Dodger Stadium organist plays ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ as car burns in parking lot

Dodger Stadium

LOS ANGELES — Dodger Stadium’s organist dipped into his Billy Joel catalog to play the perfect song after a vehicle caught fire in the parking lot before a recent game.

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With smoke rising from burning vehicle visible to the crowds settling into their seats at Dodger Stadium as their team prepared to play the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 22, organist Dieter Ruehle played the chorus of Joel’s 1989 hit, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” Sports Illustrated reported. Joel’s version, updated in a cover by Fall Out Boy in 2023, hit No. 1 for two weeks in late 1989, according to Billboard.

“The organ player is cold blooded,” one person posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

While some fan was tending their smoldering car, the Los Angeles Fire Department tweeted that there were no injuries as a result of the parking lot fire, Sports Illustrated reported.

“We’re pleased to confirm that the non-injury fire, which began beneath the hood of the new mid-size SUV, was quickly extinguished by first arriving @LAFD Firefighters,” fire officials posted.

“Response time was pretty solid,” one fan wrote on Reddit. “We were bugging out in the stadium because we saw the smoke from around the seats.

Ruehle is known for his creativity. Last season, he serenaded the Oakland Athletics with “Viva Las Vegas,” a reference to the team’s impending move to Sin City, according to Dodgers Way, a fan website.

He follows other organists who have delighted fans with their musical choices. On June 26, 1985, Wilbur Snapp, who played the organ for the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor-league affiliate in Clearwater, Florida, was ejected from a game at Jack Russell Stadium when he played “Three Blind Mice” after disagreeing with an umpire’s call at first base, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Jim Bouton, of “Ball Four” fame, once described how an organist, long before baseball players had walkup music, played the 1947 standard, “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now,” a reference to critics who called Bouton’s diary of the 1969 baseball season a “kiss-and-tell book.”

Gladys Goodding, who played the organ for the Brooklyn Dodgers, mournfully played ““How Can You Say We’re Through?” as the team played its final game at Ebbets Field before moving west to California, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

But a car fire in the parking lot? That is a new one.

As for the Diamondbacks, they said goodbye to Hollywood with a 6-0 victory.

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