Goldsmith breathes life into Mariners games
There is nothing quite like opening day for a new season of baseball.
The anticipation is there, the hope to see your team do well and still trying to figure out who’s who after a long postseason. This becomes even more maddening when your team is playing another team that received one of your players in a trade.
The start of 162 days of bliss are a simple and subtle reminder that summer is just around the corner.
Listening to the first game of the season Monday night as the Oakland Athletics were lovingly torn apart by the Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, I was reminded of how great this game truly is.
It was only a few years ago that the Mariners lost one of their best players; one who wasn’t on the 25-man roster. Dave Niehaus passed away in November of 2010, and the void has been painfully obvious since then. While the Mariners have spent the past couple of seasons with a rotating panel of broadcasters, including former radio staple Ron Fairly, Ken Levine, Ken Wilson and others, the team never felt cohesive.
This offseason, the Mariners made a great signing in the form of 29-year-old Aaron Goldsmith, whose hiring was announced in January this year. He is partnered on radio with the longtime Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs.
While seeing a live baseball game is great, hearing it on radio is irreplaceable. It truly is a work of art to string together a great performance while remaining invested in the game.
I was skeptical of Goldsmith’s hiring when it was announced, as I was hoping their AAA Tacoma Rainiers’ broadcaster, Mike Curto, would be moving up to the major leagues. But, listening to the pairing of Rizzs and Goldsmith on opening night, I finally felt excited about Mariners baseball once again. A broadcaster has a special relationship with the listener that extends beyond the game. You invite them into your home, into your car, out on the lawn when you’re doing yardwork during the summer. A baseball broadcaster is with you for almost half a year, if you factor in spring training.
They celebrate a team’s success with you, and grieve at its failures. And the Mariners have had plenty failures in the last few years.
There may not have been a dinger hit from any of the players, but Rizzs and Goldsmith knocked Monday night’s game out of the park. They pair brilliantly together, and have given fans a reason to tune in to the radio. Goldsmith’s descriptive and easygoing tone is perfect for this team, and let’s hope he sticks around for many, many years.
And, while this may be his rookie season, Goldsmith has already shown he’s a Hall of Fame-caliber guy.