Big Lead Sports Bar

3/20/2009

ORGANIST VINCE LASCHEID DEAD AT 85


Unfortunately, the early part of this day will be clouded with some extremely sad news. Vince Lascheid, longtime organist for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins, passed away overnight at the age of 85. He worked for the Penguins from 1970-2003, the year he was also inducted into their Hall of Fame. He was still working part-time for the Pirates, where he also started in 1970.

Lascheid will be honored by the Penguins with a moment of silence before tonight's game at Mellon Arena.

I'm sure the vast majority of you are familiar with Lascheid's work. He was the entertainment in the simpler days, before flying hot dogs and pierogi races were deemed a necessary part of the sports experience. His subtle song commentaries, like playing "Three Blind Mice" when NHL refs took the ice, were noticed....so much that the league made him stop. Of course, his art went by the wayside when the Pirates began playing player-selected at-bat songs in 1999, which meant instead of "Brian's Song," Brian Giles took the field to the Black Crowes' "Hard To Handle," and instead of the theme to "Gilligan's Island," Jose Guillen chose Led Zepplin's "Heartbreaker." But regardless of which direction pro sports teams went in for entertainment, we'll always have a soft spot in our Pittsburgh sporting memories for Vince Lascheid's work. Rest in peace.

Longtime sports organist Vince Lascheid dead at 85 [Trib]
Vince Lascheid [Ballpark Tour]

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5 comments:

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Every single memory I have from going to Pirate and Penguin game growing up include Vince Lascheid's accompanying score.

He will be sorely missed no doubt.

Let's Go Bucs and Let's Go Pens will never be the same.

Broke But Still Drinking said...

He will be missed, but let's consider it a miracle he lived as long as he did after watching the Pirates.

Rege said...

The last link to a classic sports atmosphere is gone. When the organ dies, so does the heart of the ballfield and rink in my opinion. I think PNC is louder than a rock show.

SantoGold said...

A big part of the Pirates and Pens for years. I can still hear the little common french tune he would play everytime Pierre Larouche would score a goal. At baseball games, I used to anticipate what little theme song he would have each time a player stepped up to bat. I remember him saying that Doug Drabek's name gave him more trouble than anyone else. He settled on "Daybreak" (an old Barry Manilow tune.....eeewwww"). Get it: "Dra - bek" = "Day - Break". OK, one of the few times he missed. Even he admitted it.

RIP Vince Lascheid; Yet another part of my youth gone.

Koz said...

Yeah, I've missed his tunes. The old James Bond theme for Barry Bonds is one I recall easily.

RIP friend!