I enjoyed reading this profile of Boston Red Sox organist Josh Kantor, largely because he’s a player in the larger New England music scene and sat in for most of the Drive-By Truckers’ show in Providence last fall, which was super cool. However, one thing about this interview alarmed me greatly:
AVC: You’re doing 81 games a year, plus playoffs?
JK: Yeah, 81 home games, and then hopefully if were lucky there are playoff games in addition to that.
AVC: Are you full-time or are you contract? Are you paid by the Red Sox?
JK: I get paid by the Boston Red Sox. I receive an hourly wage, which is a pretty small hourly wage, but I love the work, so that’s why I keep going back.
AVC: You’re not getting Big Papi money?
JK: Oh, I’m not even getting pay-the-bills money. I work an office job, and I do a ton of freelance music work as well.
What? The Boston Red Sox, an organization raking in endless dollars, does not pay their organist, who works 81 days a year, assuming they don’t make the playoffs, anything even approaching a living wage? Do they really pay him $10 an hour or something? That is absolutely disgraceful. It’s not as if I didn’t already know that professional sports franchises owned by billionaires with gargantuan television deals and endless marketing opportunities take every penny possible from their everyday employees. They’d still be doing the same to the players if they could get away with it. But I would have figured someone as central to the team as its long-time organist would at least be getting something that looks like a living wage. But no. Not even close evidently. Call me a filthy communist if you will, but I think the Red Sox organist should be able to pay his bills on his salary.