Obit of the Day: The Cardinals’ Vital Organ

For 40 seasons, beginning in 1971 and ending in 2010, fans of the St. Louis Cardinals would listen to the marvelous organ playing of Mr. Ernie Hays. Hays, who left the team after a change to recorded and non-traditional music, passed away at the age of 77.

Hays was probably the only sports organist with a degree in electrical engineering. He was certainly the only one to help calibrate test components for the Gemini space missions.

Ernie Hays, also played organ for St. Louis University, the St. Louis Spirits (ABA), the St. Louis Blues (NHL), and the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals (now in Phoenix). He is best known for his rendition of the Budweiser jingle, “Here Comes the King,” which he would play during the seventh inning stretch at Cardinals games. (For decades the Cardinals were owned by the Busch family, who also brewed Budweiser beer. However Hays first played the song at an indoor soccer game.)

(Video of Hays playing “Here Comes the King” is courtesy of sebben76 via