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Profile: Jane Jarvis, Mets’ Organist at Shea Stadium

July 8, 1964 - Casey Stengel coached at first base, but the Mets’ most significant contribution to yesterday’s All-Star game was Jane Jarvis (pictured), who was obtained last year (straight cash, no players) from the Milwaukee Braves.

Miss Jarvis has good hands. She studies the pitchers. In Milwaukee, they used to say that Jane Jarvis held the record of 5,000 errorless innings on the electronic organ.

“Then I snapped my streak. One day, with only two out, I started playing ‘Ain’t She Sweet?’ The players started leaving the field,” she said.

Miss Jarvis, who plays at all Met home games, is a serious professional. She would never, for example, twit an umpire’s decision by playing “Three Blind Mice.” She would never mock that classic confrontation of pitcher and manager on the mound by playing “Give Me Five Minutes More.”

Born in Indiana, Miss Jarvis attended the Chicago Conservatory, DePauw University, and the Bush Conservatory. She had hoped to become a concert pianist. In 1954, however, she took a job as organist at the Braves’ home games. Her instructions were simple: “Three strikes are out, Jane, three outs and the teams change. Then you play.”

Her greatest achievement was some years ago when Ruben Gomez of the Giants knocked down Joe Adcock with a pitch and the two teams started a fight that threatened to swell into a riot as the fans joined in. Miss Jarvis played “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“That sobered them up quick,” she said.

She has also played at two perfect games: Harvey Haddix’s seven years ago and Jim Bunning’s this season. As a finale, Miss Jarvis played “The End of a Perfect Day” for both of them.

Her ballgame repertoire includes music for rainouts (“Singin’ in the Rain”); for home runs (“There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight”), and for striking out with the bases loaded (“Just One of Those Things”).

She has had a lot of practice this season with “Smile, Darn You, Smile,” which she plays after the Mets lose.

Despite her vast experience, Miss Jarvis conceded that she was excited at playing at an All-Star Game. She practiced at home for it.

She had a feeling, just before the last half of the fourth inning, that the National League was going to score. So, she played “Soon.” And after Billy Williams and Ken Boyer belted homers that inning, she played “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Miss Jarvis was beside herself in the ninth as the National tied the score. She bounced up and down on her organ bench. She was delirious with joy when the Nationals won.

There was just one slight disappointment. That was when Hank Aaron of the Braves struck out. She had expected him to win the game, and she was all set to surprise him with one of his favorites (“Dance With Me, Henry”).


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