White Sox

White Sox radio broadcaster and former MLB pitcher Ed Farmer dies

White Sox radio broadcaster and former MLB pitcher Ed Farmer dies

The Chicago White Sox are feeling the loss of one of their dearest family members.

Former White Sox pitcher and longtime radio broadcaster Ed Farmer died on Wednesday. He was 70.

Farmer was born in Evergreen Park on Oct. 18, 1949, the second-oldest of nine children. He went to his first White Sox game at old Comiskey Park when he was 5 years old. It was at that game he told his mother, “Someday, I’m going to play here.”

Two decades later, the South Sider not only fulfilled his childhood dream of playing for the White Sox, he’d also make the 1980 All-Star team, pitching two-thirds of an inning at Dodger Stadium. Those two outs came on one pitch to Pete Rose, who hit into a double play.

Farmer set career-highs in saves (30) and wins (7) that season. He pitched 11 years in the majors, three with the White Sox (1979-81).

Although he went on to call White Sox games after his playing days were over, Farmer actually had trouble speaking as a child and struggled to pronounce words.

“Baseball was a way for me to break through that barrier and have people notice me,” Farmer said in an interview with SoxTV in 2019.

When Farmer was a star pitcher at St. Rita High School, he caught the eye of a scout for the Cleveland Indians. That scout's name was Jerry Krause — the same Jerry Krause who would later win six NBA championships as the general manager of the Bulls in the 1990s. The Indians drafted Farmer out of high school. Krause eventually became a scout for the White Sox and played a big role in the club acquiring Farmer from the Texas Rangers in 1979, bringing him back to his hometown.

The ties that bind not only shaped Farmer’s life, they would also extend it.

In 1990, Farmer learned that he would die without a kidney transplant. He called his brother Tom to share the news. Almost immediately, Tom offered his brother his own kidney. It turned out to be a perfect match.

“It saved my life,” Farmer said.

In 1991, Farmer was back with the White Sox, this time in the radio booth, calling games with play-by-play man John Rooney. Darrin Jackson became Farmer’s radio partner in 2009.

While Hawk Harrelson famously cheered for the White Sox from the booth, Farmer was equally homer-ish and wasn’t afraid to admit it.

“We want to win. You can hear it in my voice,” Farmer once said.

“I’m here to do one job. Do the broadcast, call a White Sox winner, hopefully get to the playoffs and World Series again because I’m a huge White Sox fan, as well.”

RELATED: Hear some of Ed Farmer's best play-by-play calls

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White Sox 2005 Rewind: Controversies or not, dominant pitching won the ALCS

White Sox 2005 Rewind: Controversies or not, dominant pitching won the ALCS

“Realistically, I don't know if they could be pitching much better than they have.”

By the end of Game 4 of the ALCS, Joe Buck had a different way to summarize things.

“The dominance continues.”

Realistic or not, the White Sox starting rotation was just plain unhittable in the penultimate series of the 2005 season.

First it was Jose Contreras, setting the tone in a losing effort in Game 1 and coming two outs away from a complete game. Mark Buehrle followed with what he called — to that point, before the no-hitter and the perfect game — one of the best games of his career. Game 3 saw Jon Garland take the baton and stifle the Los Angeles Angels. And then it was Freddy Garcia, dealing as the White Sox cruised to a Game 4 win.

And so while the Fox broadcast spent an awful lot of time on supposed controversies, missed calls by the umpires and breaks for the White Sox, let’s face it: Those Angels weren’t hitting that pitching staff.

After the way Game 2 wrapped up, with A.J. Pierzynski swinging, missing and running to first base in a baffling display that for some reason worked, controversy was a storyline. And boy, did it get milked in Game 4.

Now, this isn’t to say that there weren’t missed calls or that the White Sox didn’t experience a couple breaks in this contest. There were. And they did.

After the Angels chopped the White Sox lead to 3-1 on an RBI hit in the second inning, they still had two men on with only one out. But instead of a rally, Steve Finley hit into an inning-ending double play. His bat, replay clearly showed, hit Pierzynski’s glove on the swing, meaning by rule he should have gone to first on catcher’s interference and loaded the bases. Instead, he turned around to argue while running out the ground ball, hence the double play.

He should have learned from Pierzynski and just busted it down to first base, leaving the details to be sorted out later. No call came, and Finley was out, the Angels’ rally stopped.

The White Sox lead back to three runs in the fifth inning, Scott Podsednik — who had a remarkable game, on base four times with two stolen bases and two runs scored — was seemingly picked off at first base. But the call was safe, and he scored later in the inning to extend a tight three-run game to a four-run game.

But did it really matter? Would any of it made a difference?

Garcia was on point, just like his three rotation-mates before him. He allowed just two runs on only six hits, walking one. He did that 2005 White Sox thing where he pitched fast, pitched to his defense and pitched the Angels into a whole bunch of outs.

You can point to the breaks all you want, attempt to stir up controversy. But the White Sox pitchers were so good that nothing was stopping them as they marched to a pennant.

The only thing that could, as we saw in Game 1 of the series, was an equally strong pitching performance on the other side. That’s exactly what Paul Byrd turned in against Contreras in that first game, and a White Sox lineup that slugged against the Red Sox in the ALDS was stymied. A sick Jarrod Washburn did his best in Game 2, with some help from a terrific crop of relievers, only for Pierzynski to flip the series on its head. In Games 3 and 4 in Anaheim, the Angels couldn’t match Garland and Garcia. An awakened group of White Sox bats hung a crooked number on John Lackey in Game 3 and had the same rude greeting for Ervin Santana — a future member of the South Side rotation, however briefly — in Game 4.

The old sports cliche goes that defense wins championships. In baseball, pitching wins championships. It did in 2005. And no amount of supposed controversy was going to change that.

Keep reliving the White Sox march to the 2005 World Series with #SoxRewind, which features Game 5 of the ALCS, airing at 7 p.m. Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago.

 

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: MLB season teetering on the brink

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USA Today

SportsTalk Live Podcast: MLB season teetering on the brink

Chuck Garfien, Charlie Roumeliotis and Mark Carman join Kap on a Friday edition of SportsTalk Live. 

The stalemate continues between MLB owners and players. Will the two sides come to their sense? How close are we to the drop dead date to get a season started on time?

The NHL has a plan. The Blackhawks are a part of it. Do they have enough championship experience to go on a deep playoff run?

Later, Ken Rosenthal joins Kap to talk about the differences between baseball’s owners and players as they discuss how to start the season.

Meanwhile, the NBA is targeting a late July return. Would the Bulls be better off if they were not a part of the league’s restart plans? 

0:00 - The MLB season is teetering on the brink. When will it be too late to start a season? And are the owners and players risking the death of the league if they can’t come to an agreement?
6:30 - The NHL has a restart plan and the Blackhawks will be a part of it. So can they go on a run?
9:00 - Ken Rosenthal join Kap to talk about the stalemate between the MLB owners and players. 
19:00 - The NBA is looking to restart its season. Would the Bulls be better off not taking part?

Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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