By Jon Weisman
After 28 years, beloved Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley is retiring at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
Hefley lives in Silver Springs, Nevada, and has been making the commute for each homestand, while renting a second home locally. She brought her family to Dodger Stadium tonight as she made her announcement.
“I have had a wonderful time playing for the Dodgers and their fans,” she said. “My husband and I felt that this was the right time to settle down in our home in Silver Springs and eliminate all the travel. The Dodgers have told me I can come back and make guest appearances and I greatly appreciate this gesture. I hope to get back to Dodger Stadium on occasion.”
It’s the end of an era similar to the one the Dodgers enjoyed from 1954-1996 with managers Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda. In the 45 seasons since 1971, the Dodgers have had two stadium organists: Helen Dell and Hefley, who came aboard before the 1988 season. Bob Mitchell, Don Beamsley and Donna Parker (a high school student when she was hired) preceded Dell and Hefley at the organ in Los Angeles.
Thank you, Nancy Bea! pic.twitter.com/YRJqboim2X
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 3, 2015
Hefley played for more than 55 years at Bellflower Baptist Church, where she met her husband Bill. She was a substitute organist for the Angels before auditioning for the Dodger job on Valentine’s Day 1988, at an exhibition game between the Dodgers and USC.
“Nancy Bea has been a very dedicated Dodger employee, who has entertained our fans for many years, and we are most appreciative of her contributions each and every night,” Dodger executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen said “We wish Nancy Bea and Bill well in their plans for retirement, and we’re looking forward to her coming back for special performances at Dodger Stadium.”
Our fondest best wishes and thanks to Nancy Bea.