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The organ pipes are still singing at AT&T Park

Good organ music can be a religious experience, especially when it's written by composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, and played on massive organs with over 10,000 pipes.

But then there's another kind of organ music, played in a different type of cathedral, on a small Hammond organ. This is the music of Steve Hogan, organist for the San Francisco Giants.

"Since I grew up hearing the ballpark organ, it is a piece of the experience that I miss when it's not there, that's for sure,” says Hogan. “I think it helps me enjoy the game just a little bit more, and I hope I do that for these people."

Baseball first saw the appearance of these motivational music makers in the 1940’s, at Wrigley Field in Chicago and Ebbets Field in Brooklyn--and many clubs followed suit. But by the 1990’s, most ballparks had done away with live organ players, or severely cut back their playing time. Instead they would turn to pre-recorded music--a lot of it rock, pop, and hip-hop--to play at inning breaks and crucial moments during the game.

Recently though there’s been a bit of an organ renaissance-- and AT&T Park is one of the newest places you can hear the pipes play. For the last five years, Steve Hogan has played every day-game the Giants have at home.

Click the audio player above to listen to the full story.

This story originally aired in September of 2013.


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