Watch the game, listen to the organ

While most people probably attend Brewers games to watch the baseball, I take a slightly different approach. Not a huge aficionado of America’s greatest pastime, I typically use these games as an excuse to cook burgers and brats on an adorable mini-grill, make a mess of my seat (and the surrounding floor vicinity) by means of peanut shells without feeling guilty, scope out the team’s hunkiest players in the game day playbill and place obnoxiously competitive bets on the racing sausages while also yelling “GO WIENERS!” as loud as I can.

Just last week, though, I discovered yet another Miller Park gem: the organ. I realized the playing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” has probably been a 7th inning stretch tradition since the invention of baseball games as a recreational activity; however, in the current age of technology, I was surprised to learn they’d bother to keep an actual organ around.

Apparently, organist Dean Rosko landed a spot on the Brewer’s organ bench in 2002—a spot that had been vacant since 1986 when former organist Frank Charles retired.

After Charles retired, the Brewers used the long-time organist’s recordings at County Stadium and later at Miller Park. Former Brewers’ president Ulice Payne listened to community feedback, and in 2002, put out a call to organists interested in playing for the home games.

Dubbed the youngest organist in professional baseball (he was only 18 when he got the job), Rosko now provides music at 70 to 80 home games each season.

While the little organ blurbs between innings might seem like simple space-fillers, I think it’s important to recognize the musical awesomeness of a live organ at a baseball game.

Generally, yes, the point of Miller Park is baseball. But when you look (and listen) closely, there’s much more going on and so many more reasons to enjoy time there. The “peanuts and crackerjacks” are part of what makes an old ball game “America’s greatest pastime.”