Here’s your first peek at the Dave Niehaus statue

Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs gets his first look at the statue of Dave Niehaus that is being constructed at the Rotblatt Amrany studio outside Chicago. (Photo by Greg Johns/MLB.com)

While we’re in Chicago for the White Sox series, a group from the Mariners headed to nearby Highwood, Ill., on Monday to meet with sculptor Lou Cella and see how his work was going on the Dave Niehaus statue that will be installed in Safeco Field late this season.

Turns out, Cella is well underway on the project , which is stunning. Rick Rizzs, Niehaus’ longtime broadcast partner, was blown away when he walked into the room where the sculpture is being worked on.

At this point, the statue has been done in clay. That mold will then be used to cast the bronze piece that ultimately will go into the outfield concourse in Safeco sometime in September.

I’ll have more details on all this later today on Mariners.com, but thought people would be interested in seeing how the sculpture looks at this point.

The piece has Niehaus sitting at a broadcast desk with his scorebook opened to the game of Oct. 8, 1995. You might recall that as “The Double” game by Edgar Martinez. Cella used Niehaus’ actual scorebook and the engraving is a clear reproduction of his actual notes and scoring from that memorable day.

The detail on the piece is stunning, right down to one of Niehaus’ favorite “baseball” ties. Fans will be able to sit next to Niehaus on the bench on the sculpture, as the Mariners want it to be an interactive piece given Niehaus’ open relationship with fans around the Pacific Northwest.

The Rotblatt Amrany studio outside Chicago has done dozens of sports sculptures, including Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Vince Lombardi and on and on. Just walking around their studio was a treat, but the Niehaus piece obviously was the treasure.

We’ll have more later, but let me know what you think.

29 Comments

Oh my it made me cry, Dave you are missed so much.

Beautifully done…looks so real…can’t wait to visit Dave when he’s in town!

Nice photo Greg, but it’s hard not to get teary-eyed looking it. Must have been surreal seeing it in person.
The lines will be long for a chance to get your picture with your arm around Dave in front of the mic. Also a nice way to commemorate the greatest moment in M’s and Niehaus’ broadcasting history. It will be a special addition to Safeco Field

Yup, I have tears too.

I have MLB.tv. A few days ago as the third game against the Rays was going badly, I just gave up and went to the archives from last year just to hear Dave call a game, a miserable end-of-the-season game from 2010. But, it was Dave and all was right with the world again.

My oh my! What a great tribute to such an awesome man. Can’t wait to sit next to his likeness and get a photo. He is missed deeply.

Why don’t we have a Seattle artist working on this?

wow..the feeling i just got when i look at the sculpture is just wow..he is truly missed and wished that he could be around right now calling out the games..hearing the “my-o-my” sound when the mariners come back to win.

Ali, regarding why not a Seattle artist, the Mariners went out and got the best sports sculptors in the country to do this. This studio has its work all over the country. Arizona State hired them to do the Pat Tillman statue. They’ve done Michael Jordan, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Vince Lombardi, Harry Caray, Gordie Howe, Carlton Fisk …

They’re good at what they do and the Mariners wanted the best.

-Greg

Ummmm with all of the artists here in Seattle, they had someone in Chicago do this? WEAK!!

*Lump in my throat, tears welling up*
I’ll never get enough of Dave’s stories, his voice or his calls. His stories always took me to that time..almost like I was there. His descriptive words and the way he called the game would put you right in the front row even if you were in another state. Don’t get me wrong, Rick Rizz calls a hell of a game, but Niehaus was the greatest!! This is going to be a tremendous piece of artwork. I personally can’t wait for my opportunity to sit down next to Dave and have a photo snapped. Love you Dave!! The game won’t be the same without you!!

Nice Toupe Rizz

We imported the real thing. I think it’s probably okay to import the scupture too. This is a terrific piece of art. Will they be able to save the clay rendition or will it be destroyed in the casting process? Dang, I miss Dave. So glad we still have Rizz.

Who cares where it’s done. Dave deserves a statue and Seattle is going to get him one. Doesnt matter where its done at.

Rick and Dave reunited in Chicago! His first look at Dave’s statue!

What a great sculpture. I am looking forward to being able to not only see but to touch the actual statue. I am truely in awe of not only the work but the choice of the pose.

I grew up in Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater from the age of about 4 until I was 21. I live in Oklahoma these days, but Wagigton State is in my blood. I can smell the rain from here… I grew up on Niehaus and the Seattle Mariners. Long before Griffey, Edgar, Buhner Buzz Cut Nights, Joey Cora, Randy Johnson, Alex, Tino, and even Lanston. In rhe days of Harold Reynolds, Alvin Davis, Erik Hanson, etc… But Niehaus is the one constant that never left… God bless him and God bless Northwest baseball.

I agree with getting the best artist possible. This looks very nice and I like the idea of it being interactive. Dave was of the fans!

One step further would be to have it play random audio bits during games but only pre game, mid inning and post game. Just adds one more layer of the great gentleman that Dave certainly was. As for “Why not have it created in Seattle”? Why not have the best re-create the best! “My-Oh-My” will live on forever within this statue and tribute to Mr. Niehaus.

It is so realistic! Very impressed! It will be great to see it in the stadium. And I cried while remember the Oct 8th game. Wow what great memories of his broadcasting. He is missed!
RIP Dave you earned a rest.

He was the one that we always waited for to know what happen, he created what it looked like for us who couldnt be there, in my mind the greatest in my time. MY OH MY WIll I MISS HIM !!!!

Stunning piece.

There is only one phrase that can sum up that statue, “My Oh My”!

Can’t wait to see that at the Safe. Pretty great work and “in action” is the best touch. Way to go!

Really nice work, Greg! Best wishes to you. Monte.

Tears and a smile…

I Love the idea of this statue being somewhere that fans can have a photo-moment with the great Dave Niehaus. Absolutely beautiful work! Can’t wait! How great to hear that it will be in place before the end of this year’s season!

“MY OH MY”, THERE COULDN’T OF BEEN A BETTER TRIBUTE TO DAVE, WOW! A BEAUTIFUL LIKENESS. EVERYONE SHOULD BE SO PROUD. SURE MISS HIS COMMENTARY. THE NEW BOYS HAVE A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW.

A very late post here. I hope it is ok to still post thoughts. “This Statue touches deep into our Souls. Dave was loved and gave his love and passion so well. As deeply as any human being could ever hope to do. This Statue gives all a little of Dave to hang on to until we see him again in the game of life perfected that will never end.” Thank you Rotblatt Amrany studio outside Chicago & for the (Photo by Greg Johns/MLB.com)

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