LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers will be losing one of their most popular players as stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley announced today she is retiring at the conclusion of this season.
Hefley, 79, who was born in San Pedro and grew up in Los Angeles, took over for Helen Dell in 1988 and has played at Dodger Stadium for the past 28 years. She has been living in Silver Springs, NV, and has made the commute each homestand, while renting a second home locally.
"I have had a wonderful time playing for the Dodgers and their fans," said Hefley. "My husband and I felt that this was the right time to settle down in our home in Silver Springs and eliminate all the travel. The Dodgers have told me I can come back and make guest appearances and I greatly appreciate this gesture. I hope to get back to Dodger Stadium on occasion."
"Nancy Bea has been a very dedicated Dodger employee, who has entertained our fans for many years, and we are most appreciative of her contributions each and every night," said Lon Rosen, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Dodgers. "We wish Nancy Bea and Bill well in their plans for retirement and we're looking forward to her coming back for special performances at Dodger Stadium."
Hefley began playing the piano at age four. At age 13, she talked her piano teacher into teaching her the basics of the organ. She played the organ at Bellflower Baptist Church for over 55 years and, during that time, she met her husband, Bill, there.
Hefley also played the organ at the Orange County Fair, the Pomona Fair and has played shows in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. In the mid-1980s, Hefley filled in for a friend as the organist for the then California Angels at Angel Stadium. When Dell retired as Dodgers' organist following the 1987 season, Hefley auditioned at an exhibition game between the Dodgers and USC Trojans on Feb. 14, 1988, and became the Dodgers' organist when the season began.