Dodgers Sym-Phony

From BR Bullpen

The Dodgers Sym-Phony was a small musical band composed of fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers who "entertained" the crowds at Ebbets Field. The group was formed spontaneously by its leader Carmine "Shorty" Laurice in 1937, who recruited other amateur musicians to join the group. They had all day jobs (and it was a good thing) so their performances were at night games, week-ends and holidays. Among their favorites was playing "Three Blind Mice" when the umpiring crew walked onto the field. Laurice passed away after the 1946 season, and he was replaced by snare drummer Lou Soriano ("Brother Lou"), who had been among the first musicians recruited by Laurice.

In a famous incident, in 1951, the American Federation of Musicians petitioned for the members of the band to be paid for their work. However, none of them were union members, and the Dodgers staged a "Music Depreciation Night" on August 13th when any fans bringing in an instrument were admitted free. Some 2,400 spectators took advantage of the offer, and joined in the cacophony. At first, the band was just tolerated by the team (the musicians had to pay for their seats and sneak in their instruments), but they soon gained recognition and were allowed to perform freely, as they were beloved by other fans. They continued their work until the Dodgers' last season in Brooklyn in 1957, then would reunite periodically for Dodger-themed event after that.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Rob Edelman: "Shorty, Brother Lou, and the Dodgers Sym-phony", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, Nr. 2 (Fall 2018), pp. 71-74.