The sounds of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles have been part of the experience of going to a game ever since the late 1980s when Nancy Bea Hefley took over the organ.
After Helen Dell, the previous organist, retired in 1987, Hefley auditioned for the spot during a preseason game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and USC Trojans and was behind the Dodger Stadium organ keys full-time during the 1988 World Series.
In recent years Hefley’s time spent playing has been reduced, which led to rumors swirling Thursday when she posted on Facebook her intentions to retire after the 2015 season. The Dodgers’ front office heard about Hefly’s message and quickly gave her a call, according to Bill Plashcke of the Los Angeles Times:
I’m going to be staying with the Dodgers,” Hefley said in an interview after her phone call with team officials. “We talked things over, they told me I’m important to them. They said I had a job as long as I want the job, the job would not be open for anybody else. I will be signing a new contract at the end of the year.”
The Dodgers have made it clear that they wish to keep their beloved organist, which was confirmed by Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ marketing boss:
She’s always been a valuable part of the Dodgers.” Her retirement “was news to us, we spoke to her, we told her she was a valuable part of the Dodgers organization and the fan experience. The in-game experience keeps changing, continues to evolve, and Nancy’s role will still be there,”
Hefley’s love for her job has allowed her to continue playing for the Dodgers and she also confirmed that she will be returning to the team via her official Twitter account. Although music has changed and newer tunes are now playing at Dodger Stadium, Hefley’s music will continue to be heard and cherished.