The dream of so many in sports is to be able to get paid to do what you love, and be able to make a living off it. Dieter Ruehle is one of those people as he has been tickling the organist keys for the Los Angeles Kings, Lakers and has now added Dodgers to
The dream of so many in sports is to be able to get paid to do what you love, and be able to make a living off it. Dieter Ruehle is one of those people as he has been tickling the organist keys for the Los Angeles Kings, Lakers and has now added Dodgers to his list of full-time residences. And that’s his job!
Most organists have another job during the day. Whether it’s as a volunteer fire fighter, a music teacher, or one of a number of other roles, most organists have to rush from another job, not Ruehle whose sole work is for the sports teams of Los Angeles.
Ruehle is listed as the Music Director at Staples Center as he is both organist and DJ for the winter-based teams in the middle of southern California. He’s responsible for music played during stoppages at Kings games, and whenever a musical interlude is needed during Lakers games.
Since 2013, Ruehle had been the fill-in organist for Nancy Bea Hefley who retired at the end of the 2015 season. Hefley had been the organist at Chavez Ravine for 28 seasons before she retired, ending the longest streak for a Dodgers organist. In 2003, she even released a CD of organ music played at Dodgers games which is currently available to add to your collection.
With Hefley’s retirement coming, Ruehle had been filling in on occasion so he had knowledge of the Dodgers game presentation. That’s extremely important in major professional sports as timing is key and being able to adapt in a high-pressure situation necessary.
Ruehle, like most multi-sport talent, has to work around schedules that overlap. Very simply, playoffs take precedence. Recently, Ruehle was at Staples Center for a Kings playoff game while the Dodgers played at home on the same night. Come October, he’ll be playing for the Dodgers should they make the playoffs and the schedule conflicts with the Kings.
Only four other organists in major professional sports play for more than one team, and three of them are full time for those teams. Ruehle, however is the only organist to work for three different teams and joins only Jeremy Boyer in St. Louis as an organist to play for a winter and summer team (Blues and Cardinals) full time. Bruce Anderson (Washington Wizards and Capitals) and Ray Castoldi (New York Rangers and Knicks) work full time for winter teams while Paul Cartier is the full-time New York Islanders organist and part time for the Yankees.