Ernie Hays, longtime Cardinals organist, dies

Mike Licht, Senior Musicology Correspondent for, brought this sad news to our attention:

Ernie Hays, whose organ riffs rallied St. Louis sports fans for 40 seasons, and helped popularize batter “walk-up” songs, as well as the introduction music for relief pitchers has died at the age 77.

When asked shortly before his last game if he wanted to play newer music, Hays replied: “Hell, no, I want to play real music. Can you hear Duke Ellington playing Lady Gaga?”

Hays signed on as the organist at Busch Stadium in 1971 and played until 2010. He also played for other sports clubs, including the football Cardinals, the Blues, the Steamers and Stars soccer teams, the Spirits of St. Louis  basketball team and St. Louis University.