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Ernie Hays, Longtime St. Louis Sports Organist, Dies At 77

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Ernie Hays

Ernie Hays, longtime St. Louis sports organist has died at the age of 77. (Kelsey Proud/IPR)

A long-time fixture at Busch Stadium has died.  Organist Ernie Hays passed away Wednesday night at the age of 77.

Hays spent 40 seasons as the ballpark organist, and in 2010, announced his retirement

Hays was also organist for the NHL's St. Louis Blues, college sports teams and for professional soccer in St. Louis. But he is best known for his work at both the old and new Busch Stadium.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ernie Hays," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. "Ernie’s music shaped the soundtrack of Cardinals baseball for nearly four decades. He was one of the premier sports organists in the country, and a valued member of the Cardinals family. The entire Cardinals organization extends its sincere condolences to his wife Loreta and his entire family."

Hays, a St. Louis native, studied music at Drury College and Southwestern Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in Springfield. After four years in the U.S. Navy, Hays returned to St. Louis and earned an engineering degree from Washington University.

Categories: History, Music, Sports