— Days Without Shea —

Filed under: Baseball | Mets | Shea
by Kingman on March 22 at 1:18PM

As most folks may have heard, last week there was a terrible construction accident in New York. A 146–ton crane fell in midtown Manhattan, crushing a townhouse and searing several adjacent buildings.

Many folks have been temporarily homeless since. According to the New York Times today, one of those people: Jane Jarvis.

JaneJarvis_032208Jarvis (pictured here with friend and Jazz trombonist Benny Powell) was, of course, the Mets organist at Shea Stadium from 1964–1979.  Her apartment is apparently OK but the building has neither water nor elevator service, so she has been staying at a hotel for a week.

The Times writes:

It was her role as the Pied Piper of Shea that secured her reputation from 1964 to 1979.

Ms. Ruckert, her friend, said in a telephone interview that “I was there on her last day — and she had her name up on the board, and they gave her a plaque.” Ms. Ruckert sighed. “She was replaced by a machine.”

After her tour of duty with the Mets and Muzak, Ms. Jarvis seriously pursued a career as a jazz pianist, playing with musicians like Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry and Roy Eldridge. For nearly a decade she has taken the stage with Mr. Powell, the trombonist, who is now 78. They made a CD together, “Two of a Kind,” and performed last December at St. Peter’s Church, where “I often played,” she recalled.

Jarvis may get back into her place tomorrow.

Wouldn’t it be nice of the Mets to do something for Jarvis this last year of Shea Stadium, especially given what she is currently going through? If you think so, send a note to the Mets from this form. Tell ‘em Loge13 sent ya.

And click on Jane Jarvis’ picture to hear why she is one of the greatest treasures of Shea Stadium history.

[March 22, 2008 3:08 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Bobster said

Thanks for the audio link, it really brought back memories. Hard to believe it's been almost 30 years since Jane Jarvis played at Shea. She used to play this little tune when the Mets took the field at the start of the game, the Mexican hat dance during the seventh inning stretch (SO much better than God Bless America - jeez, can we outlaw that?), and another little tune when a Met hit a home run. Today the blare of recorded noise at ballparks is almost constant, and organ music would be a nice change. A ceremony honoring her at Shea is a great idea, it will let her know that there are millions of Mets fans who remember her.

[March 22, 2008 3:45 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Loved the MTM clip,brings back many memories. Wrote the Mets, crediting loge13.com. Let's go everyone, do it for Jane!

[March 23, 2008 10:33 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Doug said

Wow. I had no idea she was still in New York. When I last looked her up (on-line, mind you - to see if she was still alive), I thought she was down south somewhere.

The MTM-JJ version is from a Meet-the-Mets CD the club gave away sometime in the mid-90's. I have one.

I took my mom to an old-timer's game, or some other special event - this has to be over 10 years ago, and Jane actually played a Casio behind home-plate before a game. I was too young to remember her play, but my mom remembered every note.

You'd be surprised to learn how much information is stored in the back of one's mind. It brought back memories for my mom, when she used to go to Shea on a whim, meet my dad there. Dad would stop at a Blarney Stone in Manhattan, pick up some hot pastrami sandwiches, and ride the IRT to the ballpark. Mom would drive and park the car. They'd sit in GA Seats up in Peanut Heaven(as they called it) back in the 60's.

The Club should bring her back. I'll be signing that letter tomorrow.


[March 24, 2008 1:29 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Bobster said

I almost always sat in the GA seats back then. At $1.30 it was the best deal in town!

[March 24, 2008 10:42 AM]  |  link  |  reply
G-Fafif said

Saw Ms. Jarvis play a gig at St. Peter's Church a mere five years ago. Was still in great playing shape.

Though she definitely deserves plenty of consideration this season, Jane is among those being honored as part of the Final Season Shea Countdown at Faith and Fear:


[March 24, 2008 10:13 PM]  |  link  |  reply
kingman said

Absolutely. FaithandFear is doing an awesome job with the countdown!

[March 25, 2008 12:16 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Eli said

Thanks for this story. I just sent my note to Shea. We'll see if they do the right thing.

[March 25, 2008 2:13 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Eli said

Here's the response I got from the Mets today -

Dear Eli,

Thanks, we appreciate the suggestion. Ms. Jarvis may not be up to
playing, but I am sure we will invite her back as part of the final
season at Shea. Jane Jarvis is a great part of the team's history, and
the subject of many fond fan memories.

Best regards,

Tim Gunkel
New York Mets

[March 25, 2008 6:51 PM]  |  link  |  reply
kingman said

That's great! I didn't get a response yet.

[August 5, 2008 9:51 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Keith Warhola said

I remember the Shea Stadium scoreboard message while Jane played like it was yesterday... 'You're listening to Jane Jarvis,
Shea's Queen of Melody, Coming up with hits on the Thomas Organ.' God bless her.

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