Like most Pirates fans, I was saddened at the news of Vince Lascheid's death on Thursday, though I'm grateful for his many years of service to Pittsburgh's sports teams and fans ("Vince Lascheid, Well-Known Organist Dies," March 20).
But I was even more disappointed to read Pirates President Frank Coonelly's official statement where he said, "We are proud to say that even though he is gone, Vince will continue to be the Pirates organist through digital recordings. When our fans hear organ music at PNC Park it will continue to be Vince Lascheid for years to come. We can think of no better tribute than carrying on the tradition of playing Vince's music at Pirates games."
Continuing to play the same, canned recordings is probably the worst tribute to Vince the team can make. What made Vince Lascheid (and all ballpark organists throughout the nation) special was that he was playing live and in person, responding to the ebb and flow of the game, and actually conducting a musical dialogue with the fans. No digital recording can begin to recreate that. It is analogous to playing videos of champion Pirates teams from the 1970s on the video screen instead of playing games on the field.
The best tribute to Vince and his legacy is for the Pirates to hire a fresh, new organist and bring back live music to PNC Park.