Ernie Hays, famed Cardinals organist, passes away at 77

Ernie Hays, famed Cardinals organist, passes away at 77

Credit: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Long-time St. Louis Cardinals organist Ernie Hayes, shown in this 9/16/2010 file photo at Busch Stadium has died on 10/31/2012 at the age of 77 in St. Louis. Hayes retired after 40 years at the stadium keyboards, playing for all major sports teams in St. Louis over the years. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 1 at 11:12 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Ernie Hays, retired Busch Stadium organist, passed away Wednesday night at the age of 77.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ernie Hays,” Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said.  “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, began playing the organ for the Cardinals when the team installed the instrument at Busch Stadium in 1971.  His sports music career includes performing at the St. Louis football Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Stars and Steamers games.

He first played “Here Comes The King,” the popular Budweiser beer advertising jingle, at a Steamers game and later made it a staple at all Cardinals games.

Hays retired in 2010 after 40 seasons.

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