SEATTLE -- Dave Niehaus has always been a king of Seattle, but the first Opening Night without him sealed his place as a legend.
"He is Seattle baseball," said Kim Pierce, from Marysville. "A lot of the people in the city think so too, the place is packed!"
Thousands of fans streamed through the gates of Safeco Field Friday, some wearing white shoes in honor of the late Hall of Fame Mariners broadcaster.
"I work in construction," said Keith Smith, from Everett, "and I used to listen to the games at nighttime on the radio, and I loved his voice, he did an excellent job."He was baseball, I just loved the guy."
One couple, Steve and Kristin Brady of Seattle, hauled in a life-size cutout of Niehaus' face to wave above the heads of fans in section 114.
"It's just something we've always done," said Steve, talking about the three other enormous Mariners cutouts he brought along, including the new alter-ego of Felix Hernandez, Larry Bernandez.
Fans got chills as local rap artist Macklemore performed his local hit "My Oh My," bringing the infamous 1995 ALDS call to life.
Included in the opening ceremonies were members of Niehaus' family, as his grandchildren gave the official "play ball" to start the game, and his wife Marilyn threw out the first pitch to Cy Young award winner Hernandez.
Part of First Avenue South was also renamed to Dave Niehaus Way in front of Safeco Field.
"It's like an emotional roller coaster, and I'm just so proud," said an emotional Marilyn. "I'm so proud of Dave."