The San Diego Padres batter smacked a line drive, sending the baseball rocketing toward the gap between the Los Angeles Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turnerand shortstop Corey Seager. Reflexively, Turner dived to make the catch — and in that instant an important call had to be made.
Dieter Ruehle chose to go with “Charge!” rather than Van Halen’s “Jump” as he looked on from his perch at the organ above the infield at one end of the Dodgers press box.
“He didn’t really have to jump, so I decided not to play that this time,” Ruehle, 49, explained after the moment passed during a late season game.
It turns out that not all the split-second decisions that fuel the action at a baseball game are made by players, managers or umpires. Organist Ruehle also makes dozens of such calls each night while seated at his Nord electronic keyboard, choices that entertain tens of thousands of baseball fans each night, help relieve or build tension and sometimes infuriate the opposition.
He’s in his second season as the Dodgers team organist, having assumed the mantle for much of the musical entertainment. That includes accompanying sometimes pitch-challenged singers who deliver the national anthem ahead of the first pitch, the traditional seventh inning stretch-playing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the endless nightly variations on “Charge!” and “Let’s go…Read More