while organ music had appeared at hockey rinks in the 1930s, it first bellowed through a baseball stadium on april 26, 1941 . organist ray nelson played “ classic and soulful compositions ” before the cubs took on the cardinals at wrigley field. he had to stop before the game started, however, because he was playing copyrighted songs that could’ve been picked up by radio broadcasts.
the baseball-stadium organ caught on quickly, however; the following season, the brooklyn dodgers hired a permanent organist, and their popularity increased through the mid-20th century. nowadays, they’re commonplace.
oddly enough, the cubs removed nelson’s organ from the grandstand during a road trip shortly after it first appeared—the copyright liability was just too much for them—and organ music wouldn’t return to wrigley until 1967.