MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A moment of silence was held Tuesday night during the Minnesota Twins game for organist Ronnie Newman, who rallied Metrodome crowds for 21 seasons.
Newman, of Minneapolis, died Tuesday of complications from diabetes at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. He was 70.
Newman played the baseball anthem "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" for 1,775 straight home games. During Tuesday night's game against the Anaheim Angels, the song "Satin Doll," which he performed before every home game was played.
"Ronnie's one of the all-time great ambassadors for the Twins, right up there with (longtime radio announcer) Herb Carneal and (public address announcer) Bob Casey," said Matt Hoy, Twins vice president of operations. "Ronnie would go anywhere to promote the team. He was a Twin through and through."
Newman's daughter, Connie Newman of Minneapolis, said her father often told the story of how he was referred by a friend to Twins owner Calvin Griffith before the 1977 season.
"He was hired with a hand-shake," she said. "Music was his life, and he really loved the Twins. It's all he lived for."
He played from behind home plate at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, where he earned $50 a game. In the early days at the Metrodome he played from a pit, watching the game through a periscope.
Newman last played music for the Twins in 1998.
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