s become a four-year project to digitize every recording the team has saved, including highlights, pregame shows and games recorded on reel-to-reel, cassette tapes, MiniDisc and CDs. Some of the cassettes are starting to fray and Hill is still looking for a reel-to-reel machine.

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Originally published: August 29, 2019. Last Updated: August 29, 2019.