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Organist Ernie Hays Dies at Age 77

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Ernie Hays began playing the organ at Busch Stadium in 1971.

Ernie Hays began playing the organ at Busch Stadium in 1971.

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The man who provided the soundtrack for St. Louis sports fans for four decades has died.

Ernie Hays died Tuesday night at Mercy Hospital. He was 77 years old.

Hays spent 40 years playing the organ at Busch Stadium before retiring in 2010. He also played for the Blues, Steamers, Spirits and even the football Cardinals.

Hays actually first played that song, ‘Here Comes the King,’ at a Steamers’ game at the old Arena, and it became the anthem for St. Louis.

Jeremy Boyer who succeed him with the Blues says there was nobody like him, “He just really took this playing in the game to a whole different level. He made it very interesting for the fans and for the players.”

Boyer says Hays had a ‘big personality’ and was always quick with a joke that would keep you in stitches.

“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.”

“On behalf of the St. Louis Blues, I would like to express how saddened we are to learn of the passing of Ernie Hays,” said St. Louis Blues CEO Bruce Affleck.  “The excitement that Ernie brought at Blues games will forever be remembered by our fans.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Loreta, and to their family.”

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