Jane Jarvis, former organist for the Mets at Shea Stadium, passed away at the age of 94. Ms. Jarvis was a staple for the Mets at all of their home games at Shea Stadium from 1964 to 1979. Fans who attended Shea during that time period were likely to hear Take Me Out To The Ballgame and Meet The Mets emanating from her organ.
In addition to keeping fans entertained at Shea Stadium, Ms. Jarvis was a Jazz pianist, as well as being an employee for the Muzak Corporation. At Muzak she worked her way up to vice president in charge of programming and recording
After leaving Muzak in 1978 and the Mets in 1979, she embarked on a career in Jazz, where she was a fixture at the Zinno club in the West Village. Interestingly, the Mets never replaced Ms. Jarvis with another organ player after her departure.
Prior to joining the Mets, Jarvis was employed by the Braves. In 1954, while playing her piano in a night club, the Braves decided to hire her as organist.
Ms. Jarvis told the NY Times in 1984:
“I wasn’t a sports fan, and I was uncertain about doing it. but money overcame my worries.” By the time she began her long tenure with the Mets, 10 years later, she had become a knowledgeable and enthusiastic baseball devotee.
Jarvis developed health problems, but maintained her positive outlook:
“I figure I’ve got another 25 years,” she told The Indianapolis Star in 1999. “At least I’ve got 25 years booked out.”
Growing up with the Mets since the early 1970's, I feel sorry for those who never had the chance to experience the distinct sound of Ms. Jarvis' organ playing at Shea. It is truly a memory that I cherish, and shall not easily forget.
Thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.
Source: Peter Keepnews - NY Times