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Vince Lascheid has probably performed "Take Me out to the Ballgame" 5,000 times, but he says he is not yet tired of the tune.

Mr. Lascheid has played the organ at Three Rivers Stadium Pirates games since 1970, and at Penguins matches for almost as long. He has performed bits of songs at close to 2,500 baseball games. At his Technics GX7 organ, tucked parallel with the playing field on the stadium's fourth-floor deck overlooking home plate, Mr. Lascheid's septuagenarian fingers exploit the keyboard with a confidence and agility some of the Pirates infielders might envy.

His room is open to the air, but he said only one ball a season is hit up to his lair. Except for his 11-year-old granddaughter occasionally poking her head in, Mr. Lascheid sits alone in his phantom-of-the-opera surroundings, accompanied only by that grand view of the contest and a half-dozen yellowed pieces of paper taped to the organ. Those fraying notes are the Rosetta stones to Mr. Lascheid's game strategy; every conceivable baseball situation is listed, along with a number of appropriate tunes.

Opposing team changes pitchers? He plays The Beatles' "Fool on the Hill" or Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust." Triple play? "It's Impossible."

But Mr. Lascheid's notoriety comes from the name association games he plays with fans as each player is introduced. Some are easy: McDonald's "You Deserve a Break Today" theme for St. Louis Cardinal Mark "Big Mac" McGwire or the theme from "Brian's Song" for Pittsburgh 's Brian Giles.

Some are more of a stretch to get the pun: "Gilligan's Island " for Jose Guillen or "My Favorite Martian" for Pittsburgh 's Al Martin.

Some may be known only to Mr. Lascheid: for Pirates catcher Jason Kendall, the theme from "Grease." Kendall = a brand of motor oil = grease. Or, famously, Mr. Lascheid's choice for Baltimore 's Benny Ayala during the 1979 World Series: "Tie a Yellow (Ayala) Ribbon."

As he discusses his greatest hits, Mr. Lascheid often says, "that's a bad one," but it is clear he enjoys the word play as much as he enjoys the ballgames.

Mr. Lascheid said one of his greatest memories was seeing Roberto Clemente's 3,000th hit. The theme for Clemente? "Jesus Christ, Superstar."

During all his years with the Pirates and Penguins, he can think of only one real disappointment.

"All of the Pittsburgh World Series and Stanley Cup championships were decided at away games," he said. "So I didn't get to play for them."

He said that PNC Park will be "nice when it's finished, but I'll be sad to see this stadium go." Mr. Lascheid said that he is talking to Pirates management about "picking up this organ and moving to the new park," where he said he wants to continue playing "as long as I live."

But the night I met Mr. Lascheid, a subtle yet ominous change was taking place. In new crown jewel stadiums such as Jacobs Field in Cleveland and Baltimore 's Camden Yard, players approaching home plate for their turn at bat are greeted with music snippets they choose from recorded tapes.

And on Friday, May 14, against the Montreal Expos, for the first time in Three Rivers Stadium, many Pirates players chose to be introduced the new way.

Instead of "Brian's Song," Brian Giles took the field to the Black Crowes' "Hard To Handle." Instead of "Gilligan's Island ," Jose Guillen batted to the guitars of Led Zepplin's "Heartbreaker." Kevin Young chose The Commodore's "Brick House."

No one is likely to ask for a ticket refund because the organ music has been replaced by rock music, but a lot of the fun is taken out of the experience when Mr. Lascheid's guessing game is replaced with generic testosterone riffs.

So for now, Mr. Lascheid can play everything from "In the Mood" to "Axel F" as if the end of his era is as far away as the next 56-game hitting streak.

When asked to play a quick round of name association, Mr. Lascheid had an instant response for every suggestion. What would he play for Mayor Tom Murphy? The old Irish sing-along, "Who Put the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder." For Bill Clinton, if "Hail to the Chief" were not allowed? "Maybe `He's My Bill,' except he's not," Mr. Lascheid said. "So maybe `Billy Boy' instead. Something with a sexual connotation, maybe."

Then what would he play as Monica Lewinsky's theme? Vince Lascheid's answer was as quick, outrageous and painfully appropriate as anything he's likely done in 30 years.

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