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Queens Chronicle

Farewell to Jane Jarvis

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Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2010 12:00 am

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Jane Jarvis. For longtime Mets fans, particularly baby boomers, Jarvis was synonymous with a trip to Shea Stadium, as she was the Mets’ organist from 1964 through 1979.

Jarvis represented a kinder, gentler era in sports when a ballpark organist was the only form of entertainment during breaks in the action. Back in the day you didn’t need a message on a video scoreboard to clap and cheer on your team. Jarvis’s tinkling of “The Mexican Hat” dance was all the prodding Mets fans needed to implore their team to start a rally.

The Mets announced last week that they will be reinstating their Hall of Fame, and that Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, former manager Davey Johnson and retired General Manager Frank Cashen will be inducted at an August ceremony. It would be nice if Jarvis could be posthumously inducted then as well.

Congratulations to the Cardozo High School girls’ track team, who won the PSAL 4x400 relay at the Millrose Games for the fourth time in five years, thanks largely to Ahtyana Johnson’s dash to the finish line last Friday night, which beat out her nearest competitor by two-tenths of a second.

Bernard Lagat continues to prove to be the best athlete no one has heard of as he won his eighth consecutive Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, an incredible accomplishment. Interestingly, Lagat had a far easier race this year than last year, by his own admission at the post-race press conference.

The NBA, Right Guard and iHoops — a nonprofit venture of the NBA and the NCAA to promote youth leagues and teach budding players — held a press conference at Manhattan’s NBA Store last week to promote The Total Defense Challenge. They want high school players to upload a video of their best defensive plays, and 30 winners will be chosen for various prizes. Details are at ihoops.com.

Granted, Right Guard’s motives aren’t all altruistic since the contest is part of its Total Defense deodorant launch, but it’s refreshing to see defense being glorified instead of the usual slam dunks and long outside jump shots ESPN always shows on highlight reels. As a former schoolyard player whose best skill was rebounding, the contest hit home for me.

If you think this has been a bitterly cold winter in Queens so far, Minnesota Timberwolves guard and NBA Rookie of the Year candidate Jonny Flynn offers a valuable perspective. He grew up in frigid Niagara Falls, went to college at snowy Syracuse University, and is now playing in Minneapolis. When I asked him last week how winter in his new workplace compares with what he experienced in upstate New York, Flynn chuckled, “It’s no contest. Minneapolis is really cold!”

An iconic American institution, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which pays tribute to the best of the entertainment industry with sidewalk stars and brings millions of tourists to that famous LA neighborhood, celebrates its 50th anniversary on Monday. Terry Bradshaw and Magic Johnson are the only NFL and NBA players, respectively, to have received a star on the Walk of Fame.

Welcome to the discussion.