If you’re like most Dodger fans, in addition to going through a some serious Dodgers withdrawals for the past six months, you’ve probably also been going through some serious Dieter Ruehle withdrawals too.
Ruehle, who will begin his second season as the Dodger Stadium organist two weeks from today and who is often referred to as “LA’s Organist” (he is also the organist at Staples Center for the Kings, Clippers and until recently the Lakers), will be entertaining what figures to be a very energetic crowd at The Ravine over the next three nights for the semifinal and final rounds of the World Baseball Classic.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the WBC at Dodger Stadium,” Ruehle said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the fans respond these next few days. It should be fun!”
The 48-year-old Ruehle is no stranger to Dodger Stadium, having been born in Van Nuys, California and growing up in Burbank in the shadows of Blue Heaven on Earth. And as you probably guessed, he also grew up a huge Dodger fan.
“When I was a kid I attended anywhere between 15 and 20 games a year at Dodger Stadium, usually with my father,” Ruehle recalls fondly. “We’d come early, sit out in the Left Field Pavilion during batting practice and every once in a while catch a batting practice home run. Those were happy memories.”
Ruehle is also no stranger to playing the organ at international sporting events. In 2014, he played at Shayba Arena during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
“I played some of the same tunes that I play at Kings Games but also played a few things that I’ve rarely played in LA, such as Orphee aux Enfers (French Can Can), Hava Nagila, Zorba the Greek,” Ruehle said in an interview from Sochi at the time.
As most Kings, Clippers and Dodger fans know, Ruehle is extremely versatile in his song selections and plays the crowd (literally) with his seemingly endless array of songs specific to the moment and, in the case of the WBC, the countries participating. As such, don’t be surprised to hear songs in some way associated with the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and Japan during the semifinal and final rounds of the WBC.
And it goes without saying that fans attending Tuesday night’s WBC game at Dodger Stadium between Team USA and Team Japan will get an extra dose of America-related songs.
…and hopefully again on Wednesday night.