Christmas Day is a good time for remembering Ed Farmer, the former White Sox pitcher and broadcaster. On April 1st of this year, Ed Farmer passed away, leaving a long baseball legacy behind him. Whether on the mound at Old Comiskey Park or in the broadcast booth at Guaranteed Rate Field, Ed Farmer was a big part of the White Sox family.
Remembering Ed Farmer: The Early Years
Ed Farmer was born on October 18th, 1949, and grew up on the South Side of Chicago. He went to St. Rita High School, where he was a member of the Chicago Tribune’s Prep All-Stars, In his senior year of 1967, Farmer helped pitch his team to the Catholic League Championship. Ed caught the eye of an Indians scout and was drafted by the Indians in the fifth round of the 1967 Amateur draft.
Remembering Ed Farmer: The Pitcher
Ed farmer pitched in the minor leagues from 1967 until he was brought up to the Major Leagues in the summer of 1971. He faced his boyhood team, the White Sox in his MLB debut. He stuck out the final hitter for a save in his first MLB appearance. Over the course of his career, Ed spent time both as a starter and a reliever. However, the vast majority of his appearances were out of the bullpen. He pitched for eight teams over his 11 seasons in Major League baseball. One of those teams was his hometown White Sox, for whom he pitched from 1979-81. Farmer appeared in the All-Star game in 1980.
Farmer was with the White Sox when he experienced what was most likely the dirtiest play ever seen in MLB. Al Cowens, then of the Tigers hit a groundball to the left side of the infield. Instead of running it out, Cowens took a few steps toward first base, then made a beeline for the mound. He blindsided Farmer, who had his back to Cowens. A wild fight ensued, which can be seen in the video below. This incident is one of those standout moments when remembering Ed Farmer
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Remembering Ed Farmer: Post Playing Days
Ed Farmer ended his playing career after the 1983 season and did some work in the front office for the Orioles and White Sox. He served as a scout for the Orioles for two years before joining his old Sox pitching coach, now Sox GM Ron Schueler as a special assistant. He served in that role until 1991.
Remembering Ed Farmer: The Broadcaster
In 1991, Farmer started broadcasting part-time in the Sox radio booth. Then, in 1992, he became the full-time radio analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Jon Rooney. The two served as the Sox radio team for 14 seasons, through the White Sox’ World Series run of 2005. After the 2005 season, Rooney left the White Sox to take over the radio duties for the Cardinals. Farmer replaced Rooney on the play-by-play and teamed with Steve Stone, Chris Singleton, and finally, Darrin Jackson in the booth. Upon his death, the White Sox hired Len Kasper away from the Cubs to do play-by-play on the Sox’ new radio outlet, ESPN Chicago.
Remembering Ed Farmer: South Sider Made Good
While Ed Farmer was many things, he was a White Sox fan from birth, growing up not far from Old Comiskey Park. He pitched for his boyhood team, then later was a radio mainstay for them, as well. From 1991 through 2019, his voice was heard every night by White Sox fans everywhere. Ed’s name was synonymous with White Sox baseball, and he endeared himself to millions of fans.
Who doesn’t remember his trademark “Light it up!” after a White Sox home run. Or his banter with Darrin Jackson over the years? His love and passion for the game of baseball cane across in everything Ed Farmer did on the air. The local boy made good, even if he never got to drive for Windy City Limousine. He accomplished much in life, and baseball and the White Sox are better for his having been a part of it.
Remembering Ed Farmer: Farewell, Farmio
On April 1st, 2020, the world lost a good man, a husband, a father, and so much more. One of the most passionate White Sox fans who ever lived left this world. However, he left the world a better place, and Sox fans are grateful for all he did for the team. In remembering Ed Farmer, one can’t help but imagine that, on April 1st, 2020, the angels in Heaven looked up at the exploding scoreboard at the gates and loudly proclaimed “Light it up!” RIP Farmer.
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