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Old 09 December 2011, 04:16 AM
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Baseball Diddling on his organ

I was looking up information about John Ramsey (the longtime public address announcer for the Dodgers and other Los Angeles-area sports teams), and I spotted this statement in his Wikipedia entry:

Although noted for an articulate, deliberate and unruffled announcing style, sometimes he would mess up, as evidenced when a 1960s Dodgers game was delayed: "Ladies and gentlemen, while our ballgame is being temporarily held up because of rainy weather here at Dodger Stadium, our well-known organist, who is located in the centerfield bleachers, is going to entertain you by diddling on his organ." (This announcement was recreated in Kermit Schaefer's 1974 documentary, Pardon My Blooper.)
Sigh. This is just so bogus on so many levels:

1) John Ramsey could never have literally said this, as the organist at Dodger Stadium is not, and never has been, located in the bleachers. (Moreover, Dodger stadium has never had "centerfield bleachers"; only left- and right-field bleachers.)

2) Occasions for John Ramsey to even make a rain delay announcement (of any kind) were exceedingly rare -- Dodger Stadium experienced but a single rainout throughout the entirety of the 1960s.

3) This just isn't the type of thing John Ramsey would ever have said. I attended hundreds of Dodger Games while he was the PA announcer, and he always spoke sparingly. Aside from pre- and mid-game special events, he read the lineups before the game, provided the batters' names as they came to the plate, announced lineup changes, and that was pretty much it (aside from the occasional warning to fans to keep off the field after someone interfered with a ball in play). Telling the crowd that they were going to be entertained by the stadium organist isn't a kind of announcement I ever heard him make (and I doubt that he would ever have used the word "diddling" in any context).

The bulk of Kermit Schaefer's "re-creations" were stagings of jokes which had crossed into the realm of "something that really happened" apocryphality, and this is certainly one of them.
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Old 12 December 2011, 04:28 AM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
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I also strongly suspect that if he had made such an announcement, it would have included the organist's actual name, rather than just saying "our famous organist."
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