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@-bat music: Chicago Cubs09/23/2008 3:00 PM ET
By Nick Zaccardi / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- While the other kids were learning to play catch or how to swing a bat, 5-year-old Gary Pressy practiced something else baseball-related in his backyard -- humming.
So, little Gary tight-lipped the national anthem and yelled "Charge!" He practiced and practiced and practiced. He wanted to be a part of the game.
It worked. Pressy, 50, has been the Wrigley Field organist since 1987. His office is tucked in the public address announcer booth, what amounts to a closet in the press box.
He's in charge of the little ditties played before at-bats that you may or may not hear, depending on how loud the crowd is that day. Players don't pick their own at-bat music to blare out of loud speakers at Wrigley. Instead, Pressy keys a jingle for a few seconds on his organ. It's one of the nuances that set the Friendly Confines apart from other ballparks. Coming up with songs to play is pretty simple.
"You try to mix and match the player's name or where he's from," Pressy said. "It's not an [Albert] Einstein thing."
Here's a sample Pressy set list.
1. Alfonso Soriano - "Happy Days" theme
2. Ryan Theriot - "Tiger Rag"
3. Derrek Lee - "Dare Me" by the Pointer sisters
4. Aramis Ramirez - "You're Sixteen" by Johnny Burnette
5. Kosuke Fukudome - "Fu-Ku-Do-Me" chant
6. Geovany Soto - a Latin beat of some sort
7. Jim Edmonds - "Center Field" by John Fogerty
8. Mark DeRosa - "Ponderosa" from the TV show "Bonanza"
9. Rich Harden - "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles
About half of the Major League parks use on organ, but Wrigley is the only one to use organ music for at-bat songs, Pressy said.
"When you walk into Wrigley Field, it's a cathedral of baseball," he said. "I think the organ makes you feel like you're going back in time to a simpler time."
Pressy's biggest hit may come next month. If the Cubs can end the 100-year World Series drought at home, he's already got a song in mind.
"'We are the Champions,' that's pretty simple," he said. "The place would be going so crazy, you could play anything."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.