Dodger Stadium Organist Will Retire After 28 Years
Longtime Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley announced that this season would be her last of serenading Chavez Ravine with her soothing organ notes.
On Friday night, the Dodgers announced that Hefley would be retiring at the end of the season after 28 years with the team. In June, fans were outraged after Hefley said this season would be her last, saying she felt that the team was trying to phase her out of their in-game routines. Although the organization made amends with Hefley and promised her a more prominent role, she says the travel from her home in Nevada to Los Angeles for every Dodgers homestand became too much.
"I have had a wonderful time playing for the Dodgers and their fans," said Hefley. "My husband and I felt that this was the right time to settle down in our home in Silver Springs and eliminate all the travel."
Hefley will be stepping away at the end of this season, which we assume means she'll be on board through the postseason, until the Dodgers are eliminated this October (or win the World Series!). Despite this, she says the team will welcome her back for the occasional guest appearance. "I greatly appreciate this gesture," said Hefley. "I hope to get back to Dodger Stadium on occasion."
The organist was honored in a pre-game ceremony on Friday night, surrounded by family members, and given a Dodgers jersey and bouquet of flowers by former Dodger great current broadcaster Orel Hershiser. Hershiser was the star and ace of the 1988 team that won the World Series, which was also Hefley's first season with the team. "I told [Dodgers manager Don] Mattingly, 'I came in with a World Series and I want to go out with one,'" she said, according to the AP.
"We wish Nancy Bea and Bill well in their plans for retirement and we're looking forward to her coming back for special performances at Dodger Stadium," said Dodgers executive vice president Lon Rosen.
Thanks for your service, Nancy. The seventh inning stretch won't be the same without your organ. This Dodger Dog is for you.