As 2004 rustles to a close in YankeeLand--amidst the gnashing of teeth over the non-trade of Randy Johnson--real sad news comes to the Bronx Faithful, with the passing of Eddie Layton.
Layton provided the soundtrack of Yankee Stadium--not the contrived "Cotton Eye Joe" stuff--for over 35 years. He retired in 2003, after the Marlins beat the Yankees in the World Series. It was always somewhat ethereal watching Eddie play at the stadium: he'd sometimes play the organ with a handful of World Series rings on his fingers, and because of the audio delay, his hands would seem to move out of time with the music. But the most memorable thing was the smile he had on whenever they put him on camera.
Either he really loved what he was doing all those years, or he missed a true calling as an Oscar-worthy actor. I, and many other Yankee fans, will hold him dear in our hearts and memories.