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How MLB organists bounced back after piping down


The organ is one of the most recognizable sounds in baseball. And for the past six years, Lori Moreland has delivered that sound to White Sox fans ... in whatever they're calling Comiskey Park these days.

With Moreland, you'll hear something old and something new.

"I am introducing some Chainsmokers material," Moreland said. "It should be in good shape in a couple of weeks."

And she does it all from one of the best seats in the house.

"I can see that strike zone," Moreland said. "And when the ump is a little off."

She's become an important part of the Sox lineup, which says a lot about Major League Baseball organists nowadays.

Chicago is, in a sense, a stadium-organ town. The organ was introduced in the Windy City in 1941 by another ballclub.

SEE MORE: The 'W' Flag Was Practical Before It Was Iconic

"We call them the cubes," Moreland said.

Moreland is one of three women who play the organ for an MLB team. More than half of the 30 teams in the MLB have organists, which is a bump up from 10 years ago. Most importantly, the tradition is still around after a time many thought organs would have to pipe down for good.

Related: How will your team fare this season?

31 PHOTOS
Westgate Las Vegas win predictions for 2017 MLB season
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Westgate Las Vegas win predictions for 2017 MLB season

San Diego Padres: 67.5 wins

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Chicago White Sox: 68.5 wins

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Milwaukee Brewers: 69.5 wins

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Reds: 70.5 wins

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Phillies: 72.5 wins

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Kansas City Royals: 74.5 wins

(Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images(

Oakland A's: 74.5 wins

(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Atlanta Braves: 75.5 wins

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Minnesota Twins: 75.5 wins

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Miami Marlins: 76.5 wins

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks: 77.5 wins

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Rays: 78.5 wins

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Baltimore Orioles: 79.5 wins

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Colorado Rockies: 80.5 wins

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 80.5 wins

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Pirates: 82.5 wins

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

St. Louis Cardinals: 83.5 wins

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Detroit Tigers: 83.5 wins

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

New York Yankees: 83.5 wins

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Texas Rangers: 84.5 wins

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Toronto Blue Jays: 84.5 wins

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners: 85.5 wins

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

San Francisco Giants: 87.5 wins

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

New York Mets: 88.5 wins

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Washington Nationals: 91.5 wins

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Houston Astros: 91.5 wins

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Boston Red Sox: 92.5 wins

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Cleveland Indians: 93.5 wins

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Dodgers: 94.5 wins

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Chicago Cubs: 95.5 wins

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Baseball experts say stadium organs peaked in the '60s and '70s, but they've always had to compete for time with other ballpark entertainment.

And then came former White Sox organist Nancy Faust, who might've created the tradition of playing as the batter heads to the plate.

"She really personalized the game a lot from the musical standpoint," Moreland said.

Faust also introduced some new swing into a playing style that was getting a little played out.

"She started something where the opposing team would come up to bat and she would play little snippets of tunes that kind of make reference to the players' last names," Moreland said.

By 2005, Faust thought ballpark organists would go "the way of the dodo bird." But she was very wrong. As more stadiums hired organists, those musicians, like Moreland, adapted, blending the old and new styles of entertainment.

"I think it got to the point that a stadium or any sports venue started to sound all alike," Moreland said.

One way to sound different? Pairing an organ player with a DJ.

SEE MORE: How MLB Is Trying To Make Baseball Less Boring

Stadium organs aren't an endangered species, and there isn't exactly a surplus of them in major league ballparks.

But if you're looking for signs of their sustained influence on America's pastime, try rooting for the home team without one.

12 PHOTOS
Winners of the 2016 MLB Awards -- Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, etc.
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Winners of the 2016 MLB Awards -- Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, etc.

AL Most Valuable Player: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NL Most Valuable Player: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

AL Cy Young Award: Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

AL Rookie of the Year: Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

NL Cy Young Award: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

(Photo by Matthew Hazlett/Getty Images)

NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians

(Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

NL Manager of the Year: Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

AL Hank Aaron Award: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

NL Hank Aaron Award: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Overall Defensive Player of the Year: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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