Was An Organist Once Ejected From a Game by an Umpire?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about baseball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the baseball urban legends featured so far.

BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: An organist was once ejected from a game by an umpire.

Wilbur Snapp was the organist for the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league farm team, the Clearwater Phillies, for over two decades until they went to recorded music beginning in the 1997 season. He also played the organ for Phillies spring training games in Florida. Snapp had taught himself how to play the organ when he was in his mid-30s and it soon became his passion.

In 1985, during a game, first base umpire Kevin O’Connor (who would go on to have a 10-year-career umpiring in he Major Leagues, and is currently one of 11 Umpire Supervisors who observe umpires to make sure they’re up to snuff) made a seemingly bad call at first base that resulted in a Phillies double play. What happened next was hilarious.

As an act of protest, Snapp played “Three Blind Mice” on his organ.

O’Connor was having none of it, so he pointed to Snapp in the organ booth and ejected him.

Snapp spent the rest of the game in the stadium making mice balloon animals for fans.

Snapp was the only ejection O’Connor ever made in his umpiring career!

The legend is…

STATUS: True

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