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Original Shea Stadium organist dies

Jan 30, 2010, 2:55 PM EDT

Jane Jarvis, an accomplished jazz-pianist and organist for the Mets from 1964 to 1979, has died at the age of 94, according to the New York Times.
She pre-dates my experience as a Mets fan, but at moments like this I
always look towards Greg Prince of the excellent Faith and Fear in
Flushing to put things in a way that I could only wish to convey with digital ink:

If ever a cold January morning called for a round of the Mexican Hat
Dance, this is it. It’s a good time to hear Jane Jarvis on the Thomas
Organ welcoming us to Shea Stadium. It’s a good time to lean forward in
anticipation of an afternoon in the sun with the Mets and a hot dog and
whatever the next nine innings will bring.

Spring training can’t come soon enough.

  1. Denny Galka - Jan 30, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Whenever I went to Shea during those yrs it was always enjoyable to listen her. It’s better than the crap they play today.

  2. Old Gator - Jan 30, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    I had a field box just behind first base at Shea until just after the Cretaceous-Tertiary meteor impact, when I moved south to Macondo seeking sunshine and air conditioning, and believe me, when I read a sad story like this, I feel like the last dinosaur. Jarvis used to go off on some odd little tangents – I always went early to watch BP and to watch the chalk lines form out of the primordial chaos as the game approached (Ilya Prigogine was right). She would play “Meet the Mets,” a tune as infectious as, oh, I don’t know, whatever it was that Max Von Sydow brought home at the end of The Seventh Seal – but then, she’d go off on some little tangent or other that suggested she’d been to see Miles at the Village Gate the night before, prior to swinging back to that tripe-covered keynote she was being paid to inflict upon us. Then again, I can’t complain too much – somehow, her playing also worked like white noise to kill the aftertaste of those Superfund Sites on a bun that they served at Shea, and she also seemed to have the power somehow to suppress our beer belches until we were well out into the parking lot after the game. Well, either way, she will be remembered by those of us who can recall what a stadium name sounded like before MLB franchises began selling our souls to the highest corporate bidders.

  3. john pileggi - Jan 30, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    I have very fond memories of being a young boy and sitting at Shea on a summer’s day, with Ms. Jarvis providing background tunes. I never knew until much later of her other professional accomplishments. She made a day at the ballpark more enjoyable. I hope she is at the big organ in the sky, playing “Meet the Mets”, and “The Star Spangled Banner” for the Angels.

  4. JudyJ - Jan 31, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    I used to go to Shea Stadium – it was a required venue for any guy that I went out with. There are many wonderful memories of Ms. Jarvis playing the organ to accompany some of the antics on the field. I prefer her arrangements to the “Mexican hat dance” and “who let the dogs out” that accompanies baseball today. Of course, that was my life as Mets fan – long before I had a grasp of reality.

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    Hello, great site. I look forward to your next article. Thank you, Jane

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