It was a poignant scene this afternoon as the statue of Dave Niehaus, sculpted by Lou Cella of Chicago, was unveiled, with the Niehaus family — and Cella — in attendance. In the top picture above, you can see Dave’s family, including his wife, Marilyn, seated to the left of Dave. In the bottom photo are his grandkids checking out the likeness of their grandpa. The statue is located in the main concourse of Safeco near Section 105 in right-center field.
“When I first saw a picture of the clay version of this amazing statue, I cried with a smile on my face,” Marilyn said in a brief but touching speech during the presentation. “Dave would be humbled by this honor, and I know this family is.”
It’s a beauty. In addition to being a remarkable likeness of Dave (his son, Andy, told me that it’s so realistic he half-expected the statue to rise out of its chair and tell him to go clean his room), there are numerous subtle touches that make it special. The scorebook in front of him is open to the American League Division Series Game 5 in 1995 — the Edgar Martinez double game, engraved with Dave’s actual notes and scoring of the game. Here’s a picture of that:
Another nice touch is the railing that has been installed behind the statue by Creo Industrial Arts of Everett, emblazoned with several of Niehaus’s trademark expressions, such as “Swung on and belted,” “Get out of the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it’s grand salami time,” and “Fly Away.”
I also liked the tie he’s wearing — one from his actual collection, with tiny baseballs on it, selected by Marilyn and daughter Greta. Niehaus is seated at a desk, and another nice touch is that there is an empty seat next to him for fans to pose for photos and, as the Mariners said in a press release, “reflect on Dave’s long and honored career.”
Here are some photos of Jay Buhner and Dan Wilson doing just that, followed by one of Dave’s long-time partner, Rick Rizzs, with artist Lou Cella.