- Associated Press - Friday, August 27, 2010

ST. LOUIS (AP) - He’s been a fixture at Busch Stadium since the days of Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. But after this season, organist Ernie Hays is calling it quits.

Hays told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that after 40 seasons, this will be his last as a regular organist for the Cardinals, though he’s willing to fill in on occasion. Hays says he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren and “the fishing pole.”

Hays has long been a fixture in St. Louis sports, not just the Cardinals. At one time in the 1970s he played the organ for seven teams. He also had a full-time job as an engineering supervisor with the old Bell System.

Hays says he’ll continue to teach piano and organ students and will still perform private parties and charity events.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com