After news in June of this year that Los Angeles Dodgers organist Nancy Bea Hefley would return in 2016 on a lifetime contract, she reversed course Friday night and announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2015 season.
The Silver Springs, Nev., native rents a second home during homestands and said she and her husband Bill are at peace with the decision. “I have had a wonderful time playing for the Dodgers and their fans,” Hefley stated. “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 began her career as Dodgers’ organist in the 1988, and retired Dodgers pitching great Orel Hershiser, who started on the ’88 World Series championship team, presented Hefley with a jersey and bouquet of flowers prior to Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres. The pregame ceremony also involved 15 of Hefley’s family members.
The 79-year-old organist is a fan-favorite with her classic, traditional tunes played throughout portions of home games at her discretion. Hefley’s only true obligation is playing “Take me out to the ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.
She’s also managed to keep up with the millennials by being an active user on Facebook and Twitter. With Hall of Fame announcer, Vin Scully, recently declaring his return for 2016, Hefley’s absence will be genuinely missed.
However, her endearing nature and commitment to the Dodgers cements her a legacy in Los Angeles. Hefley added the Dodgers have left the door open for any sort of return at her leisure, which she hopes to take advantage of on occasion.