December 27, 2004
RIP, Eddie Layton

Eddie Layton, the longtime organist for the Yankees, has passed away.

Layton died Sunday, the New York Yankees said. The team did not know his age.

Layton joined the team in 1967 when the club began using organ music at Yankee Stadium and played until his retirement after the 2003 season.

Tucked away in a booth on the press box level, Layton entertained fans for decades, often by hitting just a few notes. He'd reward outstanding plays with a brief rendition of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and would sound a short trill after high-and-inside pitches.

"Eddie Layton was a treasured member of the Yankee family and, as a gifted musician, he made Yankee Stadium a happier place," owner George Steinbrenner said. "Eddie was a dear friend who will be missed by all who come to Yankee Stadium."

Layton also performed as the organist for the New York Knicks and Rangers for 18 years. He wrote scores for soap operas, played at Radio City Music Hall and was a member of the New York Sports Hall of Fame.

Eddie Layton was as much a part of the Yankee experience as Robert Merrill and Bob Shepherd on the PA. He will be missed. Thanks to Laurence for the tip.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 27, 2004 to Baseball | TrackBack

De mortuis nil nisi bono, or whatever (that's probably not spelt correctly), but I learned to hate that organ in 1977 and 1978 during the LA - NY World Series and I've never gotten over it.

Nonetheless, it's a shame.

Posted by: Linkmeister on December 28, 2004 12:47 AM

The loss of Eddie Layton and Robert Merrill this year means that the whole Yankee Stadium experience will be quite different next season. Many out-of-town broadcasters indicated that they loved to come to New York just to get away from the stadiums that blasted loud music when each batter stepped up to the plate.

Eddie was one of the last of his generation. I don't know how he will be replaced.

Posted by: William Hughes on December 28, 2004 4:52 AM

As a fellow theater organist who met Eddie in White Plains about 30 years ago, I am saddened by the news of his death. I have a few of his arrangements for organ.

Posted by: Bob Hitchcock on January 18, 2005 10:02 AM

I had the honour to meet Eddie Layton around 1965 in Glasgow Scotland at a Hammond Organ Demonstration.He had a brilliant technigue and was instrumental in me learning to play the Organ. I have a lot of his records. Sadly missed

Posted by: Keith Kirk on February 16, 2005 10:19 AM

so sad for hearing of Eddie's passing away. I'm a Brazilian fan of his, also an organist, and for decades I've been looking for his records in Brasil (hard to find!). I even talked to him once by phone. He was not so marvelous because of his Yankees' career, but for his music.
It's a sad thing there's only ONE CD of eddie's available.

Posted by: marcio ferreira on February 26, 2005 9:41 AM

I was a close friend of Eddie's for many years. He volunteered on many occassions to help disables children and had a love boating that was his life after the Yankees. He shared many stories with me that will always keep me smiling. He always told me that his real family was the Yankees. I will remember Eddies as a great musician and a good friend

Posted by: Jeffrey Mehler on May 26, 2005 10:01 AM

I've located an original Eddie Layton business card w/address and phone number and an autographed concert ticket dated 11/16/1966 from Wheeling,Wv.

Posted by: R Scott on May 18, 2006 7:23 PM

Eddie was great! I remember him playing before the beginning of a game in 2003, using the stadium walls to bounce his notes back and forth. He had Yankee Stadium acoutically dialed in. His playing haunts me and I deeply him!

Posted by: Jim Deplitch on January 12, 2007 9:15 PM