We try to do things with specific players based on their names. For Scott Rolen, we play “rolling, rolling, rolling”—the Rawhide theme. For Jonny Gomes, we play “Johnny B. Goode.” Some of them were hard—like Joey Votto. We found “Run Joey Run.” I don’t know if he liked that.
I kept waiting for the call from them saying, “We appreciate you doing it, but we’ve had enough.” And that never came.
Traditional organists have special shoes with kind of an extended heel so they can walk up and down the pedals. I’m not going to do that.
Every once in a while, we have a guy call if he starts to slump. He’ll call and say, “Hey, change my song. I don’t want that one anymore.” Joey Votto changed his song at one point, and he just went on a tear.
Mother’s Day was one of the first games I played, and my family was there. They showed my family and me on the scoreboard. It was one of those surreal moments when you can’t believe what’s happening. I remember getting home and telling my wife, “That was one of the best days ever.”
Best Seat in the House
Schutte sits near home plate on the first base line. “Actually, Walt Jocketty is to my left. If there weren’t a window, I could touch him.”
To practice in the off-season, Schutte purchased a Baldwin Pro 222 organ—identical to the one at the stadium—and set it up in his Anderson home.
Away from the Game
Reds games aren’t Schutte’s only gigs. He has played with ’80s cover band The Rusty Griswolds for more than a decade. By day, he’s a firefighter.
Photograph by Jonathan Willis
Originally published in the April 2011 issue.