Cue the Organist

I’ve mentioned before that I love organ music at the ballpark. It’s one of the reasons why Dodger Stadium ranks so high for me, actually. Lots of organ + nice weather = awesome, and it’s a sad thing for me when I walk into a ballpark and get assaulted with the rock and roll and whatnot. Pete Toms knows many of my weaknesses, so he kindly passed along this article about the keyboards in St. Louis:

More than half of the 30 Major League Baseball teams have some form of organ music during a game, but only a handful of teams, including the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, actually feature the organ as the primary music throughout game festivities. Prepackaged rock jam compilations and interactive video scoreboards with digital characters and blooper reels are a few of the high-tech wonders that have slowly phased out the mighty Wurlitzers and classic organs that defined American baseball in the past.

Dwayne Hilton, 35, a relative newcomer to the world of ballpark organists, is one of the faithful few, still plugging along on his Lowery Prestige organ, enjoying a great opportunity to marry a love of music with an enthusiasm for America’s favorite pastime. “One of the biggest reasons I enjoy playing the organ is the tradition,” says Hilton, who plays 10 home games a month in Busch Stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals. “It is very nostalgic in baseball, since the first organ was introduced in the early ’40s, and it’s become a traditional thing to hear.”

And if you’ve never heard the organ music stories about Wilbur Snapp or Peggy Lee, you’ll want to click through.

And with that, I’ll ask the organist to play a little travelling music, as I am going home early today to spend the rest of my birthday with my kids and my wife and some steak and a bottle of barolo and, just maybe, the All-Star Game.

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  1. Greg Simons said...

    From wikipedia: “Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo and usually has the aromas of tar and roses.”

    Tar?!?! Do you enjoy a PALL MALL while you’re drinking it?

  2. Melody said...

    Hey Craig,

    Happy Birthday!  Hope MLB comes up with a nice gift for you in the form of a fantastic (or even terrific) All-Star Game.  As a side benefit, this would be a gift we could all enjoy. 


  3. Michael said...

    That’s the sad thing about living in Seattle – our ballpark music director is PROUD that he “discovered” “Who Let The Dogs Out.”

    Back at the Kingdome there was actually an organist, but she was so bad that someone once actually brought a sign reading “Hit Organist, Win Suit.”

  4. Scarf said...

    Another reason why I like St Louis: we actually make a big deal about how good our organists are, whether at baseball games (between innings they have a “You Be The Organist” contest on the video board, which usually devolves into two guys pecking at keys to play Chopsticks) or hockey (this year they moved the organ at Blues games out in the open, and between periods put a spotlight on him as he played a kick-ass version of “Under My Thumb”).

  5. Dr Paisley said...

    Someday I will learn enough guitar and have enough money to cause to occur a 7th inning stretch at Kauffman (which also has a real organ [not a euphemism]) and do an Eric Burdon and the Animals mashup of “House of the Rising Sun” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

    Remember, music is commutative. And “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” works, too.

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