Dodgers losing a key player with Nancy Bea Hefley’s retirement
There has been more than one summer soundtrack to the Dodgers over the years. Vin Scully is returning for one more season next year, but Monday night it was announced that longtime Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley would not.
Hefley, 79, said she would retire at the end of the season.
Hefley has been the Dodger Stadium organist for 28 years, after succeeding Helen Dell in 1988.
The Dodgers have been moving away from traditional organ music in recent years, blaring recordings of popular music and using in-game stadium hosts between innings.
Hefley and her husband Bill have a home in Silver Springs, Nev., and have been commuting between homestands.
“We decided the going back and forth just got to be too much,” Hefley said.
She was presented a jersey with her name on the back and a blue-themed color bouquet by Orel Hershiser in a pregame ceremony. She and her family announced the nightly, “It’s time for Dodger baseball” opening.
Hefley said she would continue throughout the rest of the regular season and playoffs, and hoped to end her career the way it began.
“Through the World Series,” she said.
Lon Rosen, the Dodgers vice president of marketing, said the team had not decided if she would be replaced by another organist.
“We haven’t made any plans, this just happened,” Rosen said. “Too early to say what we’re going to do.”
Van Slyke questionable
Scott Van Slyke did not have a cyst in his right wrist. He said there was simply so much inflammation doctors misread the symptom. The outfielder had an MRI Monday that showed the swelling and he received a second cortisone injection.
Now it’s uncertain whether he will be healthy enough to be on the team’s playoff roster.
“Obviously, he can’t play,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “He hasn’t been able to have any strength in that hand. That sounds like he’s going to miss this series.”
Van Slyke said he reinjured the wrist playing first base Monday in San Francisco, Marlon Byrd accidentally hitting his elbow and jamming his forearm as he ran by the bag.
“It was like a stinger,” Van Slyke said. “I’d never had that happen before.”
Van Slyke is hopeful he’ll be available for Sunday’s regular-season finale.
Waiting out rain?
The Dodgers want to win the home-field advantage for the National League series against the Mets, but might not know if they have by Sunday’s regular-season finale.
“We’re going to play to win,” Mattingly said. “You see our lineup. It’s something you try to accomplish.”
But the Mets were rained out Friday and scheduled a doubleheader for Saturday, and more rain from Hurricane Joaquin could cause an additional postponement.
A makeup game might have to be played Monday to determine home field. Both the Dodgers and Mets started Friday with 70 losses.
Puig could return
Mattingly said Yasiel Puig (hamstring) hit in a camp game in Arizona, ran the bases — he attempted three steals — and played defense without issue. He is expected to join the team this weekend. Scully missed Friday’s game with a cold and is expected to miss the weekend series. Mattingly said he would like Clayton Kershaw to reach the 300-strikeout mark Sunday in his final start (he has 294), but keeping him on a pitch count would come first.
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